|Parallel session PS25, Wednesday, May 28 2008, 14:00-15:30, Room 3|
|Chair(s): Ilona Kickbusch, Director, Global Health Programme, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland, Jacques Martin, Counsellor, Health and Development, Swiss Permanent Mission to the UN, Swiss Confederation|
|EU Policies on Health: A Global Perspective|
|Matti Rajala, Minister Counsellor, European Commission, Permanent Delegation to the International Organisations in Geneva, Switzerland|
|Swiss Health Foreign Policy|
|Gaudenz Silberschmidt, Vice Director, Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Head of International Affairs Division, Switzerland|
|Civil Society and NGOs Building a Campaign for Global Health|
|Stephan Kreischer, Policy Advisor, Global Health, Action for Global Health, Germany|
|The Case of Sexual and Reproductive Health: Un-Simultaneities, Threats, and Opportunities|
|Elke Thoss, Executive Director, ProFamilia, Germany|
Submitted by: Cathy Matovu (ICVolunteers)
Europe is the largest aid donor in the world, giving an average of 52% of global aid. Financial resources in this part of the world are in abundance but many argue that Europe is not doing enough to achieve the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) by 2015. Stephan Kreischer, Policy Advisor at Action for Health in Germany agreed saying, "There have been a series of collaborative global initiatives which say that they will reach the MDGs by 2015, however, there are too many different initiatives and this makes it harder to keep track of them." In effect, the numerous GHIs (Global Health Initiatives) currently existing create problems of coordination and cause the ineffectiveness of the global aid structure. Kreischer proposed the reduction of GHIs and better collaboration among donors.
As a host country to the Health Forum, Switzerland is key in health and is concerned not only for the health of the Swiss population but for all people in the world. Gaudenz Silberschmidt, Vice Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, discussed global health in relation to health in Switzerland. "Through comparisons with other health systems in Europe, Switzerland wants to continue to develop the Swiss health system," he said. Insisting on the importance of collaboration between governments, Silberschmidt mentioned the recent bilateral agreement between Switzerland and the European Union to cooperate more closely in the health care area. He further mentioned that the country's main goal is to consolidate and strengthen Geneva's position as an international center for care. "Geneva is, and should remain, the health capital of the world," he maintained.
Another area that was discussed during the session was the importance of sexual and reproductive health. As an area often neglected in the global health debate, Elke Thoss, Executive Director of ProFamilia Germany, and Matti Rajala, Minister Counsellor of the European Commission in Geneva, gave us a few elements on the reasons why this particular aspect of health care is essential. Thoss explained that sexual and reproductive health services are very low funded. This largely contributes to the increase of diseases and mortality rates in remote areas. Policies regarding this area, she explained, are extremely strict and influence the provision of health care and support. On the issue, Rajala said that sexual health is "one of the key cornerstones of global health policies." He concluded by saying that there must be a relationship between economic growth and health investment in order for there to be development. "These are areas that can be in synergy and can develop together," he ended.