Conference to tout healthy lifestyles
Half of world’s people live in cities, giving mayors great power to make a difference
People at home and abroad can expect some bold and exciting outcomes from the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion in Shanghai, according to Bernhard Schwartlander, World Health Organization representative in China, who is also the conference spokesman.
Hemadethe remarks in an interviewwith China Daily on the eve of the conference, which is to run from Monday through Thursday this week, gathering more than 1,000 leaders in politics, health and development from China and abroad.
“Leaders will take concrete action to promote health and sustainable urban development through the adoption of the Shanghai Declaration and the Shanghai Consensus on Healthy Cities at the conference,” Schwartlander said.
This will involve empowering and mobilizing communities and societies across the world to promote health awareness within communities and improve the social, economic and environmental determinants of health, he said.
The conference came after the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council issued the “Healthy China 2030” plan, which recognizes a “healthinpolicies” approach to improving people’s well-being.
“That, again, demonstrates the commitment to health promotion by the top leadership,” said Song Shuli, spokeswoman of China’s top health authority.
Schwartlander said the conference would serve as a platform for international communication, adding that it will feature a forum of more than 100 city mayors from China and around the world, focusing on how cities can promote healthily living.
Half of the world’s population live in urban areas, and this figure is expected to grow to about twothirds by 2030.
“Mayors have the power to improve the lives and well-being of residents,” Schwartlander said.
Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, and US andWHOgoodwill ambassador for noncommunicable diseases, will address link.
Bloomberg was famous for pushing policies such as a soda tax and a higher legal age limit for smoking, said Liu Yuanli, dean of the School of Public Health at Peking Union Medical College.
In addition, the conference will gather leaders from the private sector, Schwartlander said. “They promote health through technologies and innovations.”
Related panels with Robin Li, chairman and CEO of Baidu, and Baroness Joanna Shields — UK minister for internet safety and security and founder ofWeProtect, a pioneering global alliance to end sexual exploitation online — will discuss entrepreneurship and innovative approaches for delivering health outcomes, Schwartlander said.
It is only through a range of sectors such as police, city planners, the conference via video education, transport and others coming together that health issues can be addressed, he added, suggesting multi-sector collaboration within the government.
Many public health challenges cut across various sectors, such as tackling noncommunicable diseases, antimicrobial resistance or infectious disease, he said.
“To meaningfully address these issues, the health sector cannot do it alone, and a joint effort is needed.”
For example, he cited finance ministries raising taxes on unhealthy products, transport and police ministries coming together to tackle road deaths and injuries, as well as tobacco control.
“To effectively curb smoking, we need to raise taxes on tabacco and make policies that create 100 percent smoke-free spaces and promote plain packaging to remove the glamorous image of smoking,” he said.
publicitychiefforthe NationalHealthandFamilyPlanning oftheconference
“This is a global gala in the field of promoting public sanitation and health. We will do our best to provide services for the representatives. Meanwhile, with this golden opportunity, we will present China’s wisdom and the spectacle of Shanghai, as well as share global experiences. Through such actions, we will endeavor to implement the Healthy China 2030 plan and improve the health of ordinary people.”
headofShanghai MunicipalCommissionofHealth andFamilyPlanning,andspokesman
“My passion has always been helping people to be healthy. I’m especially looking forward to the International Mayors Forum on Healthy Cities, which will include more than 100 mayors from China and around the world discussing policies on how to make cities healthier. The importance of healthy cities is a matter of simple math. More than 1 billion people in this region live in urban areas. That’s more than half of the population. If you care about people, you have to care about healthy cities.”
“Responding to the increasing burden of chronic diseases, an aging population and an inefficient health system, China is implementing the Healthy China 2030 plan to significantly improve the health of its population. China looks forward to learning from international best practices as well as sharing with the world its innovations and lessons. The Shanghai Declaration, the drafting process of which I had the honor to participate in, will call for more efforts on social mobilization, health literacy, good governance and healthy cities. The conference is expected to foster new collaboration and revitalize the global movement for health promotion as well as achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
“We are excited to see China host the conference, as it demonstrates once again China’s commitment to global health and development. The theme of this year’s conference is empowering individuals, communities and societies to take charge of their own health and quality of life, an area in which China has a great deal of experience to share with the rest of the world, having played a crucial role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. We at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation look forward to continuing to work closely with partners across the private and public sector in China, who can facilitate and catalyze positive changes in other developing countries that could benefit from China’s experience and growing capacity for innovation and lowcost manufacturing.”
directoroftheChina officeattheBillandMelindaGates Foundation
“In addition to the burgeoning development of health promotion efforts within the country, China also actively participates in international communications, hoping to provide a Chinese solution to the global issue of health. Hosting the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion is a major honor, showing that the Healthy China 2030 strategy is connecting with the world. As the highest-level conference in the field of health promotion, it shows a tight connection between China’s efforts in this field and the global undertaking of sanitation, with Shanghai having been chosen to host the conference on its 30th anniversary.” Mao Qun’an,