Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All
Nov 12, 2013

6th High-Level Symposium on Globbal Health Diplomacy : Health diplomacy meets science diplomacy

6th High-Level Symposium on Globbal Health Diplomacy : Health diplomacy meets science diplomacy

Geneva, 12 November 2013. The annual high-level symposium of the Global Health Programme explores critical issues and new developments in global health diplomacy, with particular relevance to the interface between foreign policy and health. This year’s symposium focuses on the interplay of health diplomacy and science diplomacy, following on from a highly successful event that explored new approaches to research and development in support of global health.

Health diplomacy and science diplomacy are both a means of addressing global challenges in an interconnected world, and both are increasingly becoming an integral part of foreign policy. While this can offer exciting new opportunities, it can also lead to a number of concerns about geopolitical and economic interests, values and principles. These will be identified and discussed at the symposium.

Three dimensions of the relationship between science and diplomacy will be discussed in relation to challenges in global health.

Diplomacy for science: Diplomacy as a mechanism for advancing a scientific goal, particularly extensive and expensive research programmes that need to leverage the participation of multiple countries.

Science in diplomacy: Science is necessary for the conduct of diplomacy or to inform issues of diplomatic concern. This includes the capacity of diplomats and diplomatic institutions to understand scientific and technical matters as related to bilateral and multilateral issues, such as cross-border public health and food safety.

Science for diplomacy: Science is a mechanism for enhancing or building bridges between countries (i.e. for diplomatic purposes). Science diplomacy is especially relevant in helping develop positive engagement between countries that have strained, limited or non-existent relations.

The confirmed keynote speaker is Dr Vaughan C. Turekian, Editor-in-Chief, Science & Diplomacy, Chief International Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science. Other  confirmed speakers at the event include: Sir George Alleyne, Director Emeritus of the Pan American Health Organization; Ambassador Mauro Moruzzi, Head of the International Relations Division of the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation; Prof Mohammad H. Nicknam, Acting Minister for Health of International Affairs,  Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Islamic Republic of Iran; Prof John-Arne Røttingen, Acting Deputy Director General of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health; Prof Marcel Tanner, Director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute; Prof Michelle Holmes, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health; Prof Carel IJsselmuiden, Director of COHRED; and Dr James Miller, Oxford International Development Group, USA. The event will be moderated by Prof Michel Kazatchkine, Senior Fellow at the Global Health Programme, and Prof Thomas Zeltner, Chairperson of the Advisory Board of the Global Health Programme.

The Global Health Programme of the Graduate Institute, Geneva, is a member of Medicus Mundi Switzerland.

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