Global health challenges and crisis

Prime Minister Erna Solberg`s opening remarks at the health section of the G20 summit.

Thank  you Chanseler Merkel for the opportunity to address the G20 on the issue of building resilience.

I would like to draw you attention especially to the issue of safeguarding against health crisis and strengthening our health systems.

First of all we should commend the German Chairmanship for putting global health on the G20 agenda for the first time.

Human health is fundamental to all other topics we discuss in this meeting.

The G 20 must play a central role in advancing preparedness and response to global health challenges and crisis.

During the last two decades we have seen remarkable improvements in global health.

The number of maternal and child deaths has halved.

There has been an impressive reduction in people dying from HIV, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.

Still, the Ebola outbreak provided us with a long “to do list” for global preparedness.

To tackle pandemics requires global and cross-sector response capacities, including transport of patients.  Preventing future pandemics requires resilient national health systems.

The 2030 Agenda and SDG 3 require us to reach those that are left behind, and to combat emerging diseases. The goal of Universal Health Coverage implies that everybody should have access to basic services without experiencing financial hardship.

WHO is the key global agency for strengthening response capacities at global and national levels. After the Ebola epidemic, we agreed on a reform that would fix what did not work. Reports show that WHO is doing its part, and we should remain committed to the WHO health emergencies programme and fast-financing mechanisms. I believe this was amply demonstrated by the health emergency simulation exercise of the health ministers

We should also foster R&D preparedness trough globally coordinated WHO consistent models.

One such model is the Coalition for Emergency Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which will be a valuable contribution to our defense against emerging pandemic threats.

CEPI is already up and running thanks to support from a number of countries and private donors.

I am happy to announce Norway’s commitment to the first phase of CEPI by 70 million dollars, in addition to the 120 announced in January.

I am pleased to see that an increasing number of G20 countries value investing in CEPI.

We should support the Chairman in putting the issue of antimicrobial resistance on the agenda, both in the health and agriculture tracks.

Without functioning antimicrobials, we risk losing much of the gains of modern medicine.

We need effective coordination to maximize impact.

We should therefore support the call for an R&D collaboration hub.

Norway will contribute to the further development of this initiative. 

Finally, I thank once again the G20 and Germany for having made a very substantial step towards realizing the sustainable development goal on health – SDG 3.