The Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) called for global governance and recommended the establishment of a Global Health Board “under the auspices of the G20”.
The Commission made the remarks during a press conference at the WHO Regional Office in Copenhagen yesterday.
According to WHO, Covid-19 demonstrated how some governance structures failed to protect societies from the worst impacts of the pandemic, with some countries resorting to responses informed by politics rather than science.
“It is necessary to enhance the position of health policy in overall policy-making by governments and international organisations by setting up a Global Health and Finance Board at the G20, recognizing that health is a global public good,” said Mario Monti, Chair of the Commission.
In addition, the Commission called for regional bodies of governance such as a Pan-European Network for Disease Control and a Pan-European Health Threats Council to improve data-sharing and data-interoperability platforms across the vast Region.
Further recommendations include countries in the region being called upon to fight inequality and so “decrease polarization in society”, as well as a call for greater investment and innovation in Europe’s health systems which have “proved flawed and not fit for the purpose” during the pandemic.
The Commission noted in the press release that Covid-19 showed that single-country solutions are not enough when it comes to the spread of communicable diseases in a hyper-connected, globalised world and such crises can only be tackled effectively through joint international action.
“We are calling for action at all levels of society on fixing fractured societies; on safeguarding planetary health; on innovation and investment in health systems; and on better European and global governance,” said Hans Henri P. Kluge, regional director for WHO Europe.
“It’s time to learn some important lessons, so we don’t make the same mistakes again,” Kluge said.