New Realities for Global Health Security

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 “Global health interacts with all the core functions of foreign policy: achieving national and global security, creating economic wealth, supporting development in low income countries and promoting human dignity through the protection of human rights and delivery of humanitarian assistance” (UN General Assembly 2009-global health and foreign policy: strategic opportunities and challenges-note by the Secretary General UN A/64/365)

The second LSW International Symposium was originally planned on the theme of new realities for global security with advice from the Department of International Politics Aberystwyth University, the oldest of its kind in the world. However,it was decided in 2015 and agreed by Council to refocus on global health and to work in partnership with Public Health Wales and the InterAction Council (IAC) ( on“New Realities for Global Health Security

Subsequently, a High Level Expert Group (HLEG) meeting including Welsh Government Health Minister Mark Drakeford was convened at the Celtic Manor in February 2016 co-ordinated by Prof John Wyn Owen (Fellow and Treasurer of the Learned Society of Wales. This meeting was supported by the LSW and Public Health Wales. The meeting, which was chaired by former Taoiseach of Ireland Bertie Ahern, brought together experts from around the world to consider strategies to ensure global health security

The Learned Society was represented by the Treasurer, the CEO and the President spoke at the dinner on the first night.  The recommendations of the HLEG were  presented by Professor John Wyn Owen as well as a ‘Pathfinder’ (see below) for the IAC and drafted jointly with Professor Colin McInnes (Aberystwyth). Of particular interest to Wales was the IAC recommendation to global leaders that communities adopt similar national and regional and local approaches as the Wellbeing of Futures Generations Act (Wales) 2015.

The report and the recommendations of the 2016 HLEG on New Realities for Global Health Security were presented by HE Bertie Ahern and Professor John Wyn Owen at the 33 Annual Meeting of the InterAction Council in Baku, Azerbaijan in March.

A follow up meeting was held in Cardiff between Public Health Wales, the Learned Society, Department of International Politics Aberystwyth and representatives of the UN Universities to work out future steps. The outcome was an agreement in principle to establish a collaboration including COMSEC (Commonwealth Secretariat) for People’s Wellbeing and Planetary Health and with a view to providing amongst others feedback to the InterAction Council meeting in 2018.

A Pathfinder for Global Health: For the 2016 HLEG and the IAC’s 33 Annual meeting, Professor John Wyn Owen and Professor Colin McInnes, Department of International Politics Aberystwyth University prepared a draft ‘Pathfinder’ paper for the InterAction Council on New Realities for Global Health Security. Professor McInnes also worked with Public Health Wales to prepare a draft Pathfinder for Global Health: Potential Approaches in Wales.

A follow up meeting was held at the end of April 2016 to consider the 2016 HLEG report and the Final Baku Communiqué between Public Health Wales, LSW, Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth, and representatives of the UN University’s Institutes to work out next steps with an agreement in principle of using health as a bridge to both peace and national wellbeing and with a view to establishing a coalition of like-minded partners to take forward the integrated themes of one health/ planetary health as People’s Wellbeing and Planetary Health. A key objective for such a coalition is to better prepare all national states to deliver the wider global health agenda but with Wales as a exemplar pathfinder nation given the unique legislation enshrined in the Wellbeing of Futures Generations Act (Wales) 2015.

About the Inter Action Council

Established in 1983, the InterAction Council is an international organization whose objective is to address long-term, global issues facing humankind. Co-Chaired by the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister of Canada, 1993-2003) and H.E. Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo (President of Nigeria, 1999-2007), the Council’s membership is comprised of more than forty former heads of state who volunteer their time to develop proposals for action and submit them directly to national and international decision-makers. (

About Public Health Wales

Public Health Wales is an NHS organisation providing professionally independent public health advice and services to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of the population of Wales.