G20 Health Working Group meeting: India to play proactive role in negotiations

Thiruvananthapuram: Ahead of the 1st Health Working Group meeting under its G20 presidency here, India on Tuesday said it will play a proactive role in representing the ‘Global South’ in the negotiations across multilateral Global health platforms.

Noting that G20 has become one of the most important forums to strengthen and push for a resilient, responsive, and inclusive global health architecture, Lav Agarwal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said India aims to achieve convergence in discussions across various multilateral foram engaged in health cooperation and work towards integrated action.

The 1st Health Working Group meeting under G20 India Presidency will be held here from January 18 to 20. India assumed the presidency of the G20 on December 01, 2022.

“The Indian presidency will aim to consolidate and build on priorities and key takeaways from previous presidencies while focusing on critical facets that require strengthening”, Agarwal told a press conference here.

The meeting will be attended by representatives of G20 member countries, special invitee countries and relevant international organisations.

India is currently part of the G20 Troika comprising Indonesia and Brazil, marking the first time that the troika consists of three developing and emerging economies.

“India is part of the G20 Troika with Indonesia and Brazil (current, previous and incoming G20 Presidencies). This is the first time the troika is made up of three emerging economies. India has an exceptional opportunity to address some of the common developmental challenges faced by the world and emerge as the Voice of the Global South,” Agarwal said.

The ‘Global South’ largely refers to countries in Asia, Africa and South America.

He said India is known as the Pharmacy of the World and the country will be able to utilise the Agenda (of the Working Group) to promote distributed manufacturing of vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics globally so as to manage future health emergencies.

“India has exported drugs and vaccines to over 150 countries globally during the pandemic. Presently, medical counter-measures availability is being linked to national security and India can ensure playing a proactive role in ensuring health security for ‘Global South’ & LMICs (Low and Low Middle Income Countries),” he said.

He said India already has an established leadership position in Digital Health and Use of Digital Health solutions such as Co-WIN, Telemedicine, & COVID-19 India platform highlighting the advantages of data-driven insights and use of technology for accessibility, ease of availability, and affordability in health service delivery.

“Digital Health Resolution in 71st World Health Assembly was moved by India and endorsed by World. India has been the Chair of Global Digital Health Partnership, the largest inter-governmental body (33 countries as members) for Digital Health,” Agarwal said.

He said India’s G20 agenda is inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive and the theme unveiled by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ encompassing India’s philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.

The government has earlier said it is a clarion call to the world to collectively work towards building a healthier post-pandemic world.

The Health Track of the G20 India Presidency will comprise four Health Working Group (HWG) Meetings and one Health Ministerial Meeting (HMM).

The meetings will be held in different locations across the country including Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Goa, Hyderabad (Telangana) and Gandhinagar (Gujarat), highlighting the Prime Minister’s call to action to showcase India’s rich and diverse cultures.

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