“Investment in health is fundamental to economic growth and development. Threats to health can compromise a country’s security and stability. Failure to meet the health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is a threat to international peace and security”, said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs that are part of the Foreign Policy and Global Health Initiative, met in New York on 22 September 2010 in the margins of the opening of the 65th UN General Assembly. The initiative, which was launched in September 2006 by Foreign Minister Støre, includes Brazil, France, Indonesia, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand and Norway.
The seven Foreign Ministers have succeeded in building the case for why global health should hold a strategic place on the international agenda; by exploring how foreign ministers and foreign policy can add value to health issues of international importance and by showing how a health focus can harness the benefits of globalization, strengthen diplomacy and respond to new thinking on human protection.
“The health perspective must be included in foreign policy fora where trade, human rights, humanitarian action, conflict resolution and peacebuilding are being discussed. The group of seven countries represents different regions and interests and is therefore a valuable instrument for promoting global health on a broad front”, said Støre.
The foreign ministers agreed on a declaration that sets priorities and focuses the agenda going forward.
To read the declaration, click here.