Statement by the Participants of the 3rd Human Variome Project Meeting, 10-14 May 2010, Paris
Today, it was recognised by the delegates of the international 3rd Human Variome Project Meeting that the aims of the Human Variome Project have strong synergies with the aims of UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector. In this regard, delegates noted, in particular, the UNESCO strategy of promoting international multidisciplinary programmes in order to reinforce intergovernmental and partner organisation cooperation to strengthen national capacities in the basic sciences and science education. Parallels were also observed with the objectives of the World Health Organisation for expanding the role of genetics in medicine and health. Delegates agreed that, in the area of genetics and bioinformatics, the objectives of UNESCO and WHO can be addressed through the formation of international collaborative efforts such as the Human Variome Project to create sound and just frameworks from which to further the research and application of genomic technologies. It was seen that joint endorsement and advocacy of the Human Variome Project by both UNESCO and WHO would advance the work of the Human Variome Project—collecting, curating, organising and sharing variation data—which, in turn, will encourage global collaborations and improve health services worldwide through translation of scientific research to meet societal needs. Delegates at the meeting therefore charged the Human Variome Project Coordinating office with the task of moving forward a dialogue with UNESCO and WHO with the view to exploring possibilities for the Project to come under the joint auspices of the two Organisations.