CSEM and the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) organized a two-day strategy session from December 12-13, 2018 in New York City. The objective of the meeting was to shape how civil society engagement in the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All: Uniting to Accelerate Progress towards the Health-Related SDGs (GAP) should be undertaken. A consortium of 11 global health institutions released the GAP, also referred to as the SDG3 Action Plan, in October 2018. The initiative, aimed at accelerating progress towards SDG 3 at the country level, was led by WHO at the request of the leadership of Germany, Ghana and Norway. CSEM wrote this letter, endorsed by more than 100 civil society organizations, to WHO Director-General Tedros recommending the inclusion of civil society in further development of the GAP. In response, WHO expressed its intention to establish a transparent system for engaging civil society throughout this initiative.
A total of 24 individuals attended all or part of this session to lay the groundwork for civil society engagement in the GAP — two thirds of them representing global or local civil society organizations (CSOs) focusing on health-related advocacy. The rest of the participants were representatives of some of the institutions involved in developing the GAP.