Diplomacy and Health
Ministerial “diplomacy and health” group (Foreign Policy and Global Health)
The “diplomacy and health” initiative was launched by the ministries of foreign affairs of the following seven countries, in New York in 2006: France, Norway, Brazil, Indonesia, Senegal, South Africa and Thailand.
In March 2007, these Ministries extended their commitment through the OsloDeclaration: “In today’s era of globalization and growing interdependence, there is an urgent need to broaden the scope of foreign policy [...] Together, we face a number of pressing challenges that require concerted responses and collaborative efforts [...] Of these subjects, one of the most important is international health.”
Accordingly, the objective of this group is to develop the priority placed on health in terms of foreign policy. Ten working themes have been adopted:
preparation of/capacity for response to epidemics,
human health resources,
the health of populations in a conflict situation,
crises and natural disasters,
HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases,
health and the environment,
health and development,
health and international trade/intellectual property,
governance and security.
France heads up three of these themes - communicable diseases, health and the environment and health and development - that are among our priorities in the area of international health.
The Foreign Affairs Ministries of the seven countries have appointed experts to study and prepare proposals intended to develop the position given to health in foreign policy.
This group meets twice a year. Today, it has acquired genuine legitimacy supported by both the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Secretary General of the UN. France and Norway, as co-founding members, act as co-secretariat.
The “diplomacy and health”resolution, carried and adopted in 2008 and 2009 at the United National General Assembly in New York, is one of the important initiatives carried out by the “diplomacy and health” group.
This has been co-sponsored extensively (by more than 60 countries) and sanctions the position given to international health on the international agenda. Specifically, the 2008 resolution has made it possible to make health a theme of the July 2009 session of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).
Updated on 09.04.10