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Words of welcome: Camilla Zimmermann and Augusto Caraceni

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 12th World Research Congress of the EAPC. The congress, which will be entirely online in May 2022, will offer excellent opportunities to interact with experts in palliative care, to present and discuss research, and to provide new ideas and new knowledge for improving the treatment and care of patients and their families. The Scientific Committee has been planning the scientific programme and we would like to thank the members of the multidisciplinary committee for their hard work and efforts: Kenneth Chambaere, Julia Downing, David Hui, Geana Kurita, Tonje Lundeby, Masanori Mori, Christoph Ostgathe.

The past year and a half has emphasized, more than ever, the need to work together as a community of researchers and clinicians to improve palliative care across the globe. The pandemic has been a humanitarian crisis worldwide, with over 4 million deaths so far. It has exaggerated inequities in palliative care among and within countries, and led to deaths alone and without support from family, friends, and palliative care services. However, it has also forced us as researchers and clinicians to innovate and create new interventions and methods of care. As well, the greater ease of virtual meetings has offered new avenues for international collaborative research and the results of this research are adding to the body of knowledge within palliative care.

Despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to switch quickly to an online format, the 2020 EAPC World Research Congress received a large number of high-quality contributions:  1150 abstracts were submitted from 52 countries globally. Each abstract is reviewed by at least two independent reviewers from our Advisory Board comprising many experts from a range of professions and countries. We are grateful to all our colleagues who undertake this important work. As well as our invited speakers, according to the abstract score, all abstracts are then prioritised oral communication sessions,  poster discussion sessions and poster presentations.

Thus, the EAPC research congress is once again the place of meeting for all of us in palliative care research. This congress offers the opportunity to all delegates not only to be acknowledged for their high-quality individual contributions, but also to be enriched through diversity of backgrounds and opinions, and commonality of interests and compassion.

We look forward to meeting with you in May 2022. Please check the congress website, EAPC social media channels and the blog for regular updates on #EAPC2022