New working group of G20 health experts gathers for the first time

In preparation for the first-ever G20 Health Ministers' Meeting, which will take place in May 2017 within the scope of the German G20 Presidency, the newly established Health Working Group met in Berlin from 28 February to 02 March 2017.

Group picture of the participants of the Health Working Group outside the building

The meeting of health experts constitutes another milestone and innovation, highlighting the importance of health issues in the G20 context.  Already at the International German Forum 2017 one week prior to the meeting, the Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel emphasized the health priority of the German Presidency and identified global health as the foundation for economic success and a key issue for the G20.

The participants of the so-called Health Working Group discussed the G20 positions on antimicrobial resistance, strengthening health care systems and global health crisis management. Their aim is to prepare the health priorities of the German G20 Presidency as well as the joint declaration by the health ministers, which is due to be adopted in Berlin on 20 May. Many G20 health experts confirmed the hope that the Heads of State or Government, too, will champion the subject of health as a global priority at the G20 Summit in July.

An important element of the Health Ministers' Meeting entitled 'Together Today for a Healthy Tomorrow' will be a health crisis simulation exercise, in which the ministers will address the crisis management at first hand to further improve the international coordination.

The G20 health experts concurred: health is the foundation and driving force for economic development, thus making it a pivotal subject for the G20.

Germany's notion that the G20 played an exemplary role in this respect was consistently welcomed. The meeting, which was based on a first conference with further stakeholders in December 2016, thus served as a successful starting point for further steps towards a healthy future.

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