"We Need a Fair And Sustainable Multilateralism."
World Health Summit 2023 ends with clear demands. A majority of speakers were women.
Berlin, October 17, 2023
The World Health Summit 2023 ended this afternoon after three days with 370 speakers in 63 sessions. Around 3,100 participants from 106 countries took part on site in Berlin. Up to now, WHS 2023 has received a total of more than 12,000 views online. In addition, there are over 60,000 views on the WHO social media channels live-streaming the speeches of WHO Director-General Tedros at the World Health Summit.
There were more female speakers than male speakers: 52% women, 48% men. Among the participants, 55% indicated female and 44% male.
The opening ceremony on Sunday, October 15 was followed by 1,500 participants on-site in Berlin.
The focus of the last day was the central closing event of the World Health Summit 2023 as well as climate change, particularly in relation to health.
"The impacts of the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution are affecting both humans and the environment," Steffi Lemke, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection explained. This was especially true for the climate crisis; its impacts on health were already felt all over the world. "This is why climate action always protects health too," Lemke added.
The need to build climate-resilient, low-carbon and sustainable health systems is at the heart of a joint statement by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Health Summit, the ‘Statement on Green Health’: "It is our responsibility as health leaders at the World Health Summit to call an end to business as usual in relation to climate action and to position ourselves with determination on the side of health and equity."
The full statement on green health is available here.
At the central closing event, World Health Summit President Axel R. Pries called for international cooperation: "The global health community must set an example in international partnership and cooperation to tackle the mounting challenges of providing healthy living conditions worldwide."
The push for fair and sustainable multilateralism and improving global health care in times of climate change are also the topics of the M8 Alliance Declaration, issued at the end of the World Health Summit. Central demands: "Move from fragmentation to cooperation and integration, address disparities within and between countries, address the needs of the most vulnerable."
The M8 Alliance with 31 members around the world is the academic backbone of the World Health Summit.
The full declaration is available here.
The 2023 World Health Summit agenda under the motto "A Defining Year for Global Health Action" included topics such as climate change and health, pandemic prevention, digital technologies, the role of the G7 and G20 in global health, and 75 years of WHO.