Health Diplomacy, Science Diplomacy: Tackling Alcohol & Tobacco Addictions

Saturday, 14 February 2015: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 210G (San Jose Convention Center)
Delon Human,Health Diplomats; Secretary-General of the Africa Medical Association, Geneva, Switzerland
Science is a fundamental pillar of knowledge-based societies. When communicated well, it provides the glue for diverse stakeholders active in global health policy development to be allowed engage each other and chip-away at seemingly insurmountable barriers. For better or for worse, policy decisions in e.g. pharmaceutical, tobacco and food regulation can be dogma or campaign-driven, and often lack a robust enough scientific base. This invariably leads to politically-driven rather than evidence-based policy. My talk will show how policy-makers are changing and becoming more receptive to scientific advice, even when this advice is uncomfortable. By widely sharing our biomedical discoveries, cultivating research talent and human resources in developing countries, and negotiating treaties and other international agreements that save lives and improve health, we are more effectively providing leadership through science which, in turn, is fostering more constructive relations between countries. Nevertheless, the challenge remains for science to deliver more from our public investment and to more readily include the social sciences to improve understanding of how the public may react or adapt to lifestyle challenges. Only then can we ensure the highest possible standards of health, wealth and stability of the world.