Building on a Canadian Legacy

By Barb Willet, Executive Director

Beginning on November 21st, more than 1,000 global leaders in health and development will gather in Shanghai for the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion, co-organized by the WHO and the People’s Republic of China. As part of this conference, participants will be invited to adopt the Shanghai Declaration on promoting health in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

A zero version draft of the Declaration was first published in May 2016, along with a corresponding discussion paper. The final version of the Declaration formally recognizes that health and wellbeing are essential to achieving the United Nations Development Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Building on the foundation of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, the Shanghai Declaration calls for global collective action to reduce and ultimately eliminate health inequities via good governance; local action through cities and communities; and people’s empowerment by promoting health literacy.

Harnessing civic engagement and the leadership afforded by civil society organizations (CSOs) will play a crucial role in advocating, mediating, enabling, and implementing health promotion strategies to bring about global change.

At Health Nexus, we believe that non-governmental organizations and CSOs will play a crucial role in promoting positive global change. We know that what happens in our communities is connected to and impacts on the rest of the world.

Together we can work to empower individuals and communities to ensure accountability in governance; promote equity and inclusion; and take ownership of knowledge and means to control their health.

It is our hope that nations across the world will utilize the Shanghai declaration as a blue print to take action and exercise strategic leadership in building synergies between public health and policy.

Health promotion has proven to be an effective approach to achieving health and well-being. The health of our planet is linked to the health of the next generation and by acting now we can create a healthier and more prosperous future.