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Speech by Premier Li Keqiang At Opening Ceremony of 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion | Updated: 2016-11-23 10:30

Speech by Premier Li Keqiang

At Opening Ceremony of 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion

Shanghai, 21 November 2016

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Good morning.

Health is a cornerstone for the comprehensive development and well-being of the people and a hallmark of national prosperity and social progress. On the occasion of the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion, I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese government, warm congratulations on the opening of the conference and sincere welcome to all the distinguished guests.

This conference coincides with the 30th anniversary of the first International Conference on Health Promotion. Three decades ago, the Ottawa Charter introduced the concept of “health promotion”, which has since guided the development of the health cause worldwide. Three decades on, thanks to the joint efforts of countries around the world and the hard work of the World Health Organization (WHO), the world average life expectancy has increased by over eight years. Maternal and infant mortality rate and that of children under five have been lowered by 50% on average, which is a big milestone in the history of human health.

At the same time, we should be aware that we are still confronted with daunting global health challenges. While traditional diseases, health issues and inequality in health remain acute, faster aging of the population, greater trans-border flows of people, the evolving spectrum of disease and changing environment and lifestyles are creating new problems. The threat of multiple diseases and our vulnerability to health risks have both risen. The sluggish world economic recovery and divergent trends of economic growth have added to the difficulty of ensuring the effective supply and the balanced and reasonable allocation of health resources. Promoting health remains an arduous task and nothing short of concerted international efforts is required for truly delivering the goal of “health for all”.

This year marks the start of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The theme of this conference “health promotion in the sustainable development goals” highlights the important role of health promotion in global sustainable development endeavor. Discussions around this theme will go a long way to promoting consensus building and synergy for the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this connection, I would like to put forward the following suggestions.

-- We should enhance policy dialogue and build a platform for health governance cooperation. Health promotion is the common endeavor of mankind. We should together build a community of shared future and take concrete actions to advance cooperation. We need to build a multilevel and wide-ranging institutional platform for dialogue and cooperation and support the WHO’s efforts to lead, coordinate and implement global health programs. Efforts should also be made to improve health legislation in our respective countries and tighten regulation on health-impairing investment and trading activities through fiscal, taxation and financial policy tools.

At the same time, we need to uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and increase the representation and voice of developing countries. Developed countries should shoulder more responsibility and support developing countries. We should work together to make global health governance fairer and more reasonable.

-- We should put in place an inclusive and interconnected system for prevention and control of global public health hazards. No country can stay immune to major public health challenges. Countries need to better coordinate health emergency practices, improve global mechanisms for disease surveillance, early-warning and emergency response, strengthen notification, information sharing and personnel training, and further improve global capacity to address public health emergencies. The Chinese government supports the WHO in putting together its global health emergency task force and contingency fund. We urge developed countries to step up support to developing countries in improving their public health systems, and together build up stronger lines of defense for global health.

-- We should enhance the capacity for health supply and services through cooperation on innovation. Scientific and technological innovation is the golden key to health. Countries need to enhance research and development of health technologies, actively conduct bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including joint research on frontier and innovative technologies, and tackle common health hazards facing mankind together. We need to expand the network for exchange and cooperation in such areas as the prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), advanced health technologies, drug research and development, energy-saving, emissions reduction and the treatment of pollution, and build platforms for entrepreneurship and innovation. There should be wider application and sharing of scientific and technological progress to bring greater benefits to more people.

-- We should encourage mutual learning and promote greater integration between traditional and modern medical sciences. Throughout history, different countries and nations have developed their own views of health and acquired distinct strengths in the form of traditional medicine. Differences in medical practices should be embraced with equality and open-mindedness, and cultural exchanges be encouraged as a useful way to promote health cooperation. We should encourage mutual learning on the views and culture of health. We need to better promote traditional medicine, make better use of their strengths in preventing and treating diseases, and actively develop services trade in traditional medicine. By leveraging the complementarity between traditional and modern medical sciences, we will make new contribution to human health.

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