PART III: HIV/AIDS and Global Health - G8 Guidebook

6.Towards the G8 Summit:
Initial Phase (January - February 2008)

  1. Overview
  2. Sherpa Meeting
  3. The World Economic Forum (Davos)
  4. G8 Health Experts Meeting
  5. Global Health Summit


The official transfer of the summit chair occurs on January 1 of the new calendar year, but consideration for major agenda items or the policy positions they will take has already began as the actual summit of the previous year came to an end. The major agenda items of the G8 includes issues that that were well-prepared beforehand and urgent issues that have occurred recently and must be addressed in a global scale. In the context of the 2008 G8 Summit process, global health was an issue that has been well-prepared for beforehand and the recent sharp rise in food and fuel costs are recent issues that must be addressed.

From January to February of the new year, the issues that have been prepared for are narrowed down, decided upon and then presented to the public. Typically, decisions on the agenda items are made at the Sherpa Meeting in January. There has been a tradition that the chair of the G8 attends the World Economic Forum, held in the latter half of January every year, to announce the major agenda items of the G8. In 2008, Prime Minister Fukuda attended the World Economic Forum, and in a special session chaired by Tony Blair, the former Primer Minister of the United Kingdom, made a speech in which he announced the major agenda items of the G8 to include global health.

Now that the decision and the announcement have been made, the chosen issues would now be part of the G8 process and the policy making process on the issues will be in full force. In the experience of the 2008 G8 Summit process, from February 13 to 14, the first G8 H8 Health Experts Meeting was held. Furthermore, on February 16, Health Policy Institute Japan (HPIJ), a think tank on Japanese health policy, with the cooperation of the World Bank, hosted the Global Health Summit, aimed mainly at national policy makers in Japan. If global health becomes one of the main agenda items of the G8, there may be a possibility that private sector driven health policy forums and the summit process to be intertwined.

2Sherpa Meeting

Brief Overview

Experience from the 2008 G8 Process: The first Sherpa meeting

3The World Economic Forum (Davos)

Brief Overview

The World Economic Forum (Davos Conference) is an annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland, of top leaders in business, finance, national politics and intellects of the world, taking place in the latter half of January. Dubbed as the World's Rich Man's Club, civil societies of the world in opposition, created the World Social Forum, first launching in 2001 at Porto Alegre, Brazil. But with growing acknowledgement of the important role of civil society in the policy decisions of global issues, the hosts of the World Economic Forum began to invite the participation of dominant international NGOs. For example, in issues related to poverty and global health, Oxfam International participated in the Forum. Furthermore, Bono (Data/One serves as the policy team to Bono), vocalist of U2 actively engaged himself at the World Economic Forum and carried out meetings with heads of states and members of the media.

The World Economic Forum and the G8 Summit: The role of Civil Society

Experience from the 2008 G8 Process

Global Health Civil Society Symposium (February 6, 2008)
Global Health Civil Society Symposium (February 6, 2008)

4G8 Health Experts Meeting

Brief Overview

Experience from the 2008 G8 Process

Breakdown of the Health Experts Meeting

5Global Health Summit

Brief Overview

Experience from the 2008 G8 Process

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