Go directly to the content Go directly to the footer

This website uses technical, analytics and third-party cookies.
By continuing to browse, you agree the use of cookies.

First G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers’ Meeting under the Italian Presidency

October 26th, 2021

First G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers’ Meeting under the Italian Presidency

On Friday 29 October 2021, G20 Finance and Health Ministers will gather in Rome for their first joint meeting under the Italian G20 Presidency. The meeting will be co-chaired by Daniele Franco, Italian Minister of Economy and Finance and Roberto Speranza, Italian Minister of Health.

The meeting will be held on the eve of the G20 Leaders’ Summit taking place in Rome on 30 and 31 October 2021.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in February 2020, the G20 Finance Track has worked hard to find solutions to tackle the pandemic, support the most affected groups of society and foster a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery. Initiatives include endorsement of the G20 Action Plan to support global economies navigating through the crisis, support to the most vulnerable countries via the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), and the recent International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation.  A number of efforts were made to kick-start economic recovery such as boosting productivity with investments geared towards a green and digital transition, and the historic agreement for the establishment of a fairer international tax system. More details on the milestones achieved by the G20 Finance Track under the Italian G20 Presidency can be found in the Communiqué of the fourth G20 Finance Ministers and Central Banks Governors meeting of 13 October.

Looking ahead, the international community is called upon to cope with what many experts have defined an era of pandemics, and to find solutions designed to mitigate the impact that a new health crisis may generate, both in terms of human lives and consequent economic and social costs.  

The G20 is aware that without an adequate financing system it will be impossible to develop a coordinated global approach to managing future epidemics. In this sense, in January 2021, the G20 established a High Level Independent Panel on financing the global commons for pandemic preparedness and response. In July 2021, the Panel, co-chaired by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, former Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of Finance of Singapore, and Lawrence Summers, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, issued a report calling on the international community to act quickly to address current gaps in the international response to the pandemic. The Panel suggested to strengthen global governance mechanisms to increase international public funding.

While the G20 recognise the role of COVID-19 immunisation as a global public good, in 2021, discussions on health issues have had two key moments. On 21 May, the Global Health Summit organised by the Italian G20 Presidency in partnership with the European Commission, reaffirmed that the pandemic will not be over until all countries are able to bring the disease under control. G20 Leaders agreed on the Rome Declaration, which sets out principles and guiding commitments for future global health actions to support the financing, building, and sustaining of effective health system capabilities and capacities. A few months later, on 5 and 6 September, G20 Health Ministers met in Rome to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, international collaboration to prevent and respond to future pandemics, and control mechanisms to effectively counteract pandemics. A Final Declaration was adopted at the end of their meeting.

The crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has been unlike any other the world has experienced. The pandemic has clearly shown how flawed the global health governance system is and how it was ill-equipped to effectively collect and distribute resources in a more equitable way.

The rapid development of new vaccines has demonstrated that the world has the science and the resources it needs to deal with pandemics, but these must be organised in a more structured and collaborative way. While the G20 has played a pivotal role in the health response, it will need to continue to do so in the future. Finance and Health Ministers will discuss how to keep momentum and build on further coordination arrangements between Health and Finance Ministries.

The G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers’ Meeting will be held at the Salone delle Fontane (Hall of Fountains), from 12:00 to 16:30 CEST. A Media Centre will be available to all accredited journalists from Thursday 28 October at 14:00 to Friday 29 October at 23:00.

 All journalists interested in covering the event in person must apply for accreditation via www.g20.org/accreditation.html by Thursday 28 October at 12:00 CEST.