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ASPHER is the key independent European organisation dedicated to strengthening the role of public health by improving education and training of public health professionals for both practice and research.
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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT: Opening Ceremony of the 17th World Congress on Public Health

Publication date: 16.05.2023
Author: Carlo Signorelli

Reflections from President Carlo Signorelli delivered on 03 May at the Opening Ceremony of the 17th World Congress on Public Health, Rome, Italy.

Dear Authorities, Dear Colleagues and Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have been working on this World Congress on Public Health since 2016. Let me therefore share with you the satisfaction and also the emotion for having organized an event with 3,000 delegates in person and thank all who have collaborated over the past seven years to make it possible, through various organisational phases, when manoeuvring to an online event in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions, to arriving at today’s grand opening ceremony with so many of you here.

The organisation of this congress has allowed me to participate in various meetings and events on all continents, from Havana to Taipei, from Kampala to Melbourne, from Sofia to Washington DC. In all of these happenings, before and even more after the pandemic, the importance of public health and the public health workforce has emerged; the irreplaceable role of public health to guard politicians and health policymakers to make the best possible decisions, and the strategic role of public health professionals who must be – now more than ever – trained in the best way.

That is why today I am delighted and honoured to be on this stand as President of ASPHER, the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region, whose fundamental mission is threefold. Firstly, in the evidence-based development and continued revision of public health curricula, teaching and training methods, and support to its member institutions – there will be several workshops led by ASPHER during this World Congress contributing to these efforts. Secondly, to sustain public health capacity building with best standards of public health education and training, scientific research and practice, and support the professionalisation of the public health workforce. And thirdly, in a field that is cross-sectoral, multidisplinary, and interprofessional in spirit, to build coalitions with other programmes and organisations.

Working with others is a mainstay for ASPHER, featuring prominently in the Association’s active collaboration in this event — first and foremost with the official launch of the Global Network for Academic Public Health (GNAPH), bringing associations of schools of public health together from around the world, and whose constitution is expected to be signed in a session later this afternoon. We look forward to the continued partnership with the World Federation of Public Health Associations, for GNAPH and its regional schools’ networks to act as partners in future World Congresses. Please consider following the ASPHER and GNAPH sessions scheduled in the Congress programme, as well as the plenary session 7 on skills and capacity for health improvement to which both are contributing.

ASPHER is also a partner to and a member of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA). Recognizing the adversities we face in a World in Turmoil, the Association together with EPHA will be calling for concerted action glocally, reflecting both global and local considerations, on Public Health Advocacy. We will do so with a manifesto for systematic cooperation and collaboration of all who support Public Health’s core values. I urge you to join the ASPHER-EPHA session today to answer the call and sign the manifesto for People and Planet, for Evidence, for Trust, for Partnership, and for Investment. We must act now!

Carlo Signorelli President, ASPHER

Read the ASPHER March-April 2023 Newsletter here.

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