Welcome Message 2018
Health is our most precious asset. Health is a human right. Health is not only the responsibility of the individual. The international community has set itself the goal of ensuring that every woman, man and child in the world has the chance of a healthy life. The World Health Summit shows that this goal does not have to remain a mere wish. This extraordinary dialogue forum is a particularly rich source of new solutions and ideas of benefit to humankind, so I was happy to take on the patronage of the event once again, along with President Emmanuel Macron and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.
No matter where people live, health risks and the medical care available determine whether they can live in dignity. In turn, health risks and medical care are influenced by a large number of different factors. Growth and prosperity, crises and conflicts, education and information, the climate and environment, and demographic and social developments all have an impact on the health of the individual. The catalogue of goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development highlights correlations and links – and thus also reveals the need for health to play a role in numerous policy fields and shows why we need a global health policy.
It cannot be underlined often enough that in a world of increasing interdependence among the ways globalisation determines the fate of individual countries, joint efforts by the international community and collaboration between the political sphere, academia, the business sector and society are also needed as regards health and quality of life.
Naturally, the priority is that each country ensures it has a functioning and efficient healthcare system. But like other industrialised nations with a strong research sector, Germany has a particular responsibility. Whether we are talking about preventing pandemics, counteracting antimicrobial resistance or tackling neglected diseases, our future global well-being will largely depend on scientific findings. That is why we want to enhance our global health policy endeavours in the field of research and development in particular.
Giving every woman, man and child in the world the chance of a healthy life deserves our full attention, the best ideas and active cooperation. The World Health Summit has proved to be extremely important and helpful in this regard. I am delighted that so many experts will meet here to share their knowledge and experiences and draw up recommendations. All of you are helping to make the world more humane. Thank you for that and welcome to the World Health Summit 2018!
Welcome Message 2018
Health is a common good, which has particular value, for each of us, and for the global community. As such, it can bring double returns: investing in health carries benefits both for economic development, and for the progress of humanity. Health is precious and valuable for each individual, and can only be guaranteed through action and commitment on a global scale: that is what we, the international community, set ourselves to achieve through the sustainable development goals.
There have already been great collective successes, which we can build upon. Almost twenty years ago, the international community committed to fighting the three most devastating infectious diseases by launching the Global Fund against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. France has played a pioneering role in this fight through scientific research, and by promoting the rights of people affected by AIDS, TB and malaria. France is the historical second-largest donor to the Global Fund, contributing €4.2 billion since 2002. On October 10th, 2019, France will host the next Global Fund replenishment conference, in order to leverage funds for the 2020-2022 period. This commitment is grounded in our belief in the efficiency of a multilateral and sustainable response to global health issues. I know we share this vision with Germany, host of the World Health Summit, and with many of our partners.
To effectively “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” by 2030, we must keep addressing several global health challenges in an increasingly coordinated and integrated way: health systems strengthening to achieve universal health coverage with access to essential quality medicines and vaccines, response to health emergencies, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), digital healthcare revolution, etc.
The “Health in all policies” approach is key to achieve this. In our interconnected world and societies, we will not sustainably improve health without fighting climate change, nor without guarantying access to education and empowering women and girls. This is why protecting our planet and reducing inequalities will be at the heart of France’s G7 presidency.
We will build upon our active involvement through the implementation of health projects in developing countries through the Agence Française de Développement and long-term support to support other key multilateral partnerships – GAVI and UNITAID – as well as the World Health Organization, the lead international organization for global health.
We will keep promoting innovation, critical to achieving our ambitious sustainable development goal for health. We need to move at a quicker pace, we need to achieve more, to be more efficient. We must develop new methods of diagnosis, new drugs and alternative treatments, new approaches in prevention approaches. Innovation is also key for ensuring sustainable access to existing therapies for all those in need. This is particularly crucial to improve the response to health emergencies. France is joining the World Health Organisation’s efforts by hosting this year’s WHO high-level conference on cross-sectoral coordination in response to public health emergencies in Lyon on 3-4 December. It is also crucial to tackle AMR, the global phenomenon currently compromising our collective ability to treat infectious diseases – we believe the integrated One Health approach can be particularly effective in this respect. Collective action is necessary, and France supports the creation by Germany as well as other partners of the “Global AMR R&D HUB”.
Over the years, the World Health Summit has become a major forum for addressing global health issues in a cross-cutting manner by bringing together all relevant stakeholders on an international level, especially this year for its tenth anniversary and thanks to the partnership with the Grand Challenge Annual Meeting.
I am proud to give my patronage to this Summit, and would like to join the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and the President of the European Commission in wishing you all an excellent and productive meeting.
Welcome Message 2018
It is my great pleasure to offer my patronage once more to the World Health Summit, and to congratulate you on reaching the important milestone of your ten year anniversary. The World Health Summit is in good health!
The European Union is also in better health this year, with economic growth in every Member State, almost 12 million jobs created since this European Commission's mandate began in 2014, and public deficits down from an average of 6.6% in 2009 to 0.8% in 2018. This healthy economic picture matters for our citizens' health, because it allows us to plan for the investments we need to make in our healthcare and social systems, and in research and innovation.
This year the Commission presented its long-term budget proposals for the years 2021-2027. Health will be a strong focus. We have proposed a spending increase of 50% for research and innovation, reflecting the strong added value of European cooperation in this field. For example, major advances have been made on cancer treatment thanks to EU research, and 1.6 million Ebola vaccine doses have already been produced and stockpiled for emergency use thanks to EU funding.
Health is also a dedicated focus of the renewed European Social Fund, which will be worth €101.2 billion over seven years, with the health strand receiving €413 million. We will focus on the priority areas where EU cooperation has a proven benefit: strengthening cross-border crisis-preparedness, assisting Member States' health authorities, digitising health and care, supporting EU health legislation and enhancing cross-border cooperation, for instance on rare and complex diseases.
In recent months, we have seen a renewed debate and increasing disinformation spread about vaccination. It can be no coincidence that we also see diseases such as measles on the rise in Europe. It is unacceptable that there are still children dying of diseases that should have been eradicated long ago. This is why we are working with all Member States to support national vaccination efforts, and it is why I asked my Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis to propose a new set of recommendations in April 2018 to strengthen our efforts to fight diseases which can be prevented by vaccination.
I hope the World Health Summit will stimulate an interesting discussion on these topics, and more, and I wish you all the best for another inspiring gathering and another successful year ahead.