G20 countries, along with all UN Member States, have committed through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to achieve Universal Health Coverage, to end preventable deaths of children under the age of five, to end tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AID, malaria epidemics, and all forms of malnutrition by 2030. At current rates of progress, NONE of these goals will be met. G20 countries are in a unique position, and have a responsibility, to spur the changes needed to get the world back on track to reach the SDG targets, being both a coalition of the world’s largest economies and home to a large share of the global burden of disease, for example about half of the world’s TB cases. The SDG target to end the epidemic by 2030 will not be met for at least another 100 years. The change in pace required to meet the SDG targets will in part depend on political will, and under Japanese presidency 2019 is the year for G20 countries to step up.
In September 2018, all UN member states made commitments to get on track to end the TB epidemic by 2030 by signing the political declaration of the UN High-Level Meeting on TB (HLM). The 2018 G20 Health Ministers Declaration welcomed “the outcomes of the UN High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis and acknowledge the first global AMR target to commit to treating 1.5 million people with drug-resistant TB.” The G20 also committed to “ending HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, through the successful replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in 2019.”
Given the potential role of the G20 in tackling Tuberculosis and AMR, civil society is actively engaged in influencing the outcomes and holding governments to account for their commitments. For example, the Civil Society 20 (C20) is one way for civil society to engage. The C20 is an official engagement group of the G20 – a specific space for civil society organisations from around the world to contribute in a structured manner to the G20. This includes representatives from the previous host country Argentina and next year’s host country Saudi Arabia. This engagement helps to ensure that world leaders listen to the proposals of civil society. The C20 is split into different working groups, including one on health. Civil society representatives from around the world are able to join the working groups and participate in the online discussions here. Members of the group are also invited to attend face-to-face meetings.
The C20’s first face-to-face meeting was in Tokyo in February. This was to discuss ideas and priorities for this year’s G20, based on the biggest global needs and on the priorities identified by the Japanese hosts. For global health, the three priorities identified are universal health coverage, healthy and active ageing, and health security including AMR. Since then, representatives from the C20 health working group presented to the first G20 Health Working Group in Tokyo and the C20 working groups have written position papers to be presented to the G20 during the C20 Summit in April.
As next steps, civil society in G20 countries can share the C20 health working group position paper with the relevant decision-makers, for example, the Cabinet Office, Foreign Office, Department of Health, Finance or International Development. This will be particularly important ahead of the following key events:
- 30 April-1 May: Second Sherpa Meeting
- 16-17 May: Second Health Working Group Meeting
- 28 June: Joint Health and Finance Ministers Meeting
- 28-29 June: Leaders’ Summit
- 19-20 October: Health Ministers Meeting
- 21-22 November: Foreign Ministers Meeting
For more information on engaging with any of the above groups, please contact Rachael Hore (email@example.com).
 Other working groups include anti-corruption, education, environment, climate and energy, gender, infrastructure, international financial architecture, labour, business and human rights, local2global, and trade and investment.
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