The Lancet One Health Commission at the 2020 World Health Summit

The Lancet One Health Commission co-hosted the session titled, “Pandemics and Operationalizing One Health: Working within the Framework of the Global Action Plan for SDG3,” at the 2020 World Health Summit in Berlin. View the session!

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Summit in Berlin took place as a digital, interactive conference with cost-free availability of the entire program. All 50 keynote sessions, panel discussions and workshops were broadcasted live virtually. One of these keynote sessions included the session titled, “Pandemics and Operationalizing One Health: Working within the Framework of the Global Action Plan for SDG3,” co-hosted by The Lancet One Health Commission. During this session, panelists explored how to operationalize One Health to address pandemics and, ultimately, to advance progress towards SDG3. 

Pandemics and Operationalizing One Health: Working within the Framework of the Global Action Plan for SDG3 – October 26th, 2020 9-10.30 CET 



  • Dr. John Amuasi - The Lancet One Health Commission | Co-Chair | Ghana 
  • Prof. Dr. Andrea Winkler - The Lancet One Health Commission | Co-Chair | Germany 


  • Jean Scheftsik de Szolnok - Boehringer Ingelheim | Member of the Board of Managing Directors and Head of the Animal Health Business Unit | Germany 
  • Dr. Maria Flachsbarth - Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) | Parliamentary State Secretary | Germany 
  • Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare - Office of the President | Presidential Advisor on Health | Ghana 
  • Dr. Camilla Stoltenberg - Norwegian Institute of Public Health | Director-General | Norway 


In 2015, leaders from Germany, Norway, and Ghana initiated the Global Action Plan (GAP) for Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3), with the aim of accelerating progress towards healthy lives and wellbeing for all. Despite wide international endorsement of the GAP, progress towards SDG3 has been impeded by infectious disease pandemics, their profound impact on global health, and their economic and social consequences. Avian influenza, Ebola, and, most recently, COVID-19 provide examples. 

While recent emerging infectious diseases have come about largely through viruses that spread from wild and domestic animals to humans, pandemics develop, in large part, due to human activity. The frequency and intensity of these pandemics and their effect on global health are interlinked with several factors, including poverty, food security, global trade and mobility, climate change, neglected tropical diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and an increasing burden of non-communicable diseases. 

If the GAP is going to be successful in helping to achieve SDG3, coordinated and efficient action across multiple disciplines and sectors is necessary, and we need to take into account the risk of pandemics and how quickly they can roll back any progress previously made. In addition to the defined commitments and proposed actions of the GAP, One Health deepens our understanding of the human-animal environment interface and provides an integrated approach to sustainability and health. This is critical for achieving the SDGs. 

As also published in the 2020 World Health Summit Program Book.


Published Oct. 30, 2020 10:42 AM - Last modified Mar. 16, 2022 4:28 PM