International global health forums and processes

A key task of Germany’s global health policy is to help maintain the rules-based international order, taking it further with like-minded partners and to encourage multilateral cooperation. Germany’s membership in the United Nations (UN) therefore is and will remain the central framework of Germany’s multilateral engagement.

The Federal Government is convinced that only an overarching, internationally coordinated commitment can lower the burden of disease globally and contribute toward making populations healthier. This is why Germany is engaged in international forums such as the G7 and G20, the UN-system and provides considerable support to public health stakeholders such as World Health Organisation (WHO).

The group of the seven leading industrialised countries (G7) is a forum of major relevance for raising the profile of Global Health. The Group includes the following: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the USA. The European Union (EU) has an observer status.

Within the UN system, the World Health Organization (WHO) plays a central part as the specialized UN-agency for health. She provides the normative framework and guidelines for improving public health in the Member States as well as Global Health and, as such, sets the course for the work done by the other health actors that fund and implement programmes aimed at enhancing Global Health.

The G7 and G20 are made up of the countries with the strongest economies.  Commitments undertaken in this group send a political signal and are important for the implementation of global health goals.

The Group of 20 is comprised of the 19 leading industrialised and emerging economies plus the European Union (EU). The G20 accounts for three quarters of global trade and two thirds of the global population. Its members are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the USA and the EU.

The European Union (EU), too, can significantly contribute to overcoming global health problems. As an EU Member State, Germany pitches shared European values, interests and positions at an international level. Member States and the EU Commission together are already major global health funders. By pooling the expertise within the EU, this funding can be used to even greater effect towards Global Health.

The Council of Europe was founded on 5  May 1949 as the first major European post-war organisation and has its headquarters in Strasbourg (France). It currently includes 47 Member States. Germany joined the Council of Europe in 1950.