On the 10th and 11th June the Global Health Conference, will be taking place in the European Parliament in Brussels. The conference will not only be presenting the European Commission Communication on Global Health, but also discuss key challenges, goals, policy instruments and partnerships with stakeholders and global partners to see how the EU can most effectively engage with all actors to improve health at the global level.
About 300 participants are expected from Ministries of Health, Development and Research in EU Member States, as well as partners from Africa, the Americas and Asia, WHO and other UN organisations, and from the private sector – academia, industry, civil society, professional groups and other NGO’s. Discussions will be held around Global Health for All; Responses to Globalisation Challenges; Innovation and Access to Medicines; Health as Human Right; Governance and Local and Global challenges to Research, illustrating the wide breath of topics under discussion.
With all of this in mind, this conference should provide an excellent opportunity for civil society to engage with member states of the EU, on commitments to both IDA and Global Fund replenishment meetings later this year. Amongst civil society a lot of discussions have been taking place in the last few weeks, including with Christoph Benn (Director of External Relations at the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria), on key messages we as advocates, can make to our governments. In particular out of the three funding scenarios the Global Fund has presented ($13 billion; $17 billion; $20 billion), the largest funding scenario would benefit the most towards achieving the MDGs. In order to successfully meet this target however, many European governments, including the UK (which along with France, Spain, Italy and Germany make up the top 5 donors to the Global Fund) will be requested to increase their contribution to the Global Fund during the replenishment this year.
With maternal health being a significant focus for many countries this year, it is also important to show how the health MDGs (child mortality; maternal health; HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB) are interrelated, and bring some focus on how an integrated approach is necessary in order to benefit ALL the health MDGs. To highlight this, a report will be released next week at the European Parliament on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. This document will be a useful tool for all health advocates in making sure that the health MDGs are met by 2015, but more on this next week!