This month’s Health Diplomacy Monitor—a regular, open access compendium of key international negotiations that have a significant impact on global health—includes a summary of conclusions from the G20 Leaders Summit in Seoul in November 2010 and states that health was mentioned more so than at any of the other four Summits. Advocates have pushed for years for the G20 leaders to focus on the health consequences of the economic matters on their agenda (such as food security, climate change, and poverty), which could have a major impact on global health if translated to action. Interestingly, this Summit’s final report recognises the significance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and noted them as a component of the Leaders’ action plan for shared growth. This is good news for tackling a major chunk of the global health burden.
The Health Diplomacy Monitor, which I discovered while working on the PLoS Medicine series on Global Health Diplomacy, has become an invaluable resource. Their mission is impressive: “to level the playing field by increasing transparency and making information about the issues and proposals being discussed more readily available.” The Monitor is published by the Centre for Trade Policy and Law at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and is available on the Global Health Diplomacy Network website.