Symposium 2013

6th High-Level Symposium on
 Global Health Diplomacy

Health Diplomacy Meets Science Diplomacy


12 November 2013, 10:00–16:30
The Graduate Institute, Maison de la Paix
Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, 1211 Geneva

Organised by the Graduate Institute in cooperation with the
 Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences

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.