Welcome back. In this lesson, we are going to talk about global policy setting bodies. These bodies are often where global health diplomacy takes place, where initiatives begin and funding decisions are made. These things in turn guide and align global health organizations, funders, non-governmental organizations etc., around common goals or action. Let's start by talking about the major policy setting body on global health, the World Health Assembly which is the decision making body of the World Health Organization. The World Health Assembly, or WHA is held every May in Geneva, Switzerland, and is attended by delegations from all WHO member states. The World Health Assembly determines the policies of the WHO, appoints the Director General, supervises financial policies, and reviews and approves the proposed program budget. Each year, there are numerous initiatives that are approved at the World Health Assembly which set out priorities for the agencies and for other global health actors. However, quite a few of these are unfunded mandates, meaning priority is given without the associated budget to execute against them. So when a resolution is passed at the World Health Assembly, it sends an important signal but it may or may not drive action depending on whether there is budget to execute the initiative. The Global Vaccine Action Plan is an example of an initiative that was approved by the World Health Assembly. It was endorsed by the 194 member states of the assembly in May 2012 and is a framework to ensure more equitable access to existing vaccines for people around the world by 2020. The Global Vaccine Action Plan is an example of an initiative that was approved but did not come with funding to implement. However, the passage of this action plan served as a forcing mechanism for the World Health Assembly to review progress annually toward achieving the plans goals. Outside of global health specific entities there are three other important policy setting bodies that have a major influence on the global health. The first is the United Nations General Assembly. Also referred to as UNGA, or U-N-G-A, which is the governing body of the United Nations. The United Nations General Assembly meets each September in New York. While their mandate is for all global topics that the UN covers, in recent years their agendas have started to include global health. In 2001, the UN General Assembly held a special session on HIV/AIDS. This was the first time that health was included as a major topic of the General Assembly. In subsequent years, global health issues have regularly been included at UNGA. For example, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon made the every woman, every child initiative a focus, and there are annual check-ins on progress toward that goal. The UN Security Council is the highest decision making body of the UN. They're also, global health topics have begun to be raised on the agenda. For example, they held a security counsel meeting on Ebola in 2014 and there was an earlier meeting on polio eradication. Let's take a moment to pause and review what we've learned. The G7 meets annually with the host country rotating among the members. The host country sets the agenda for the annual meeting. Well, the primary topics of the G7 or around global economic governance, international security, and energy policy. For the past 15 years, it has also been a place where major global health initiatives are unveiled. As a side note, you will sometimes hear reference to the G8 which was what the group was called when it included Russia. Their participation in the group of industrialized democracies ended after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. While there have been some significant achievements that have come out of the G7 and G8 meetings, there have also been some empty promises that were not followed through with action. Global health was first included on the G8 agenda at the Okinawa meeting in 2000, where world leaders acknowledged the need for a global facility for communicable diseases as a result of ongoing dialogue. The creation of a global fund to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria was endorsed by the G8 at the Genoa summit in July 2001 and officially launched in 2002. With the success of this initiative, global health advocates regularly push the G7 to replicate that level of commitment although success has been intermittent. In 2015, Germany was the chair of the G7. In January, they kicked off the year of their presidency by hosting the replenishment of GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, in January. Germany also commissioned an expert group to make recommendations on what the world needed to do to prepare for a global pandemic following the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. This was chaired by Bill Gates and Peter Piot. One of the foremost leaders in global health and the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. While the GAVI replenishment was a success, the recommendations made by the expert panel of pandemics got very little mention in the final communicate issued by the G7, and there's been little evidence of follow-through. In 2010, when Canada was a host of the G8, they led an initiative referred to as in Muskoka initiative on maternal, newborn, and child health, named after the region where that years G8 was held. The goal of the initiative was to accelerate progress toward the millennium development goals related to maternal and child health, and donors pledged over $7 billion in new and additional funding to support this work over the next five years. A third global body that has been involved in global health diplomacy, although to a lesser extent, is the group of 20 or the G20. The G20 has served as a forum for the Heads of State and Finance Ministers of the worlds 20 leading economies with a primary focus on economic and financial topics. While the G20 has not been as active as the G7 and the G8 on global health topics, in 2014 the G20 committed to continued and intensified action to end the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. And pledged to assist others to achieve needed health security capacity to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to future outbreaks before they become epidemics. In summary, these global policies setting bodies play a fundamental role in global health. They have the power and the resources to not only make decisions and set priorities, but to also activate collective action to make real national and international progress.