Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All
Oct 25, 2018 - Oct 26, 2018

Calling for a New Global Economic Order - the forgotten element of the Alma-Ata Declaration. MMI (proposed) contribution to the Global Conference on Primary Health Care

Photo: WHO, Conference website
Photo: WHO, Conference website

Astana, 25-26 October 2018. The world will come together in Astana, Kazakhstan at the Global Conference on Primary Health Care "to renew a commitment to primary health care to achieve universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals".


The Global PHC Conference

"In 1978, a pivotal conference was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, bringing together health experts and world leaders to commit to health for all. The Declaration of Alma-Ata, endorsed at that conference, formed the foundation for the last 40 years of global primary health care efforts.

This October, the world will reunite to reinvigorate and reaffirm primary health care. The Global Conference will endorse a new declaration which emphasizes the critical role of primary health care around the world, refocusing efforts to ensure that everyone everywhere is able to enjoy the highest possible attainable standard of health."

Conference website: here


MMI Network: Representation and proposed session

The MMI Network, an NGO in official relations with WHO, is expected to be invited to the conference and will attend it with a small delegation, as part of the civil society constituency. We are currently exploring with civil society colleagues about how to guarantee civil society representation in the conference and how to broaden the space for civil society in the formal conference programme.

Reacting to a call by the conference organizers,  the MMI Network will also submit a proposal for a "café session" on "Calling for a New Global Economic Order - the forgotten element of the Alma-Ata Declaration".

The Declaration of Alma-Ata (1978) called for a "New International Economic Order" to address the political and economic determinants of health. This call risks to get lost in the more diplomatic and technical approach to PHC of the Astana conference and its formal programme. Referring to a preparatory civil society workshop and statement (18 May 2018 in Geneva), we intend to provide reflections on economic justice, cooperation and solidarity as preconditions for PHC. Our session shall be a reminder and eye-opener that PHC cannot be just “organized” or left over to partnerships, but requires transformation beyond the health sector.

In our own contribution to this proposed session, and referring to our ongoing promotion of "health cooperation beyond aid", the MMI Network and its working group on Effective Health Cooperation intend to focus on the role of international cooperation: It is vital that we build solidarity between people within and across nations and regions. The existing system of international aid and the associated charity narrative risk to legitimise an unfair economic framework which prevents national self-determination and weakens the building of strong and resilient local health systems. Health for all requires the redistribution of wealth nationally and globally.

MMI lead / contacts: Remco van de Pas and Thomas Schwarz


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