What is the Geneva Health Forum?

The Geneva Health Forum (GHF) is a global health conference coupled with an interactive, web based platform (the Global Health Forum Platform), which bring together multi-sectoral representation of global health players including frontliners, catalysts, researchers and policymakers.

Drawing on testimonies and field work from participants, the GHF aims to promote critical reflections and constructive debates on contemporary global health issues, thus infusing policy formulation with ground reality. The GHF is a joint initiative launched by the University Hospitals of Geneva and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva in partnership with leading Swiss public institutions engaged in Global Health and the major international organizations and institutions active in health in Geneva and around the world.

Why was the Geneva Health Forum established?

The GHF was established to

  1. Link policy and practice
  2. Address health issues through an integrative approach

GHF has established itself as forum that brings together practitioners, researchers,  policy makers, civil society and the private sector to search for ways to advance global health. The GHF is not only designed to gather the various set of actors who shape the current global health landscape but it takes a critical look at their interplay, confronting or converging views and how they exercise power.

While many meetings deal with health, very few focus on the experiences of those closest to the problems; those facing operational, administrative, financial and policy challenges daily; those who constantly seek new solutions to local health challenges. The GHF wants to fill the niche of an inclusive space of global dialogue on health policy and practice. It intends to keep global health debates pragmatic and grounded in action and results by mobilizing actors from the field, the frontliners (Hyperlink), whose experiences, know-how and solutions in progress bring valuable insights to global health debates.

Moreover, improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide entails actions aiming at strengthening health systems at the same time looking at non-health sectors including factors that shape the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work, and age. The GHF intentionally seeks the contributions of other sectors to ensure policy coherence and synergies between policies. Human rights, including the right to health, equity, sustainability and empowerment are key elements that need to be put at the center of all policies.

From an academic perspective, the GHF aims to promote global health as a field of study, research and practice, which seeks to develop integrative approaches from the expertise and perspective of various disciplines.

The pursuit of the Geneva Health Forum agenda requires a constant effort in the way we frame and debate health issues in a context characterized by the multiplicity of player and agendas. Among these multiple voices, the Geneva Health Forum seeks to establish the improvement of health for all as the goal of global health. .

The Geneva Health Forum is the way it is, by design and not by chance.

Why Geneva?

The Geneva Health Forum was and continues to be designed around the advantages of the international dimensions of Geneva, Switzerland. The city, deemed the ‘world capital of health’, has a long history of humanitarianism including humanitarian health action. It is also one of the major centres of international diplomacy and global health governance and has been home to the World Health Organization since its creation in 1948. At the same time Geneva provides the meeting place for dialogue and counsel in the areas of trade and economics, as well as science and technology.