Ministerial communiqué Foreign Policy and Global Health Initiative

September 23, 2013 Health and Labour Issues, Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues

The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Brazil, France, Indonesia, Norway, Senegal, South Africa and Thailand met today on the margins of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly to reaffirm commitments on the initiative of Foreign Policy and Global Health and share thoughts on the way forward in relation to the post-2015 development agenda.

Building on the 2007 Oslo Ministerial Declaration on “Global Health, a pressing foreign policy issue of our time”, and the 2010 Statement of “Foreign Policy and Global Health: Responding to new Challenges and Setting Priorities for the Future”, this Initiative has brought to the attention of the world, the close relationship between and interdependence of foreign policy and global health.

This Initiative continues to secure the global health and foreign policy agenda within the General Assembly’s deliberations, and coordinate the pertinent resolutions.

As the process on the post-2015 development agenda begins to unfold, the ministers reemphasized the imperative to strategically integrate health in the future development framework, as health is a precondition for, an outcome of, and an indicator of all three dimensions of sustainable development.

The ministers also agreed that framing the health goals into the post-2015 development agenda should go beyond disease prevention and treatment, and lead towards the full realization of the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental  health, equity and poverty eradication.

The ministers reiterated the need for health, to be assigned a central position in the UN development agenda beyond 2015. In this regard, the ministers emphasized the importance of Universal Health Coverage as an integral part of the health component of that agenda since UHC is a means to enhancing health, social cohesion and sustainable human and economic development and achieve universal access to affordable health services particularly for the poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups based on each country’s national context.

The ministers underlined the necessity of making the future health goals universally relevant, but adaptable to each country’s health priorities and circumstances. It is equally necessary to mainstream health-related considerations into relevant goals of other future development frameworks.

Recognizing that the MDGs spearheaded crucial action for sustainable development, and that efforts on the MDGs still need to be finished, the ministers concurred that the ongoing process on the post-2015 development agenda should not divert the attention of the international community to make every efforts to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, noting in particular the UN Secretary General’s “saving 4.6 million children and mothers in 1000 days” initiative.

Noting that the world has become more interconnected and interdependent, the ministers recognized that cross sectoral and cross national boundary collaboration and coordination is a vital factor for attaining the highest standard of good health and well-being for people. While emphasizing that ensuring access to affordable health services for the population at large is a crucial element of a State’s responsibility, they acknowledged that global partnership for overcoming structural and economic barriers to development and health is fundamental for reaching the global development agenda. In this regard, they called on the international community to strengthen partnership for global health and to ensure that commitments made in relation to partnership for health are fulfilled.

The ministers acknowledge the contribution of partnerships for health to the achievement of health goals. However, it is imperative to strengthen transectorial partnerships for health in order that they are more effective, efficient, accountable, and in line with countries’ national priorities. They therefore call upon the United Nations General Assembly to provide for more effective partnerships in the development agenda beyond 2015. They also reaffirmed the role of the International Health Partnership + as a valuable tool to enhance coordination and effectiveness in global health aid.

Against this backdrop, the Foreign Policy and Global Health Initiative will present a resolution on “Partnership for Global Health” at the 68th United Nations General Assembly.

New York, 23 September 2013

Source : Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations in New York