The development of consensus statements is one of the constitutional functions of the WPA. Their preparation not only serves to produce a document presenting the views of the Member Societies of the WPA; it also serves a second objective, that is, to link psychiatric societies and psychiatrists across national and disciplinary boundaries and present opportunities to establish working relationships with other partners in the mental health care enterprise – family and patient organizations, governments, the industry and experts in disciplines related to psychiatry. In this respect also, the preparation of the background reviews has made a major contribution and I am thankful to the WPA Task Force for having worked so hard and for having organized its work in a manner that has allowed the achievement of both objectives mentioned above.
The use and usefulness of second-generation antipsychotics is not the only area of treatment in psychiatry about which evidence should be assembled in order to facilitate reaching consensus among psychiatrists and all others concerned with the care of people with mental illness. I hope that, in the years to come, the WPA will engage in similar endeavours concerning other possibilities of treating mental illness.
Prof. Juan J. López-Ibor
President of the World Psychiatric Association