From Rome, Drafting Global Health Agenda of G8 Summit



On 11th, I went to Paris by the usual Air France last flight departing at 21:55.  I have been on this flight so many times for these 3-4 years.  You are able to work full day before going to Narita so it is convenient for flying to Europe.  London, for instance, it may even be possible to make it for a morning meeting if connection is good because you will arrive by 9:30 or so.

I arrived at Rome via Paris at 9:00 on 12th.  The hotel was elegant St. Regis Hotel I joined with Mr. Banno who arrived from New York and together we prepared for the next day’s “Global Health Forum”.  This Forum is held under the auspices of our Health Policy Institute and Aspen Institute Italia .  Other institutions such as Rockefeller Foundation, etc. are also giving support.

We are trying for the first time to reflect the process of "Global Health Summit; Toward TICAD, G8 and Beyond" (which we have organized last year) to the G8 Summit which will take place in Italy this year.  For this purpose, we held a preliminary meeting last December (Ref.1, 2).  Next day, the 13th, the meeting started at last.  Venue is within this gorgeous hotel.  The opening was "Welcome Speech" by Professor Petroni of Aspen Institute Italia, the joint organizer, and myself.  In the end of my speech, I mentioned that the Global Fund was founded through the active work of Japan and Italy at 2000, 2001 Summit, and that the host of 2001 Genoa Summit was current Prime Minister Berlusconi .

Participants were seated in circle around television screens for discussion.  I will show you more photos once they are ready.



Photo2, 3:  The conference


Photo4:  Mr. Massolo, the Sherpa and Dr. Chan of WHO.


Photo5:  Minister Tremonti.


Photo6:  From right, Minister of Health, Dr. Hatem El Gabaly, WHO Executive Director, Global Health Workforce Alliance Dr. Sheikh, Executive Secretary of GAVI Alliance Dr. Julian Lob-Levyt, ActionAid International delegate Dr. Noerine Kaleeba(Dr. Kaleeba is from Uganda).

Many important people such as WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan, Aspen Institute Italia President and current Minister of Finance, Dr. Tremonti, Sherpa of Summit in Italy, Dr. Massolo gathered for this meeting.  Mr. Keizo Takemi was also present.  As we were acquainted with each other through participation in Toyako Summit, I informed him about the outcomes we’ve achieved so far.  The members of this meeting were just outstanding.  Everyone participated actively in enthusiastic discussions.  At a time of such economic disaster, wouldn’t it be great if we could contribute to this year’s G8 Summit in Italy, however small the contribution is?  It would also be good for the presence of Japan in global society.

On this very same day, our article “Italian G8 Summit: a critical juncture for global health” was published in The Lancet, February 14th, 2009; volume 373, number 9663, p.526-7.  We wrote this mainly from “Japan’s experience on Global Health”. Most contents of The Lancet are free for access On-line for any users with registration.  I strongly recommend you to register.  Here, I will provide links to the On-line version and PDF for your reference.

G7 Finance Ministers' meeting will start from tomorrow in Rome so tonight there will be a reception, I hear.  Next week H8 meeting for discussion on health issues among G8 relations will take place as well as G8 Sherpa meeting.  Naturally, people involved are moving very busily.

In the evening, Dr. Peter Singer (Univ. Toronto) (Ref.1, 2) , Dr. Rajeev Venkayya of Gates Foundation, Mr. Banno and I went to a nice restaurant well known around here.


Photo7: From right、Myself, Dr. Peter Singer(Univ. Toronto) , Dr. Rajeev Venkayya at Gates Foundation, Mr. Banno.

Dr. Vankayya said he had seen me more than a decade ago when I was Professor of Medicine at Todai.  I started Chief Resident Exchange Program with University of Michigan then, and he was one of the visitors to Todai under this Program.  What a coincidence!