Global Health Issues - Norway's Role

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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, State Secretary, Laila Bokhari (in the middle of the picture) meeting with ICRC. Photo: Permanent Mission of Norway

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, State Secretary, Laila Bokhari, visited Geneva on 10 and 11 November 2016. The main purpose of the visit was to meet with international actors working on global health issues.

Global health is one of the Norwegian Government’s main priorities in its foreign and development policy, with an annual contribution of over NOK 3 billion (approximately USD 350 million). Norway’s largest and most important partners in the global health field are based in Geneva.

The Deputy Minister met, among others, Mr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and Mr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). She also had meetings with different WHO representatives, including Ms. Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General for the Health System and Innovation cluster, and Mr. Rick Brennan, Director of Emergency Operations. Ms. Bokhari also met with Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD), and Mr. Yves Daccord, Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Norway is a key donor with clear positions in Gavi, The Global Fund and WHO. The meetings were marked by an open exchange of opinions on relevant issues, as well as on the fundamental challenges the different organisations are faced with. Norway’s role in the promotion of strengthened global health efforts was acknowledged. In particular, the Norwegian involvement in strengthening prepared response to health crises and in seeing health and education as related issues, were highlighted as important and groundbreaking approaches. Norway’s role in promoting the role of civil society and women in transition processes was also commended. In addition, the new Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), to which Norway is one of the initiators and hosting the interim secretariat, was commended in the meetings.

If you want to read more about how the Norwegian Government takes the lead in global health, please click here.