France’s new Global Health Strategy

France unveiled its Global Health Strategy for the period 2023-2027 in a ceremony held today in Lyon, attended by three prominent French Ministers — the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Health and Prevention, and the Minister of Higher Education and Research — along with WHO’s Director-General.

As a key influencer in shaping global health policies, France has called upon national and international stakeholders to rally behind the creation of a new global health framework to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The primary focus of this strategy is SDG3, dedicated to ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all, regardless of age.

This novel Health Strategy seeks to address health inequalities and bolster the One Health approach, enhancing the world’s ability to prevent and prepare for future global health crises. It places significant emphasis on addressing the health impacts of climate change and the environmental effects on healthcare systems.

In recognition of France’s vital role in global health, WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, attended the launch event, underlining the strong collaboration between WHO and France.

Dr. Tedros expressed, “France, a founding member of WHO since 1948, has been a steadfast friend for 75 years. As one of the world’s largest economies, France plays a pivotal role in global health. This new Global Health Strategy aligns seamlessly with WHO’s priorities to promote, provide, protect, empower, and perform for health.”

France shares several key health priorities with WHO, including an interdisciplinary approach and a commitment to universal health coverage (UHC) within the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. France also provides support for transformative WHO initiatives such as the WHO Academy and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), both of which were visited by the Ministers on the occasion.

At the event held at the Academy and IARC, Ms. Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Aurélien Rousseau, Minister of Health and Prevention, and Ms. Sylvie Retailleau, Minister of Higher Education and Research, articulated their support for WHO.

Ms. Catherine Colonna emphasized, “The World Health Organization, celebrating its 74th anniversary today, must continue to play a central and leading role. France will continue to support WHO and its ambitious governance and financing reforms.”

Sylvie Retailleau, Minister of Higher Education and Research, conveyed France’s commitment to partnering with the WHO Academy, with the goal of enhancing the educational experience through a diverse training portfolio.

Mr. Aurélien Rousseau, Minister of Health and Prevention, announced France’s plan to host the first international financing conference for the fight against meningitis in the first quarter of 2024, in collaboration with WHO.

The French Strategy for Global Health for the years 2023-2027 is the result of a collaborative effort involving various French stakeholders, including public agencies, civil society organizations, higher education and research institutions, scientific bodies, foundations, organizations dedicated to human, animal, and environmental health, local government entities, and private sector representatives. These entities will be represented in a monitoring committee overseeing the implementation and progress of this strategy.

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