UNSG, Member States Consider Strategies to Meet Health MDGs

Ban Ki-moon6 May 2013: Addressing a special event on 'Meeting challenges of the health MDGs and beyond,' UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized the need to make women and children a priority for health and education, and urged the global community to accelerate their work and focus efforts where they have the most impact to achieve the health targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Ban also highlighted the commitments of communities in Bangladesh to improve health and highlighted the success of local partnerships in achieving these goals.

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) event took place on 6 May 2013, at UN Headquarters in New York, US, organized by the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh and Norway to the UN, in cooperation with the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b). Participants discussed strategies for the remaining 969 days to reach health targets of MDGs, and considered the role for health-related goals in the post-2015 development agenda. Panelists highlighted lessons to be learned from health progress in Bangladesh, and spoke of the collaborations between the UN, civil society, and the national governments on health related causes in local areas. John Clemens, Executive Director of icddr,b, spoke of the contributions his organization has made to designing and implementing successful health interventions. Scott Ratzan, Chair of the Working Group on Innovation, focused on the promotion of “health literacy” and emphasized the need to work between sectors to scale up good ideas.

On the subject of the post-2015 development agenda, speakers expressed a desire to include targets for reducing non-communicable diseases, to keep health partnerships central to global action, and to focus development efforts on the most vulnerable populations. Geir Pederson, Permanent Representative of Norway, emphasized that maximum health at all stages of life should be the goal for post-2015, with clear linkages to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [Health Consultation Website] [iccdr,b Website] [IISD RS Sources] [IISD RS Story on Health Consultation] [Statement of UNSG] [UN Press Release]