Global Health Security Conference will be held in Sydney, June 18-20, 2019

Hosted by the University of Sydney and supported by the Australian Government, the 2019 Global Health Security conference is slated to cover a wide range of emerging health issues on June 18-20.

Side meetings will include the CEOs of product development partnerships including TB Alliance and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), as well as the CEO of the Center for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), who will discuss research and development for health security.

Separate side events by the Burnet Institute and Global Citizen will both focus on tuberculosis issues in the region.

Conference website - GHS 2019

Global Fund vice chair writes on Papua New Guinea disease challenges and Australian health security

Roslyn Morauta, Papua New Guinea resident and Vice-Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published an editorial on Papua New Guinea’s serious public health challenges and its implications for Australia's public health.

Papua New Guinea has the highest malaria burden in the world outside Africa, affecting primarily pregnant women and children under five years of age. It also has around 30,000 new cases of tuberculosis (TB) each year, the highest number of new tuberculosis cases in the Pacific Island region. TB is now the leading cause of death in Papua New Guinea. Morauta emphasized that Papua New Guinea is only four kilometers from Australia at its nearest point, and failure to address TB or an outbreak of any infectious disease is a threat to the health and economic security of Australia. 

Editorial - The Mandarin

Australia Global health

Development Policy Centre compares Australia's and New Zealand's development budgets

In a blog post, Terence Wood of the Development Policy Centre at Australian National University compared the trends in Australia’s and New Zealand’s development assistance programs.

His piece outlined the strong performance of New Zealand in increasing the ratio of its official development assistance to gross national income in recent years, compared to the decline of Australia’s development assistance ratio.

Blog site - Development Policy Centre


Five graphs illustrate changes in Australia's approach to foreign assistance

The Guardian newspaper published a June 4, 2019 article analyzing Australia’s foreign assistance trends over the past five decades and decrying the nation's dwindling development budget as a "dereliction of duty". Five graphs help to visually illustrate the evolution and context of Australia's foreign assistance program.

The article also discusses the anticipated decline in Australia’s development spending compared to other OECD countries, and the increasing focus of funding on the Pacific region. Author Kate Lyons writes that the Australian development assistance program is fundamentally shifting towards infrastructure spending and away from the longstanding focus on health, education and gender equality.

Analysis - The Guardian Australia


Australia pledges US$174 million for Solomon Islands infrastructure

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced A$250 million (US$174 million) in funding over 10 years for infrastructure in the Solomon Islands.

This commitment is in addition to the A$2 billion (US$1.4 billion) loan program for the Pacific announced in 2018, and will provide grant assitance for smaller projects. Morrison also announced A$3 million (US$2 million) in loans to Solomon Islanders who come to Australia as temporary workers. The initiatives will be funded from other sectors of  Australia’s official development assistance program.

Media report- ABC News Australia


Australian opposition party announces new shadow international development minister

Pat Conroy has been announced as the Australian Labor Party's shadow minister for international development and the Pacific. Conroy is a member of the House of Representatives from New South Wales. Senator Penny Wong remains the shadow minister for foreign affairs.

Media Release- ALP Opposition Leader


G20 finance and health ministers to collaborate to promote UHC

With the goal of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) in all countries and establishing a sustainable health finance system, the government of Japan will host a group of 20 (G20) Finance Ministers and Health Ministers' Joint Meeting as an official side event to the G20 Osaka Summit, to held on June 28-29, 2019.

Press release - Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (in Japanese)

News article - Japan Times

New Australian minister for international development and the Pacific appointed

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced his new ministry following the federal election held on May 18, 2019.

Senator Marise Payne will continue in her role as minister for foreign affairs. She has also been appointed minister for women. Alex Hawke MP has been appointed minister for international development and the Pacific. In an unusual move, Hawke has also been appointed as assistant defence minister.

Website - Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet


ANU's Devpolicy outlines six areas of possible change to Australian development policy

Professor Stephen Howes from the Australian National University (ANU) has written about six areas that might see positive change following Australia’s federal election.

He suggests that the Liberal–National Coalition, now returned to government, might revisit Australian development spending volumes. He also suggests the government might look to refresh its overseas development policy, Pacific labor mobility approach, and benchmarks for Australia's development program. He considers whether a development financing institution might be established for the Pacific.

Significantly, Howes flags the possibility of the government creating an Australian 'Global Health Challenges Research Fund'. This could leverage funding from the development program, in addition to financing from the non-official development assistance (ODA) Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). 

Website - Development Policy Centre, ANU

2019 U20 Tokyo communique focuses on climate action, social inclusion, and sustainable growth

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government hosted the Urban 20 (U20) Tokyo Meyers Summit. The communique from the summit focuses on three policy areas:

  1. Climate Action
  2. Social Inclusion and Integration
  3. Sustainable Economic Growth

The U20 group meets in the sidelines of the group of 20 (G20) events to discuss common problems and solutions relating to cities and the goal of achieving a sustainable and inclusive world. U20 participating cities are: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Durban, Hamburg, Houston, Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Montreal, New York City, Osaka City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, São Paulo City, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, Tshwane.

Communiqué - 2019 Urban 20 Tokyo Mayors Summit

Website - U20 The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (in Japanese)