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Naughten elected chair of global science and technology group

Roscommon Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten, pictured with colleagues of the IPU working group from Egypt, Benin, Thailand, Rwanda, Cech Republic, Bolivia and Switzerland.

Independent deputy for Roscommon, Denis Naughten, has been elected as Chairperson of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Working Group on Science and Technology.

The group serves as the global parliamentary focal point for issues related to science and technology and is composed of 21 members of parliament from across the five continents who have specific relevant knowledge and experience.

Speaking after his election, the Independent deputy for Roscommon said he was “honoured” to be elected to such a high-profile position, and added that the goal of the group is to “build bridges between science and parliament at a global level.”

Referring to the global Covid-19 pandemic, Deputy Naughten said it had demonstrated the need for “science to be able to communicate clearly with government” and for government and parliament to “critically analyse that evidence and then weigh it up against competing demands.”

He called for a strengthening of this relationship “by building relationships and trust that can ensure the best strategic decisions are made now for our future development.”

At a time of “unprecedented challenges in terms of climate change, biodiversity, food and energy security as well as inflation and economic growth and bridging the evidence gap between science and politics” Deputy Naughton said it is “vital” to be be able to overcome these challenges in a comprehensive way.

The IPU is the global organisation of national parliaments established in 1889 to promote democratic governance, institutions, and values, working with parliaments and members of parliament to articulate and respond to the needs and aspirations of the people.

The group advises IPU Members on the implementation of relevant international commitments; participates in the development of information and educational material for parliamentarians; carries out field visits to draw lessons from national initiatives for the edification of the whole parliamentary community; and lends more weight to parliamentary action by devising more effective strategies.

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