As the 9th Global conference on health promotion comes to a close in Shanghai, China, global leaders agree to promote health in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
Leaders from governments and United Nations organisations, city chiefs, and health experts from around the world made 2 landmark commitments to promote public health and eradicate poverty:
- The Shanghai Declaration on Health Promotion, which commits to make bold political choices for health, stressing the links between health and wellbeing and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.
- The Shanghai Healthy Cities Mayors’ Consensus, which contains a commitment by more than 100 mayors to advance health through improved management of urban environments.
The conference was co-organised by WHO and the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China in Shanghai.
WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan said underpinning these commitments is the need for government action that protects people from health risks, provides access to healthy choices and spreads awareness of how to be and stay healthy. She also added that “Legislative and fiscal measures are among the most effective interventions that governments – national and city – can take to promote the health of their citizens, from tobacco control and taxing sugary drinks to ensuring people can breathe clean air, bike home safely and walk to school or work without fear of violence.”
The Shanghai event marks the 30th anniversary of the first global conference, held in Canada, which delivered the landmark Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. The Ottawa Charter made clear the need for political commitment, action and investment to address health and equity, and that the health sector alone could not ensure people attain the highest level of health.
The Commonwealth secretariat’s, System Framework for healthy policy includes health promotion as one of its eight key components aiming to help people develop individual skills and integrated community centred approaches to address risk factors and promote positive health behaviours. The framework links these aims in an overarching approach which includes national policy and legislation in order to improve health and wellbeing.