Civil society urges strong action on global health ahead of G20 Summit

Chair of the 2019 Japan G20 Summit Civil Society Platform presented the group’s recommendations to President Macri

Ms. Yuka Iwatsuki, chair of the 2019 Japan G20 Summit Civil Society Platform, presented the group’s recommendations to President Macri

The power of civil society to influence change is the basis of ACTION’s advocacy. This was why ACTION was among the 600 organizations from 40 countries at the Civil 20 (C20) Summit in Buenos Aires, August 6–7, making key recommendations to President Mauricio Macri ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit, scheduled for November 30–December 1.

ACTION partners contributed significantly to recommendations, which urged G20 leaders to recognize health as a human right; prioritize public health systems as a key pillar of universal health care; implement recommendations of the September 26 United Nations High-Level Meeting on coverage tuberculosis (TB); ensure that Sustainable Development Goal 3 is achieved; and take urgent action to address HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, and other neglected tropical diseases.

“The C20 Summit saw a group of highly engaged citizens insistent on making their voices heard. It’s a tribute to ACTION’s persistence that we were at the table and able to contribute to the recommendations,” says Waiswa Nkwanga, ACTION senior associate for global health partnership, who represented ACTION at the meeting.

Acknowledging the recommendations, Macri noted that, “Civil society plays a key role in dialogue and consensus-building processes. We believe that there are no spectators. We all must be protagonists and take part in the discussions…Global solutions require commitment and actions not only from governments, but also from all players in society.”

The recommendations are the result of months of deliberations among CSOs from the eight working groups that make up the C20. The group maintained a focus on global health, including TB, anti-microbial resistance, child obesity and nutrition, and health system strengthening, continuing a path set by Germany in 2017.

Other recommendations included civil society perspectives on corruption, climate change, education, employment, the environment, energy, gender, implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, inequality, investment, and technology and digitalization.

Macri said the recommendations submitted by the group “represent a constructive contribution ahead of the Leaders’ Summit.”

“We want to continue showing our commitment to international cooperation, multilateralism, and global governance,” he said. “This certainly is the time to prove it. I encourage you all to continue making efforts and contributing talent to face the challenges posed by the 21st century.”

Argentina is the current chair of the group, made up of the 20 largest economies and accounting for 85 percent of the global GDP and two-thirds of the population. As a forum for the world’s 20 largest economies, the Summit is an opportunity to mobilize political leadership and resources for global health.