PHA5 Global Launch Event
From the ancestral territory of the Mapuche people in Patagonia, Argentina, the voice of the people in defense of the right to health was heard at the global launch of the 5th People's Health Assembly in a hybrid event that brought together activists and members of the PHM from around the world.
Making "Health for All" our struggle for "Good Living"! is the slogan of the 5th People's Health Assembly, which reflects the historical struggle of the Movement and its permanent campaign "Health for All", as well as the concept of harmony and inclusion of the "Good Living" of the ancestral American peoples as a platform of struggle and discussion for the right to health proposed by the Assembly. PHA5 will be held from April 7 to 11, 2024 in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
The launching of PHA5 had the participation, from India, of Ravi Narayan, co-founder of the PHM and one of the organizers of the first world assembly held in 2000 in Savar, Bangladesh, who, recalling the colors and stakes of that founding assembly of the movement, highlighted the call People's Charter for Health as a guiding document of the struggle of the movement for health and that today is as valid as in the founding assembly of the Movement.
Arturo Quizhpe, a member of the PHM since its beginnings and one of the organizers of the second assembly held in 2005 in Cuenca, Ecuador and the first assembly in Latin America, joined the launching event from Ecuador. "In the Cuenca assembly we understood that our path should be towards the right to health and freedom, and that the voices of the people are not of sadness, but of hope, unity and action. Cuenca was an opportunity to ratify that health is also joy, dignity and solidarity.
Bridget Lloyd who besides being historical in the Movement, and being also its global coordinator between 2009 and 2019, was the organizer of the third assembly in Cape Town in South Africa.
"The first assembly was the dream of the movement, where we tried to imagine what we wanted; the second assembly was the emergence of a possibility and the third assembly was where we were able to really build a global movement with an organization that gave direction to the movement," Bridget said in her presentation.
For her part Ana Vračar, journalist, co-coordinator of PHM Europe, co-chair of the PHM steering council and one of the organizers of the fourth assembly, for the second time in Bangladesh in 2018. "We can point out that at the fourth assembly the Movement started to show its strength, not only outwardly, but also inwardly in the movement. It was a difficult assembly in many ways, but it was also an extraordinary assembly. Difficult because we had to face very complicated issues just before the assembly began, there was a lot of uncertainty about whether or not it was going to happen, but thanks to our colleagues in the organization it was possible to hold the assembly and it became a source of inspiration for many. It was also difficult because right after the assembly we lost Amit Sengupta and David Sanders. But the fourth assembly was an opportunity for many like me to see Amit and David working with young activists of different ages and from different parts of the world and showing how powerful a movement can be."
During his intervention, Roman Vega, global coordinator of the PHM focused on the concept behind the slogan of the assembly: “Making "Health for All" our struggle for "Good Living"! Health for all is the name of our permanent campaign and its concept was brought up in the 70s in a context of inequality and economic crisis and the failure of Health measures the failure of Health policies to provide health for the people and with it the PHM is saying now it's not just a matter of health services, it is to have health as a human right for everyone in the world. But now we are in a different historical context, we had global crises, and we live in an economic crisis, we lived through a global pandemic, with greater inequality and of course greater Health inequalities, but it's an economic crisis and as such it has led us to climate change an a crisis that threatens life on our planet and not just for mankind, but for other living creatures, and the constant threat of war and conflict an example of these like what is happening in Palestine and these deep planetary crisis. So, the assembly will be debating issues, and with the Buen Vivir slogan we want to bring new elements to the discussion around this idea that Health for all it's a wider concept, because it includes all kinds of life on the planet, healthy life for everyone and this includes non-human beings. Buen Vivir is a concept from the ancestral peoples of the americas, it is a balance, we are all connected, life is connected to land, water, an underground resources, Buen Vivir is to live in harmony with the other elements and that is something that latin america has to offer to the world and we will be able to share these experiences of struggle in the Assembly.”