United Kingdom (Commonwealth Union)_ Health Ministers from the Commonwealth member nations and the Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland KC, will attend the 35th Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting (CHMM) in Geneva, Switzerland in May. On 20 May 2023, CHMM will be conducted with the theme, “Getting Universal Health Coverage in the Commonwealth on track for 2030.” The meeting which will be organized by the Kenyan government will gather Health Ministers, senior authorities, and global health leaders around the Commonwealth to enhance Commonwealth progress on Universal Health Coverage and address concerned issues such as improving primary health care, digital health, mental health, and pandemic readiness.
CHMM will also provide a platform to explain the Commonwealth’s important suggestions and solutions for achieving Universal Health Coverage by 2030 in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Ministerial meeting comes on the heels of the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that was held in June of last year, at which Heads of Government highlighted that countries with robust health systems, effectively integrated public health functions, and Universal Health Coverage were more strong during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the Communique of the CHOGM, the Heads of State and Government decided to allocate sufficient resources to establish sustainable, inclusive, and resilient health systems, with an emphasis on primary health care and reaching people who are vulnerable in precarious situations. Through this intervention, it is anticipated that the Commonwealth will be able to expedite its progress towards the objective of Universal Health Coverage and improve its readiness for health emergencies, including facilitating an effective response to health emergencies while also maintaining access to primary health services. This meeting comes after the 34th Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting held in 2022, where it was recognized by health ministers that Universal Health Coverage will also help handle other emerging infectious diseases and global security threats, thereby creating more resilient global health systems capable of facing future emergencies.
On May 20, 2023, the Government of Kenya will preside over the 2023 Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting (CHMM). During the occasion, the following significant events will take place. The Senior Officials Meeting will be held privately on Saturday, May 20, 2023, from 9:30 to 11:30. The Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023, from 13:30 to 17:45. The meetings will be organized in person at the Hilton, Geneva Hotel, and Convention Center, Geneva, Switzerland, in its conference facilities. The venue is Rue Francois Peyrot 34, 1818 La Grand Saconnex, Geneva CH, Switzerland.
Further, the side event of the Commonwealth Health Ministers Conference, an intergenerational interaction on “No health without mental health,” will also be held. The Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Youth Health Network (CYHN) will also host a side event on mental health on May 23 in Geneva, Switzerland, during the CHMM and 76th World Health Assembly. The event will be titled “No Health Without Mental Health: An Intergenerational Dialogue between Commonwealth Youth Leaders and Policymakers” and will feature a discussion between Commonwealth youth leaders and policymakers on national and regional interventions that can enhance mental health service provision in the Commonwealth, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Details regarding registration and media accreditation may be found on the website.
To attend the CHMM and/or the side event, credentialed journalists from respectable media organizations are invited to apply for media accreditation. The CHMM is closed to the media; however, credentialed journalists may attend the inaugural session, photograph the event, and listen to the minister’s opening speech. The mental health side event is completely open to the media. Anyone interested in obtaining accreditation for CHMM, the side event, or both must fill out and submit a form. Due to limited seats, only successful media outlets will be allowed to attend. Applications can be submitted using the concerned link on the website between 22 March 2023 and 1 May 2023 at 5 pm GMT.