The 2020 World Health Summit ended with clear calls to action to accelerate global efforts of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Health Summit is one of the world’s most important strategic meetings on global health and brings together leading international scientists, politicians, and representatives from industry and civil society. The forum was founded in 2009 to mark the 300th anniversary of the Charité and is under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“No one is safe until all are safe.”
This year’s core topic was COVID-19, and due to the pandemic, the summit was exclusively digital, with more than 6,000 participants from more than 100 nations taking part online.
Christian Drosten, Head of the Institute for Virology at Charité, pointed out that even in the current situation, other viruses must be kept in mind: “We obviously have to continue to be worried about influenza viruses.”
In the closing event of the summit, Tedros made clear: “Collaboration and innovation are the key ingredients to support countries’ efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerate progress towards the SDGs. I have made stronger collaboration with our partners one of my top priorities at WHO.”
Detlev Ganten, President and Founder of the World Health Summit, also called for international solidarity: “Only by working closely together, we will be able to come out of this crisis and only together we will be able to improve global health, our common noble goal.”
COVID-19 was also at the core of the closing declaration. One of the central points made was that: “No one is safe until all are safe. This global health guiding principle stands at the centre of fighting COVID-19 and it stood at the centre of the virtual World Health Summit 2020. Health is more than medicine, it is more than basic research, it is the essence of a functioning society. It is a political choice. The WHS calls on decision makers around the world to act according to this principle.”
The final declaration of the summit is issued by the M8 Alliance, the academic foundation of the World Health Summit.
The M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies is a growing network and currently consists of 30 members in 20 countries, including the InterAcademy Partnership, which represents the national academies of medicine and science in 130 countries.
The complete M8 Alliance Declaration can be found here: www.worldhealthsummit.org/media/publications.html