Last weekend, G20 Heads of State have assembled for this year’s G20 Summit in Osaka in order to discuss the most pressing issues that G20 nations will face in terms of the Global Economy, the Financial System, Trade and Investment to come over the next months. While the summit was dominated by topics such as the trade talks between the US and China, G20 Leaders also heavily focused on determinants for an inclusive and sustainable world that that are heavily dependent on the broader Development agenda and on Global Health.
As a first this year, Health and Finance Ministers of the G20 assembled for a dinner on 28th June in Osaka and have agreed that health is a prerequisite for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The G20 Health & Development Partnership, a health advocacy group that assembled over 16 cross-sectoral health organisations from across the globe and organised this year’s Health 20 Summit, welcome the ambitious G20 Leaders Declaration led by the Government of Japan that reflects the importance of the health and the wealth of nations.
Since the beginning of the first G7 Summit hosted by Japan in 1979 when the word ‘Health’ first appeared in the official statement by the Heads of State and Government, Japan has continued its leadership role by initiating The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the G8 Digital Opportunity Taskforce (DOT) at the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit in 2000, towards the Call for Action on Health Systems Strengthening at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit in 2008.
Japan has prominently shown its leadership role in health in this year’s G20 agenda by focussing on UHC, Ageing Societies and the Management of Health Emergencies including antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The G20 Health and Development Partnership that organised their annual Health 20 Summit in Tokyo, on 24 June, with the support of health experts from around the globe, submitted a Call to Action to G20 Heads of State and Government and Health and Finance Ministers ahead of their meeting in Osaka.
As a result of the Health 20 Summit Call to Action document and in convergence with the G20 Leaders Declaration, The G20 Health & Development Partnership welcomes the importance of sustainable financing for health and the call for greater collaboration between health and finance authorities in accordance with the G20 Shared Understanding on the Importance of UHC Financing in Developing Countries.
Attendees of the Health 20 Summit further urged the Joint Health and Finance Ministers Meeting in Osaka to become the first of a regular and meaningful joint dialogue within the annual G20 calendar with the next joint meeting held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2020.
The H20 Summit agrees with G20 Leaders on the recognition of international public and private finance for development as well as other innovative financing mechanisms, including blended finance that can play an important role in up-scaling our collective efforts.
Participants of the H20 Summit also agreed that in order to achieve these goals emerging economies and Middle-Income Countries (MICs) need to play a more significant role in co-founding health innovation.
As there are many public and private organisations, including multilateral organisations participating in the G20, including the OECD, that act as the strategic advisor to the G20, as well as the WHO and the World Bank, are conducting work related to innovative forms of financing for health. Attendees of the Health 20 Summit believe that this work lacks high level political support and most importantly coordination. This is why Health 20 Summit participants called for the launch of a time-limited, high-level examination of innovative and blended finance initiatives that are scalable, to supplement current investments in health innovation, with the involvement of international organisations, philanthropic partners and non-traditional actors to report during the 2020 G20 Presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the 2020 G7 Presidency of the United States.
The Health 20 Summit also supports and welcomes the call by G20 Leaders for further action to promote stewardship of and access to antimicrobials by noting the ongoing work done by Global AMR R&D Hub, to promote R&D to tackle AMR.
Congratulating the stewardship on the digital agenda, the Health 20 Summit Call to Action expresses the support for the inclusion of the promotion of global digital health in the G20 and urge for the building of a “data free-flow with trust” at the leader’s Osaka June communiqué and Health Ministers Declaration in Okayama in October 2019 and the prioritisation of digital health in the G20 Presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2020.
The G20 Health & Development Partnership (G20 HDP) is an advocacy organisation that aims to ensure that G20 countries are coordinating their health innovation strategy to tackle the growing burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases globally to promote the delivery of SDG 3. The Partnership emerged as an informal coalition of like-minded organisations during the G20 Presidency in Germany in 2017 respecting the objectives of SDG 17. Following broad interest to build on the initiative leading up to the Argentinian G20 Presidency in 2018, Sovereign Sustainability and Development (SSD) was created in late 2017 to act as the secretariat of the Partnership. During a working session in the UK Houses of Parliament in December 2017, with the support of the founding organisations, the G20 HDP was formally launched. The Partnership comprises of 16 cross-sectoral partners including product development partnerships, non-for-profit and international organisations, public-private partnerships, pharmaceuticals, associations, research institutes and academia.