‘Go4Health’ stands for goals for global health and for governance for global health. Goals and governance are the essential elements of a social contract, which is a political philosophy concept explaining the relationship between citizens and governments: together, citizens agree on a set of goals, and accept an authority empowered to take the necessary measures to achieve those goals. The Millennium Declaration can be understood as an emerging global social contract. The Millennium Declaration’s preamble sets forth a bold vision for a common humanity, advancing global responsibilities without diminishing national responsibilities: “We [heads of States and Government] recognize that, in addition to our separate responsibilities to our individual societies, we have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level.” It is a contract between governments, and between citizens of the world. This is the key concept of our project: to advance and improve on the concept of a global social contract as first articulated in the Millennium Declaration; proposing goals and a governance structure centred on a framework of shared but differentiated responsibilities.
The call to which this project responds, “Setting health-related development goals beyond 2015,” is part of the “Coordination and Support Actions Across the [Health] Theme.” Go4Health will “contribute to the implementation of the Framework programme and the preparation of future European Union innovation, research and technological development policy.” We will help to “ensure that the health-related development objectives for the period after 2015 are based on the best scientific evidence available and address the main shortcomings of the current MDGs.” The New Health-related Developments Goals (NHDGs) should strike a “balance between horizontal and vertical approaches to healthcare”; should indicate “an improved system for global health innovation”; and should “be measurable, achievable and sustainable,” while effectively accounting for “the constraints of developing countries for improving health outcomes themselves.”