2003 IAP five Statements: Press release

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2003 IAP five Statements: Press release


ACADEMIES SIGN SERIES OF SCIENCE-BASED STATEMENTS
The InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP), a global network of science academies, has approved five statements on a wide-range of topics that address critical science-related issues facing the world today. The statements, which are intended to influence policy makers both in individual countries and international organizations, were released on the final day of the IAP General Assembly and Conference on Science for Society held in Mexico City from 1-5 December.

The topics covered in the separate statements include: science and the media; science education of children; the health of mothers and children in developing countries; capacity building of young academies; and access to scientific information.

"Several of the statements," says Yves Quéré, co-chair of the IAP executive committee, "focus directly on public policy. They are intended to highlight the critical role that science can play in helping to address some of the most critical problems we face today.

"The statement of health of mothers and children in developing countries, for example, calls on national and international health organizations to make maternal and childbirth-related mortality and morbidity among their highest priorities. To achieve progress on this front, the statement urges the development of obstetrics programmes and the creation of a network of maternity hospitals in developing countries capable of sharing information on mother and child health issues facing both doctors and patients in developing countries."

Other statements, Quéré notes, focus on strengthening the capabilities of scientific institutions and, more specifically, science academies.

He notes, for example, that the statement on scientific information maintains that both "electronic access to journal content and scientific databases, developed by intergovernmental organizations, be made available without cost or restriction as soon as possible. Dissemination of such information", Quéré concludes, "will provide immense benefits to the global scientific community and, more generally, increase the prospects for sustained economic growth among developing countries."