G2H2 Annual Report 2020

Dear members and friends

The Covid-19 pandemic is still gripping the world, as we have entered the second year of this emergency. Decisive policy debates on ending the global health crisis – and the related economic and social “pandemics” in the wake of the virus – will be at the core of the global discourse in the coming months. Some of the major forums for this will be the G20 Global Health Summit in Rome and the 74th World Health Assembly (WHA) in May where a proposed “Pandemic treaty” will be discussed, among other things. As we write, heated debates are ongoing on the need to waive the patently unjustifiable WTO intellectual property monopoly rights for medicines, vaccines and medical technology. The main question is: how serious is the international community about truly stopping the contagion and overcoming Covid-19?

G2H2 has intensively participated in all these debates over the last year, while also having to adapt to the new normal of Zoom meetings and online debates since we cannot be physically together in Geneva. But we also took the opportunities of this increased virtualization of public space and reached out to more people. This contributed to more organisations and individuals joining G2H2 over the last year. And quite importantly, we were able to engage, despite travel lockdowns and the lack of physical meetings and exchange. We were visible as G2H2 in the debates on global health governance, most prominently during the US – WHO conflict around the handling of the pandemic in its first months in 2020.

We also had a productive year of strengthening and rejuvenating our Geneva Global Health Hub internally with a newly elected Steering Committee and a new Co-Presidency since November 2020. The Steering Committee is now more diverse than ever (Africa, Europe, Latin America, Middle East) and younger than before. We consider this an important collective achievement. This new dynamic has resulted in a strong push for a new work plan and an advocacy platform that we want to discuss and resolve on, during the Annual General Meeting in June 2021. And in a new structure called the “Bureau” of the ever dedicated and professional working Executive Secretary Thomas Schwarz together with the new two Co-Presidents Nicoletta Dentico and Baba Aye.

This increased teamwork of Bureau and Steering Committee already has led to new funding opportunities that make it possible for the first time to have multilingual policy dialogue events before the World Health Assembly in May, through the increased interest in critical debates in Global Health by the German Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and its new Geneva office. Our independence as a Hub that we gain and secure from our members’ contributions can now be amplified beyond our usual English only events, towards making us more truly global.

With all our members’ efforts, G2H2’s role as a competent, multidisciplinary space for information sharing, policy dialogue and technical reflection on global health will now be taken a step further. As the quest for a better and more just post-Covid-19 world continues, G2H2 will be a strong voice of civil society for the global realisation of the right to health in truth and deed.

10 May 2021

Andreas Wulf, President until November 2020
Nicoletta Dentico and Baba Aye, Co- Presidents since November 2020