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G20 Health

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The Group of Twenty (G20) is the international forum that brings together the world's major economies. It was established in 1999 with the aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussions on policy issues relating to the promotion of international financial stability, and since 2008 it envisages a final summit, with the participation of Heads of State and Government. The group represents more than 80% of the world's GDP, 75% of global trade and 60% of the planet's population.

The group has 19 member countries: Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, South Korea, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. In addition, Spain is a permanent G20 invitee.

Each year, the Presidency invites a number of other countries, which participate fully in the work of the G20, as guests. Several international and regional organisations also participate, giving the forum even greater representation.

In addition to the Summit, ministerial meetings, meetings of the Sherpas (responsible for conducting negotiations and facilitating consensus among the Leaders), working group meetings and special events take place during the year of the Presidency.

Its main characteristics are the intergovernmental nature of the preparatory process, its informality, and its ability to discuss and quickly find commonly agreed solutions to major global issues. As it is not an international organisation, it lacks an administrative structure with a permanent secretariat. The Presidency rotates every year and is responsible for proposing the topics that are included on the Summit agenda.

Italian Presidency

As of 1 December 2020, Italy has been holding the Presidency of the G20. In 2021, the international community will be called upon to show their courage and ambition to overcome today's major challenges: from the pandemic to climate change, from supporting innovation to fighting poverty and inequality.

The Presidency programme is structured around the trinomial People, Planet, Prosperity. We must take care of the planet and people, ensuring a strong economic recovery that is both inclusive and sustainable. The Presidency will culminate in the G20 Leaders' Summit, to be held in Rome on October 30 and 31.

The Italian Presidency and the European Commission will also jointly host the G20 Global Health Summit, which will take place in Rome on May 21, to address the main challenges related to the current health emergency.

G20 Health

Health is essential for economic growth and development. Health crises, such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, demonstrate how they can cause economic instability in affected countries or entire regions of the world. Health threats are therefore directly connected to the G20's core issue of ensuring economic stability and prosperity. A common understanding of this connection and a better international approach to mitigating the risks involved has been recognised on several occasions by the G20, starting with the G20 Leaders' Communiqué in Antalya - Turkey, 2015:

We agree that attention should be paid to global health risks, such as antimicrobial resistance, infectious disease threats and weak health systems. These can have a significant impact on growth and stability. Building on the Brisbane Declaration, we stress the importance of a coordinated international response and reiterate our determination to address these issues to combat the negative impacts on the global economy.

In 2016 in Hangzhou, China, global health was reflected in the action plan for the 2030 Agenda.

During its 2017 G20 Presidency, Germany took up this challenge and proposed for the first time a meeting of G20 countries' health ministers to address some of the most urgent global health issues, an initiative also confirmed by the subsequent Presidencies in Argentina (2018), Japan (2019) and Saudi Arabia (2020).

The Italian G20 Presidency, convinced of the importance of health issues for global growth and for the wellbeing and prosperity of the entire international community, and in view of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, will also propose for 2021 the meeting of Health Ministers, to be held in Rome on 5 and 6 September 2021, with the aim of raising the level of collaboration and jointly address health challenges on an international level.

To learn more please refer to:

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G20 Finance - Health

In 2019, the Japanese Presidency also promoted a joint meeting of the Ministers of Finance and Health, considering the need to share the financial needs of health systems, to ensure their strengthening, to advance towards universal health coverage, to promote global health in all policies and, finally, to consider health as an investment. A meeting in the same format, albeit in virtual mode, was also held during the Saudi Presidency, in 2020.

At the end of October 2021, in parallel to the Leaders' Summit, a joint Finance-Health Ministerial meeting is also planned, as on the basis the above considerations, such meetings are increasingly taking on a central role in guiding investments in health in an appropriate and effective manner.

G20 HEALTH TEAM                          e-mail: [email protected]
Last name First name Position
LA CECILIA Davide Diplomatic Counsellor MoH - Sherpa
GIACOMINI Denise Medical officer - Focal point
SIMONETTI Pasquale Veterinary officer - Focal point
GASPERINI Monica Administrative legal officer

To learn more please refer to

G20 Health Presidency' outcome document

The G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting was held in Rome on 5 and 6 September. This forum, recently established in the context of the G20, has rapidly risen to strategic importance due to the pandemic.

The structure of the Health Ministers’ Meeting includes three sessions.

First session

The first session dealt with the impact of Covid-19 on the sustainable development goals (SDG) of the 2030 Agenda. The prolonged health emergency is a threat to their progress, with estimates indicating how for certain objectives the accrued delay could amount to decades, particularly in certain areas of the world, and makes efforts for their achievement an even more urgent priority. It is becoming increasingly clear that an effective response to the pandemic must entail better support to the most fragile countries in order to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs, those related to health and its determinants above all, especially in terms of the universal right to health care. Particular attention is to be paid, within this context, to the objective of gender equality, another topic which is highly regarded by the Italian Presidency.

The G20 Health Meeting had the “build back better” mandate as its main message, together with the achievement of greater resilience in facing health crises. Improving health systems on a global, national and local scale, starting from primary care and community medicine, and investing a relevant amount of resources in health and wellbeing will be of capital importance in order to sustain long-term global socio-economic progress and achieve greater shared prosperity. It will therefore be necessary to pursue a recovery which takes into account the lessons learned during the pandemic, adapting them to the SDG context so as to induce the essential changes needed to better plan and build our future and also respond to the challenges which lie ahead.

Second session

The second session provided specific guidance on these changes. The question as to what should be done in order to prevent, be better prepared and respond to future pandemics was addressed, starting from how to reach better collaboration and coordination ability at an international level, with the WHO continuing to play a pivotal role. In the awareness that the latest health crises have had their main determinant factors in the human-animal-environment interface, one of the key answers that G20 members suggested was to strengthen the One Health approach, which encompasses in a holistic concept human, animal and environmental health as determinants of our wellbeing and of global health, for which food systems sustainability, ecosystems and biodiversity protection are essential.

In terms of response, the crisis has first of all brought to light the importance of having solid and efficient health systems, overcoming decades of inadequate investments. Meeting deliverables included indications on the need for data collection and sharing across borders, taking advantage of opportunities offered by digital technology. Another important focus was on healthcare professionals, at all levels, who have been on the front lines in the fight against Covid-19. Therefore, training and deployment issues in emergency situations were dealt with, an idea arising from a specific project of the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) named Laboratorium, in collaboration with the WHO, originating from the experience of the most trying period of the crisis.

Third session

The third session, finally, examined the tools which are allowing us to effectively counter the pandemic. G20 members addressed identifying the best possible global strategies to support development and equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. Covid-19 has taught us how scientific research, international cooperation and public-private partnership manage to produce extraordinary results, including safe and effective vaccines in a matter of months. It will be necessary to continue on this path, providing essential support to research and development of innovative products which are able to combat variants, encouraging production at global, regional and local level, in addition to promoting efficient and reliable supply chains and the voluntary transfer of know-how and technology.

As the health emergency will not be over until we are all safe, the G20 Ministers also discussed how to ensure the widest possible access to vaccines worldwide, starting from existing collaboration mechanisms, including donation of doses to face the most immediate needs. It will furthermore be necessary to bridge the financing gap of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), particularly in the pillars addressing health systems and diagnostics, which will continue to be relevant to the management of the pandemic together with vaccination programmes. The aim was for the G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting to send out a reinforced message of cooperation, solidarity and equity, in the belief that “no one should be left behind”.

To learn more please refer to:

See the galleries

In preparation for the G20 Health Ministers' Meeting, the Health Working Group (HWG), which is attended by delegates from Member and Invited Countries and International Organisations, is scheduled to take place. In dedicated sessions, in order to foster a multilateral public-private dialogue that takes into account the different needs and can promote common actions, the main interest groups from civil society and the productive world, non-governmental actors are consulted.

The Group meets in order to share and discuss the topics identified by the Presidency, which coordinates the work and proposes priorities and expected results, reported in an Issue Note, to complete the preparation of the Ministers' Final Declaration.

In the framework of the Italian Presidency for 2021, the following meetings are scheduled:

  • the first one January on 26-27 (1st HWG meeting)
  • the second on March 25-26 (2nd HWG meeting)
  • the third one on June 17-18 (3rd HWG meeting)
  • the fourth one on August, 24 in virtual modality if necessary (4th HWG meeting)

Data di ultimo aggiornamento 23 September 2021