Top Stories : Ministerial Communiqué Foreign Policy and Global Health Initiative, Geneva, 24 May 2017 News

Top Stories : Ministerial Communiqué Foreign Policy and Global Health Initiative, Geneva, 24 May 2017




Geneva, 24 May 2017


1. The Ministers of Health of the Foreign Policy and Global Health (FPGH) Initiative, comprising of Brazil, France, Indonesia, Norway, Senegal, South Africa and Thailand met today on the sidelines of the 70th Session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.


2. The FPGH Ministers congratulated Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, elected by the 70th WHA, as the new Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and expressed their support to his future work in accelerating WHO reform and advancing global health development in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


3. The Ministers extensively discussed on the current challenges faced by WHO and the international community and affirmed commitment to collaborate with WHO, the primary specialized agency for the enjoyment by all people of the highest attainable standard of health, under the leadership of the new Director-General as follows:  


3.1 The Ministers appreciated the work done by WHO Secretariat on the draft Framework of Priorities and Guiding Principles to Promote the Health of Refugees and Migrants to be considered at the 70th WHA and looked forward to the development of the draft global action plan on the health of refugees and migrants in consultation with all relevant stakeholders. They expressed support to the WHO leadership for raising attention on and mainstreaming migrant health into the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).


3.2 The Ministers noted the progress in establishing the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, while underlining many challenges in its implementation, especially financial shortfall. They urged the new Director-General to ensure that all three levels of the Organisation are adequately coordinated, funded and structured to be effective in preventing and addressing health emergencies. In this regard, they reaffirmed their commitments to scale-up country health emergency preparedness, especially through the effective implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) under the auspices of WHO as well as to an effective and coordinated response to epidemics such as the recent Zika and Ebola outbreaks. They looked forward to the next steps on the elaboration of the draft five-year global strategic plan before its submission for consideration and adoption by the 71st WHA.


3.3 The Ministers also re-emphasised the importance of the implementation of the Framework on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness for Sharing of Influenza Viruses and Access to Vaccines and Other Benefits and noted that its implementation should be in line with the IHR (2005).


3.4 The Ministers noted with concern on the urgent need for addressing and tackling the challenges posed by Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) collectively through a One Health approach and urged the WHO to collaborate with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and other relevant development partners, as appropriate, to provide support to Member States, upon request, in developing and implementing national action plans and activities on AMR. They called upon the new Director-General to prioritize the finalization of the Draft Global Framework for Development & Stewardship to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance, for the consideration of the WHA and to continue supporting the implementation of the Global Action Plan on AMR. They also expressed their full support to the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly on antimicrobial resistance, including the establishment of the Interagency Coordination Group (IACG) and looked forward to the outcome of its work.


3.5 The Ministers recognised drug-resistant tuberculosis as an important threat which has to be addressed as part of AMR interventions. The Ministers, therefore, welcomed the decision by the General Assembly to hold a High-Level Meeting on the fight against tuberculosis in 2018, and encouraged the new Director-General to work with the Secretary-General of the United Nations to make the necessary preparation.


3.6 The Ministers re-emphasised the need to strengthen national health systems, particularly through equitable access to primary healthcare, health promotion and social protection mechanisms. They reiterated their commitment to fully support and advocate for the accelerated implementation of universal health coverage (UHC) as a fundamental tool to promote equity and the enjoyment of all human rights, especially the right to health, with the view to achieve sustainable development as enshrined in Goal 3 of the SDGs.


3.7 The Ministers welcomed the draft five-year action plan for health employment and inclusive economic growth (2017–2021) and looked forward to the adoption of a resolution on this matter by the 70th WHA.


4. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to continue advancing global health issues in the broader United Nations framework and beyond, in particular by maintaining and maximizing the benefit of “Global Health and Foreign Policy (GHFP)” item on the annual agenda of the United Nations General Assembly.


5.  Based on principles of ensuring no one is left behind, the Ministers welcomed this year’s theme on addressing the health of the most vulnerable for an inclusive society. They recognized the importance of the issue, as highlighted in the Prince Mahidol Award Conference 2017. They affirmed their commitment to advance the health of the most vulnerable and tackle the root causes of health inequities and economic, social and environmental determinants of health in multi-sectorial manner and in collaboration with multi-stakeholders, including WHO as leading agency for global health.


6.  The Ministers welcomed the activities done by FPGH in 2017, such as the High-Level FPGH Retreat held in Bangkok in February 2017 and the FPGH Statement delivered at the 2nd Global Consultation on Migrants’ Health held in Colombo on 21-23 February 2017. The Ministers express support for the convening of an FPGH Side Event under the theme ‘addressing the health of the most vulnerable for an inclusive society’ at the 70th WHA as well as the future activities of FPGH in 2017, including revitalizing the Oslo Ministerial Statement and proposing the annual GHFP resolution to the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly.


7.  Finally, the Ministers discussed the FPGH annual theme on ‘addressing the health of the most vulnerable for an inclusive society’ and underlined, in this regard, a need for a strong, resilient and inclusive health care system with an inclusive, inter-sectoral and holistic policy to empower the most disadvantaged and marginalized, and international cooperation and partnership for global health to support Member States in moving forward UHC.