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Health leaders welcome infectious disease focus at G8

In advance of the G8 summit, the leaders of the four key health policy and financing organizations - the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the GAVI Alliance - jointly welcome the focus on infectious diseases and urge the G8 leaders to continue their commitments to improving the health and lives of people in the world's poorest countries.
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Dr Anders Nordström, acting Director-General of the World Health Organization, will be at the G8 summit. "The G8 commitments to health in the past have made a real difference," he said. "The focus this year on emerging and long-term threats such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, pandemic influenza and polio demonstrate that health and human health security are at the top of the global agenda. This attention by the world's wealthiest nations will directly benefit people living in all countries."

Owen comments: It is an encouraging sign of effective coordination and common purpose to have this common statement by the leaders of the WHO, UNAIDS, Global Fund and GAVI. I fear, however, that the implication that global health will be at the top of the G8 agenda next week is wishful thinking.

The Russian news agency TASS reports that President Putin "promised to pass to German Chancellor Angela Merkel aproposal to discuss the fight of infections at the next G8 summit."  I suspect that many of the development issues discussed in Gleneagles will make slow progress until the German Presidency of the G8 begins next year.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.