The G7/8 and G20 summits are annual forums for heads of state to discuss key issues impacting the global economy and determine global priorities for the upcoming year. Global health issues ― including neglected tropical disease (NTD) control and elimination ― are often an important discussion topic between member countries, particularly those of the G7/8. The Global Network, along with its partners, is working to increase awareness of NTDs among G7/8 and G20 leaders by participating in several advocacy forums, including G7/8 and G20 civil society working groups and various global health conferences, and publishing policy papers that highlight the impact of NTDs on the global agenda.
The G7/8 is an annual forum, established in 1975, for the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union to discuss global economic, political and social issues.
NTDs first gained attention during the 1997 Denver summit, when former Prime Minister of Japan Ryutar Hashimoto proposed the Global Parasite Control Initiative, which was formally introduced during the 1998 Birmingham Summit. During the 2006 St. Petersburg G8 summit, Russia was the first to make infectious diseases, including NTDs, a priority agenda item of the G8. From 1998 through 2013, the G7/8 has made a number of commitments to end NTDs. You can find the full list of commitments listed here.
The 2008 Hokkaido-Toyako Summit in Japan marked another milestone for NTDs, when G8 leaders committed to reach at least 75 percent of people affected by certain major NTDs through sustained action for three to five years.
In an effort to be more transparent and accountable, G8 leaders began issuing Accountability Reports in 2010.
While G8 leaders did not discuss NTDs at the 2013 G8 summit, held in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland from June 17-18, the 2013 G8 Accountability Report outlined previous commitments to increase funding for NTD research and development and the efforts made to date. Additionally, the UK government and other partners held the ‘Nutrition for Growth’ event on the sidelines of the Summit, which resulted in the mobilization of $4.15 billion to improve nutrition. At the event, GlaxoSmithKline highlighted the important link between NTDs and malnutrition in the 2013 Global Nutrition for Growth Compact.
Leading up to the 2013 Lough Erne summit, the Global Network published its G8 Call to Action to urge the G8 to address its commitments to NTDs. The Global Network shared the G8 Call to Action with G8 Foreign Ministers, Development Ministers, G8 Sherpas and other partners in advance of the summit.
The Global Network also coordinated an article on the Huffington Post’s ‘The Big Push’ blog, co-authored by Dr. Tsutomu Takeuchi, Professor Emeritus at Keio University, and NTD Special Envoy Alvaro Arzú Irigoyen, former President of Guatemala (1996-2000), which discussed Japan’s commitments to control and eliminate NTDs in the Latin America region. To read more about the 2013 G8 summit, please visit the Global Network’s blog, End the Neglect.
The 2014 G7 summit was held on June 4-5 at the European Union in Brussels. While security issues were high on the agenda, the Global Network is pleased that the Brussels G7 Summit Declaration included the post-2015 development agenda, newborn and child health, food security and nutrition and global health security.
The Global Network looks forward to next year’s G7/8 summit in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Since 1999, the G20 has served as a forum for the heads of state and finance ministers of the world’s leading 20 economies, and as such, summits have historically focused on economic and financial topics. While G20 leaders have not directly addressed global health issues and NTDs, the G20 launched its first development agenda in 2009, recognizing the links between development and global economic challenges. The G20’s development agenda was captured in the G20 Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth.
At the 2010 G20 Toronto summit, G20 leaders advanced the development agenda through the adoption of the 2010 Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth. Key principles were identified that can act as barriers to inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries, including: infrastructure, human resource development, trade, private investment, job creation, food security, growth with resilience, financial inclusion, domestic resource mobilization and knowledge sharing.
Since then, the G20 has issued regular accountability and progress reports from the G20 Development Working Group. At the conclusion of the 2013 G20 summit, held in St. Petersburg, Russia on September 5-6, 2013, leaders reaffirmed their commitment to align G20 development priorities with regional priorities and the post-2015 development agenda.
In advance of the 2013 G20 summit, the Global Network published and shared its G20 Call to Action with G20 Sherpas and other policymakers. Although no concrete actions were taken to tackle NTDs, the St. Petersburg Development Outlook does highlight the importance of achieving food security, financial inclusion and human resource development, all of which are directly impacted by NTDs. In response, the Global Network published its reaction to the St. Petersburg Outlook, calling attention to how NTDs serve as a barrier to the G20’s efforts to realize sustainable development outcomes. To read more about the 2013 G20 Summit, please visit the Global Network’s blog, End the Neglect.
Australia took over as host of the G20 on December 1, 2013. The Global Network is encouraging Australian decision makers and other G20 leaders to include NTDs in their discussions. By investing in NTD control and elimination, the G20 has an opportunity to unlock the social and economic potential of the world’s most marginalized communities and mobilize new drivers of growth across the globe. Check back here in the coming months for the Global Network’s 2014 G20 Call to Action.
- Past G7/8 commitments to fighting NTDs
- 2013 G20 Call to Action
- 2013 G8 Call to Action
- Huffington Post: An Example To Follow: Japan's Historic Commitment To Infectious Disease Control
- End the Neglect- NTDs and the G8: The 2013 Summit in Review
- End the Neglect: 2013 G20 Summit: Das Vi Danya to NTDs?
- Travel Report: Global Network Addresses Opportunity to Include NTDs in Global Economic Agenda
- Statement by the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases on the G20 Summit
Photos by Pete Souza and Flickr user Gobierno de Chile.