‘The world must think hard about how information is shared, in order to promote inclusive access, facilitate collaboration, and ensure real world impact’.

IFLA's intervention at the HLPF session "Science-policy interface and emerging issues" on behalf of the NGO Major Group

On Friday 14 July, at the main session of the United Nations High Level Political Forum “Science-policy interface and emerging issues“, IFLA intervened, speaking on behalf of the NGO Major Group. The session focused on Science-Policy interactions, namely the need to make more effective connections between research and policy making.

IFLA underlined the need for meaningful access to information in order to succeed in the UN 2030 Agenda. Libraries play an essential role, both in supporting research within and across institutions, but also in bringing the results to wider society, in line with Article 27 of the Universal Convention on Human Rights. From the national to the community level, libraries plug people in to the knowledge society.

Open Access: The UN Can Lead the Way

IFLA also highlighted the importance of Open Access, and called on the UN to take the lead by adopting its own policy.

Other UN agencies – WIPO, UNESCO, and WHO, as well as other bodies such as the World Bank, CERN, the European Space Agency and others – are already complementing the work of libraries in driving progress toward this goal.

We look forward to the UN following suit, not only setting an example to member states and funders, but also ensuring that everyone can benefit from the invaluable work it is doing. 

Transcript of an excerpt of IFLA’s intervention:

The field of science and research also needs to evolve. We need to promote a model of disseminating scientific findings that incentivizes interdisciplinary research, facilitates collaboration, ensures inclusive access to information, and maximizes real-world impact.

Intellectual property regimes should find an appropriate balance between access and the rights of the creators. Policy makers and researchers must not want for the latest research public health findings, for example, due to unnecessary cost and copyright-related issues.

The UN can provide a powerful example to all by adopting an open-access policy, as WIPO, UNESCO and the WHO have already done. 

Watch IFLA’s intervention here.