"The G-20’s joint responsibility for global health"
Health ministers’ meeting under the G20 presidency
On December 1, 2016, Germany is taking over the presidency of the G20, the premier forum for international cooperation among the 20 leading industrialised and emerging countries. One priority of the German G20 presidency will be global health. And in 2017, we will see the first ever G20 health ministers’ meeting.
On May 19 and 20, Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe will meet his colleagues in Berlin to discuss how the global health crisis management can be improved. By simulating a fictitious crisis to get insights in the response and coordination mechanisms, the participants will see how we could be even better prepared for a real emergency. This will include the testing of communication and reporting channels, a rapid response in the regions in question and the involvement of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and others.
And in order to prevent future crises, under the German G20 presidency a sustainable improvement of healthcare in developing and emerging countries is also going to be a priority. One lesson having been learnt from the Ebola crisis was that healthcare in the affected regions has to be made better, that the system has to be better prepared for future epidemics. This primarily means that health authorities have to be established that are able to report an outbreak much faster and also track infected people’s contacts. We need the capacity to assess a crisis properly and warn others.
Another priority is the fight against resistance to antibiotics. When antibiotics no longer work, the fabric of our healthcare system crumbles. And with its antibiotic resistance strategy, Germany is a pioneer in this fight. Under the German G20 presidency, its efforts – in hospital hygiene, a considered use of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine or when developing new active substances – are to be continued at an international scale as well.
What is the “G20”?
At their Pittsburgh summit in September 2009, the heads of state and government designated the Group of Twenty, or G20, “the premier central forum for international economic cooperation”. Just like the G7, the G20 is an informal forum. It is not an international organisation and has no administrative structure or permanent representation of its member states. The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, the UK, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the US and the EU.