Press Release | Parliamentarians around the world unite to raise global health in the political agenda

PARLIAMENTARIANS AROUND THE WORLD UNITE TO RAISE GLOBAL HEALTH IN THE POLITICAL AGENDA

(Lisbon) 28th September: Today marks the official launch of the International Forum on Global Health (IFGH), a working group of selected parliamentarians from different regional and global parliamentary networks and assemblies gathered under a common global health and economic agenda. Led by UNITE Global Parliamentarians Network to End Infectious Diseases and the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & IMF, the group met to agree on the way forward to incentive and increase investments in global health, to build resilient health systems and prevent from future epidemics and pandemics.

In a very committed way, Members of Parliament participated in a roundtable and discussed the global health situation in their countries, as well as the Forum’s deliverables and perspectives for the future. With a broad representation across continents, the event counted with20MPs from Angola, Argentina, Cameroon, France, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, the Philippines, Senegal, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. Representatives from 12parliamentarynetworks and assemblies also participated in the event, covering all continents and a great diversity of topics and perspectives.

With opening remarks from Dr Ricardo Baptista Leite, President of UNITE, and Honorable Liam Byrne, Chair of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & IMF, the event counted with a distinguished panel of speakers who covered some of the main policy priorities of the Forum, namely pandemic preparedness, global health security, resource mobilization, research and development and universal health coverage. Starting the panel, Mr. Frederik Kristensendeputy CEO of CEPI, elucidated the audience on how to prepare the world for the next pandemic, followed by Dame Barbara Stocking, Chair of the Panel for a Global Public Health Convention, who highlighted the importance of rallying and advocating for a global Pandemic Treaty. Mr Scott Boule, senior specialist at the Global Fund, discussed the need for increased resource mobilization for infectious diseases and finally, Honorables Marie-Rose Nguini Effa and Gabriela Cuevas, presented a parliamentarian guide with six action steps to achieve Universal Health Coverage.

“CEPI welcomes the launch of the International Forum on Global Health (IFGH), as an important initiative in the fight against future epidemics and pandemics. As we emerge from COVID-19, early investment in preparedness—before an outbreak occurs—will allow the world to rapidly expand vaccine R&D and manufacturing capacity more effectively and sustainably than trying to do so during an outbreak. Parliamentarians are the people’s representatives and have a key role to play in building systems that will help protect us from future pandemics. National pandemic contingency plans are only effective if they also pay attention to, and invest in, the international health security system and we, at CEPI, look forward to engaging with IFGH as part of our wider $3.5bn plan to tackle pandemic threats.”

Frederik Kristensen, Deputy CEO of CEPI

The overall discussion aimed at presenting the scope, mission and objectives of the International Forum on Global Health, which include the signature of a Joint Declaration in December 2021, during UNITE Global Summit. The project will also provide quarterly capacity-building sessions and multilateral gatherings, in order to give parliamentarians and networks the proper tools to address and advocate on the advocacy priorities listed above. UNITE and the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & IMF are pleased with the outcomes of this event and are expecting the Forum to continue its work with great success, putting global health at the top priorities of the political agenda.

More about the founders of the IFGH:

UNITE is a global network of parliamentarians committed to driving political change and impact to end infectious diseases as a global health threat until 2030. UNITE has 170 members in more than 70 countries worldwide and organizes its activities in ten regions, called chapters, led by its Co-Chairs and Executive Board.

The Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & IMF provides a platform for parliamentarians from over 140 countries to advocate for increased accountability and transparency in International Financial Institutions and multilateral development financing.

Media Contacts:

UNITE: Ankita Nautamlal, Marketing and Communications Officer: ankita.nautamlal@unitenetwork.org

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