Home / G20 Health

G20 Health

Italiano | English

G20 Health Ministers' Meeting

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

G20 Health Working Group meeting

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