Speech: The place of health on the post-2015 development agenda – Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO

Speech: The place of health on the post-2015 development agenda
Dr Margaret Chan
Director-General of the World Health Organization
Opening remarks at an informal Member State consultation on health in the post-2015 development agenda
Geneva, Switzerland
14 December 2012

“…I am further aware of how much the world has changed in just the past decade. All around the world, health is being shaped by the same powerful forces, like demographic ageing, rapid urbanization, and the globalization of unhealthy lifestyles. The distinctions between health problems in wealthy and resource-constrained countries have become blurred.

“In such a world situation, a compact, like the MDGs, between the haves and the have-nots loses some of its power to capture current challenges to development and shape their solutions.

“As a string of global crises demonstrated, this is a world in which the international systems that govern trade, financial markets, and business relations can have a greater impact on the opportunities of citizens, also for better health, than the policies of their sovereign governments.

“Chronic noncommunicable diseases have overtaken infectious diseases as the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Health has moved into a new political space in which the main causes of ill health and premature death have their roots in non-health sectors beyond the direct purview of health officials.

Ladies and gentlemen,

“I have personal views about the place of health in the post-2015 agenda. This is no secret. I regard universal health coverage as the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer. It is inclusive. It unifies services and delivers them in a comprehensive and integrated way, based on primary health care.

“I will say no more. The purpose of this meeting is to listen to you and benefit from your thinking and experience.

“Just one final comment. Any new goals must have unbeatable political appeal. Without strong political commitment, no goal on the new agenda can leverage real progress.” http://www.who.int/dg/speeches/2012/mdgs_post2015/en/index.html