High Patrons of the World Health Summit

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

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!

Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic

Welcome Message 2017

In today’s connected and interdependent world, health threats must be tackled globally. An integrated approach must be taken. This global approach to health is one of the G20’s key priorities.

The Sustainable Development Goals adopted as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations are aimed at every country in the world in a global, partner-based and universal approach. Goal 3 on Health, in particular, aims to stamp out the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases and to effectively fight non-communicable diseases by 2030. The objective is to ultimately provide universal health coverage, with access to safe, efficient, affordable vaccines and medicines. To make this happen, it is essential to support the research and development of new vaccines.

The resurgence in resistance to antibiotics, which the World Health Organization, the G20 and the European Union see as an absolute priority, has proven that we must never stop being vigilant. To this end, France has joined forces with Germany to create a global R&D platform on antibiotic resistance. This must be carried forward in an integrated, systemic and unified approach. We must link environmental, public and animal health at local, national and global levels based on the concept of “One Health”. France committed to this at the G20 in Hamburg and the Franco-German Council of Ministers in Paris. I want priority to be given to developing new medicines, but also to R&D for new methods of diagnosis.

Personalized medicine and global health must receive an integrated response, involving medicine, biology, food, urbanization, environment and education. To achieve this, cooperation between states, the scientific, economic and medical stakeholders, and civil society is essential and must be planned over the long term. The World Health Summit has become a key forum for addressing these issues in a cross-cutting manner by bringing together these actors on an international level.

The terms of globality and universality are now more than ever associated with health:
- international preventive measures;
- quality care for all, accessible to all;
- renewed support for health as a driver of development, growth and stability;
- and an ambitious research policy, which is a source of progress.
These are principles to which France is committed, and which it supports in international bodies.

As patron of this Summit, I would like to join with the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and the President of the European Commission in wishing you all an excellent and productive meeting.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission

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.