Welcome to the World Health Summit 2018

Science has to take responsibility! Our common future is already determined by research and by new technologies emerging from new knowledge, and this process continues to gain speed. We have to make sure that today’s amazing developments are used to benefit all of humankind. This is what people expect from the progress. Health and wellbeing is what people are most concerned about. Health may be a human right but when it comes to health, the world is in a worrisome state. The chief causes of death are shifting from infectious to non-communicable diseases, while climate change, political instability in many regions, economic crisis, migration and flight are all contributing factors in major health issues. Meanwhile, the world’s population continues to grow and to age. The global burden of disease remains, and is even on the rise in some areas. We are not living up to expectations.

Ever since the first World Health Summit on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, we have been working towards one goal: improving health for everyone on the planet. We have to respond to the most important global health challenges, and must find fast and efficient ways to bring medical advances to the places where people are in need. But each of us can do very little alone. That’s why from the beginning, the World Health Summit has brought together stakeholders and decision-makers from every sector, from all over the world. By combining forces from academia, the private sector, industry, civil society and politics, we have been able to achieve change and improve health worldwide. And there are now some very promising leads on how we can do even more. Around the globe, the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities and Academies of Medicine and Sciences provide a unique think tank for the World Health Summit program in academic freedom. A milestone – and an encouraging sign – is the prominent position that health topics have assumed on the agendas of the G7 and G20 meetings. From the very beginning, the World Health Summit has enjoyed support from the highest level of politics, with ongoing high patronage from the Chancellor of Germany, the President of the French Republic and the President of the European Commission.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030 provide the framework for a holistic health approach in every area of policymaking. We are glad to see the WHO and other key organizations playing an increasingly supportive and coordinated role in achieving these goals in tandem with the United Nations and the World Health Organization. We need efforts that are transdisciplinary, science-based, cross-sectoral and concerted. They are vital to set the global health agenda for global health for the years to come. Participants from all over the world bring different views, experiences and priorities. They aren’t only welcome – they’re the very essence of the World Health Summit vision, mission and philosophy. We hope you’ll be able to join us on October 14th to 16th at the World Health Summit in Berlin, as we lay the cornerstones for global health in the coming era!