For a Global Public Health Policy, Universal Right and Global Public Good

The Citizens’ Memorandum, which will analyse the key obstacles to needed changes and present the most relevant solutions that need to be implemented, by the “Move Up 2021 Initiative”.

Italy will host the G20 and official meetings will be held in various cities to establish agreements with which the powerful countries of the world will surely continue to fail to address the social and environmental injustice in which we are immersed. The health crisis, climate change, and impoverishment will receive no response other than those dictated by the rules of the market and finance. As an alternative, various NGOs, political organisations, and individual activists have agreed to coordinate their activism in particular regarding human rights and global answers to the health crisis. The objective is to show that it is urgently necessary and possible to reset the global political agenda on those economic, social, and technological solutions that are in the interest of all the inhabitants of the earth (including all living species). To this end, the following document has been composed.

Please find the fulltext of the Citizens’ Memorandum for download on the right/at the bottom (mobile version) in ‘Documents’ (English, PDF)

Citizens’ Memorandum

1.    What can citizens hope for and what can they do?

In the context of a world system disrupted by climatic, economic, social, ecological and – first and foremost – health crises, the greatest concern of Europeans in the face of the pandemic is the vaccination campaign, in the hope that it can be carried out massively, quickly and safely, so that they can return to their activities and recover a condition, for better or worse, of normality. 

But not even this hope is granted to the poorest half of the world’s population (some 3.6 billion, whose ‘wealth’ is less than that of the world’s ten richest billionaires!). What is the decision-making power of the great urban masses living in the slums of the megacities (1.6 billion inhabitants)? And what about the 2 billion plus unemployed and working poor?

The world’s population can expect little, since they are excluded from access to the resources that the wealthy social groups in high- and middle-income countries have at their disposal to cope with the pandemic in terms of health infrastructure (hospitals, laboratories, medical centres, medical and nursing staff, equipment, medical logistics, etc.) and treatment (medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines, etc.). This applies to vaccines and other important medicines offered for sale and covered by private, profit-making patents by a small group of multinational pharmaceutical companies in the "northern" countries. Intellectual property monopolies block access to vaccines.

The reality is that the economic and political forces that dominate the world have not realised the seriousness of the destruction of life on Earth caused over the last century by a predatory model of economic development.  At the origin of zoonosis pandemics is the disruption of the balance between living species. It is not possible to separate the health of human beings from the healthiness of the natural environment.

At the same time, over the last 50 years, inequalities in the rights and capacities of populations to act have worsened dramatically within each country, between the various social groups and, even more so, at world level, between different countries.

All this has highlighted the great and growing inability of the "inter-national" community to conceive and implement common policies for a global response to the structural crises in progress.

A vicious circle that not even the "G20 powers" are able to break at the current state of their visions and choices. For this reason, this Memorandum is not addressed to the leaders of the G20 states but to the citizens of the Earth, and in particular to civil society movements and organisations.

2.    From: "No one will be left behind" to: "Let’s change the system that leave billions of people behind "

"No one will be left behind".  A nice slogan. Too bad that the dominant social groups that launched it have already shown they cannot deliver.

Since the start of vaccination in December 2020, those "left behind" number in the hundreds of millions. By the end of 2021 only between 20 and 30 percent of the world’s population will have been vaccinated, and we already know in which lucky parts of the world this will happen. According to the WHO, if there are no radical changes, the number of people in the world without basic health coverage will exceed 5 billion (out of 7.7 billion). It is unthinkable that in this context the fight against the Covid19 pandemic as it is being waged today can ensure the right to health "for all"!

"Changing the system that sets billions of people aside" is the most sensible choice and consistent with the objective of the universal right to health, approved by the UN (target 3 of the 2030 Agenda) and becoming an obligation (not an option) for all the states of the Earth.

To this end, a concrete global health policy, now in the interests of all the Earth’s inhabitants, must be based on the rigorous and close analysis and assessment of two key sets of elements:

– the blocking factors, the shackles to be undone,

– the commitments to be achieved.

Only in this way is it conceivable that it will be possible for humanity to move from the current inability to act collectively to action aimed at building a global community of life on an Earth habitable by and for all living beings.

2.1 The blocking factors, the shackles to be undone

The bolts have been installed by dominant social groups, especially since the 1970s:

  1. imposed negative feelings: fear and insecurity,

  2. the principle of domination and marginalisation of the most fragile living beings which leads to discrimination and inequality,

  3. the absolute sovereignty that states exercise over "their" natural resources of the planet in the name of "national security",

  4. the commodification of every form of life and its reduction to a financial asset,

  5. the privatisation of common public goods that are essential and irreplaceable for life,

  6. military spendings.

2.2 Concrete commitments to be made and implemented

In the light of the above, it is possible to identify the paths that citizens, directly and indirectly (through their democratically chosen public representatives), must take with a view to contributing to the development of a new "world social contract" in the context of which world health policy must be inscribed.

The rulers speak of a ‘global reset’ to indicate the strengthening of the system. We, the citizens, the inhabitants of the Earth, must act in pursuit of four fundamental changes:

– eradicate the structural factors of impoverishment,

– stop ecological disruption, promoting the restoration of the planet’s living systems,

– outlaw life-predating finance,

– making peace, outlawing war.

At the top of the list of priority actions is the realisation of universal human rights and the right to life of all living species on the planet. This fundamental human imperative implies a collective, public, direct, non-transferable responsibility, which must become the primary function of democratically elected public institutions, to be reinforced on a global scale.

Ten commitments emerge in this context for a global public health policy:      

1. The universal rights to life of all the earth’s inhabitants must guide the future of humanity.

2. To commodify research and development (R&D), from the national to the global level, starting with the pooling of scientific and technological knowledge in the field of health (creation of the first "World Health House").

3. To implement a “Global Science Pact for the life and security of all the Earth’s inhabitants".

4. To abolish patents on living beings and artificial intelligence. Knowledge and health are global public goods.

5. Re-publication of the common health service, from the local/national level to the continental and global level, in parallel with the proposed re-publication of the pharmaceutical industry on a cooperative basis at the various relevant territorial levels.

6. Strengthen the processes of recognition of the rights of nature.

7. Multiply the processes of promoting the recognition of humanity as a political and legal institutional subject, a key actor in world regulation.

8. Outlaw speculative financial activities (derivative products, banking secrecy, private world currencies…) as well as finance for activities harmful to the health and life of the Earth (non-metabolizable synthetic products, mining, fossil fuels….) and finance for armaments.

9. Finance for life. Rethinking the reorganisation of world finance based on the primacy of public finance, transparent and responsible, cooperative, decentralised, free from the great global financial oligopolies of private investment funds (the "planetary pirates").

10. Creation of the Security Council for the World’s Common Public Goods.

3.    Common actions to be carried out at the G20 and COP26, according to a jointly agreed plan.

We propose to call the following plan the "Move Up 2021 Initiative".

The objective of the Move Up 2021 Initiative is to contribute to raising awareness and mobilising citizens in favour of a global health policy during 2021, which is dominated by the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and marked by major international events such as COP26 (co-chaired by the UK and Italy), the G20 and, at European level, and the "European Green Deal".

The key instrument of Action 2021 is this Citizens’ Memorandum. Towards a common global public health policy.

Around the drafting of the Citizens’ Memorandum, its dissemination and adherence, working group meetings, debates and events are being organised prior to the G2O Global Health Summit in May, and will culminate in a major cultural event attended by dozens of artists from around the world on the eve of the G20 Summit (late October) and COP26 (early November).

Please find the memorandum on the right/below (mobile version) in ‘Documents’ (English, PDF).

The Move Up 2021 Initiative will revolve around two key moments:

The day of the protest: 18 May, on the eve of the G20 Global Health Summit.

The day of commitment: 29 October, before the G2O Summit and COP26.

to participate, contact: