Ministers pledge to better coordinate research into diseases

Cooperation in the field of research/G7 – Communiqué issued by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research

Paris, 9 October 2015

Research ministers from the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) had a meeting in Berlin on 8 and 9 October 2015 to work on three topics: research into poverty-related diseases and Neglected Tropical Diseases (Ebola, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/Aids etc.), science’s contribution to reducing ocean pollution and to a better understanding of the environmental impact of seabed exploitation in order to limit it, and the development of clean energy.

Speakers from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, CERN and marine biology research laboratories were invited to express their views in order to provide them [the ministers] with a concrete view of scientific projects on the ground.

Following these speeches, the ministers adopted a joint statement which commits them to the following points:

- to more effectively coordinate international research dedicated to the fight against poverty-related diseases and tropical diseases which are striking developing countries. This will require mapping the research undertaken by teams from various countries, sharing its results and coordinating countries’ investment so that this research is complementary. Conscious of the fact that these diseases are linked to multiple factors, the ministers pledged to encourage multidisciplinary research which takes account of the social and environmental as well as the medical causes of these pandemics.

- to support and stimulate work to better understand the scale and impact of plastic waste in the oceans, and harness expertise to find solutions to reduce the amount of plastic discarded, by working on changes in consumer behaviour, better waste management and the development of innovative recycling techniques.

- to carry out impact studies to ensure that developing the exploitation of submarine mineral resources is compatible with the protection of the environment.

- in this COP21 year, to continue efforts to finance research so that clean forms of energy can be developed.

- to fine-tune governance and operational rules for international research infrastructure such as CERN, ESO (European Southern Observatory) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Thierry Mandon, Minister of State for Higher Education and Research, represented the French government at the ministerial meeting. He emphasized the need for a broadened approach to science bringing together technological progress and the contribution of the human and social sciences. He also spoke to the British and Italian ministers about the cooperation under way and welcomed the European Commission’s involvement in the topics of this G7 meeting./.

Published on 20/10/2015

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