From 20-21 April 2017, around 60 advocates representing all of the G7 countries, as well as some Southern country partners, gathered in Rome for the C7 – civil society’s answer to the G7 Summit. Italy’s G7 Presidency this year is being seen a time of transition and new developments; for four of the seven leaders who will be around the table in Taormina in May – Theresa May (UK), Donald Trump (US), Paolo Gentiloni (Italy), and the soon to be elected new President of France -, it will be their first Summit.
On the first day of the C7, the advocates were briefed on the G7 process thus far, including the recommendations already presented to the Italian Sherpa’s office on behalf of civil society. The priority issues were broken down into seven categories: Systemic Issues; Climate & Energy; Education; Health; Gender Equality; Migration; and Food Security & Nutrition. Advocates drafted statements outlining the main priorities for each issue area (final statements here). GFAN representatives, including Global Fund Champion Clara Banya, took part in the drafting the Health priorities.
On the second day, the advocates were joined by Undersecretary of State at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Benedetto Della Vedova. Undersecretary Della Vedova was attending the Summit in place of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who was forced to cancel in favour of a diplomatic trip to Washington to meet with US President Donald Trump, and to Ottawa to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Presenting the statement on behalf of the Health group, GFAN Speaker Clara Banya outlined the importance for the G7 to focus on issues such as antimicrobial resistance, universal health care, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and key and vulnerable populations. Though Undersecretary Della Vedova was not in a position to officially share information or respond to the statements as presented, he did express his gratitude and appreciation for being there and stressed the important role civil society plays in the G7 process.
Clara Banya attended the meeting with the support of GFAN partner, Osservatorio AiDS – Aids Diritti Salute/Italian Network on AIDS, Rights and Health. In the video below she talks about the importance of prioritizing global health and the Global Fund.