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Building a bridge between science and policy: IPU side event at the 70th World Health Assembly

A Cambodian nurse fills her syringe with a vaccine to help protest against influenza A(H1N1), or swine flu, at the Cambodian People's Party headquarters (CPP) in Phnom Penh on July 2, 2010

Scientific findings should be used to guide national health policies. ©AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy

Translating findings from scientific research into policy actions is a challenge, especially in public health. The gap between evidence and its use in policy seems to be growing, given the current sociopolitical situation and the myriad sources of information. These can lead to myths and misconceptions about health, for example on issues such as immunization, and the relation between climate change and health. Parliamentarians have a key role in ensuring that health laws and policies—and their implementation—are continuously informed by robust scientific findings.

To address this, a parliamentary side event, "Bridging the Gap between Evidence and Policy: The Role of Parliamentarians in Advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" will be organized at the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva on 29 May. Organized by the IPU and WHO under the sponsorship of Austria, Bangladesh and Cameroon, the side event aims to facilitate dialogue between MPs and the health community, and allow MPs to contribute to the global health agenda.

The World Health Assembly provides MPs with a unique opportunity to acquire the latest information on global health priorities, and learn how it can be used to guide national policies and decisions on resource allocation. Parliamentarians have the authority to enable the highest standards of health and well-being for their constituents through their role in legislation, oversight, budgeting, accountability and advocacy.

The side event will take place from 18:00 to 19:30 in room VII of the Palais des Nations. It is open to parliamentarians attending the WHA as members of their national delegations. The event will be conducted in English, French and Spanish.