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Global Ministerial Forum on Research for Health - subsuming Forum 12

The Global Forum for Health Research was one of six partners working together to organize the Global Ministerial Forum on Research for Health, taking place at the Bamako International Conference Centre, Bamako, Mali from 17-19 November 2008.

Opening up to "research for health"

The participants placed health research and innovation challenges within the wider context of research for development and discussed issues such as water, food, agriculture, trade and industry.

The opening up from "health research" to "research for health" requires that research and innovation actors link with each other across sectors and ministries. This message was underlined by the successful cooperation between the six co-organizers, namely the Council on Health Research for Development, the Global Forum for Health Research, the Government of Mali, UNESCO, the World Bank and the World Health Organization.

Record participation

All-time records for participation in "forum" meetings were broken, topping the 1000 mark for the first time. In fact, the Global Ministerial Forum attracted the record participation of over 1100 participants from government, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, research institutions and research councils, civil society and the media.

Participants from 75 countries included official national delegations from 56 countries representing ministries of development, health, education, science and technology and social development.

Call to Action and Communiqué

Presentations and discussions culminated in a Call to Action, which urges national governments to allocate at least 2% of budgets of ministries of health to research. In parallel, funders of research and innovation, together with international development agencies, are urged to invest at least 5% of development assistance funds earmarked for the health sector in research, according to country-led research strategies. The Call to Action stresses that "the global research for health agenda should be determined by national and regional agendas and priorities".

The Communiqué reflects the rich diversity of discussions, which took place among all participants.

The Global Forum's distinctive role

The Global Forum for Health Research's distinctive role in the Global Ministerial Forum was to:

  • provide its expertise in research and innovation for health, equity and development;
  • contribute its experience in bringing together high-level decision-makers in research, funding and policy and creating the environment for a constructive dialogue;
  • host and provide administrative support to the Ministerial Forum Secretariat, which works on behalf of the six partners;
  • chair the Ministerial Forum's Steering Committee (by the Executive Director of the Global Forum).
© Global Forum for Health Research 2008.