Spahn: "Let us empower WHO to act"

Global Health Strategy in the Cabinet

Improving health security internationally and strengthening the World Health Organization (WHO) are key objectives of the Federal Government’s Global Health Strategy, which the Cabinet passed earlier today. Under the banner of “Responsibility – Innovation – Partnership: Shaping Global Health Together”, it lays out a number of guiding principles for the period from now until 2030. It is to be reviewed midway.

It has never been as easy for viruses to spread worldwide in the shortest possible time. In the 21st century, health threats are not contained by borders. That is why we want to take a more global approach to health protection. This was one of the key lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic. Alongside national strategies, we need increased international cooperation in public health policy. It is the only way to make health systems more resilient worldwide. That includes reforming WHO and giving it greater powers to act. We need a WHO that is capable of preventing global health threats and taking quick action in emergencies. In its own interest, Germany will be making an even greater international commitment.

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn

With this strategy, the Federal Government adapts its goals and priorities to new challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, and develops these further looking to the future.

The Federal Government’s priorities include:

  • Promoting health and prevention

  • Working to mitigate the impact of climate change on health

  • Strengthening healthcare systems and enabling non-discriminatory access to universal health coverage for all

  • Supporting health protection long-term and comprehensively, including protection against pandemics and epidemics, and maintaining its commitment to humanitarian health aid

  • Driving global health research and innovation

The Federal Government pledges to strengthen its international commitment to reducing antibiotic resistance and expanding antibiotics research. It will fund research into vaccines, maintenance of vaccine platforms and the expansion of vaccination programmes in Germany and worldwide. It will specifically seek to combat poverty-related and neglected tropical diseases.

The Federal Government is committed to strengthening multilateralism. We wish to see the further development of a global health architecture with WHO in a central managing and coordinating role. Germany supports the development and expansion of the WHO outbreak and health emergencies programme. Here it is essential that WHO has access to adequate funding to combat outbreaks. The Federal Government therefore advocates substantially increasing WHO contributions.

The Federal Government is also campaigning for the EU to take on a more active role in overcoming global health challenges. Germany therefore supports a strong European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).