Yesterday, the Special Event on Millennium Development goals or MDGs allowed country delegates to discuss their development progress to date. Some distinguished speakers from around the world also spoke. Our Executive Director Laurent Huber was there.
Throughout the event, the delegates discussed the important work taking place on the MDGs, some of which have seen significant progress since their establishment in 2000. However, there is still a lot of work needed to accomplish those original 8 goals. The Post-2015 development agenda will likely incorporate the unfinished MDGs from 2000, in addition to new goals that emphasize sustainable development, which are being discussed over the next few weeks.
Of the numerous statements made yesterday, very few referenced health. We were pleased to hear Russia’s statement on the importance of combating NCDs, and the President of Palau’s statement that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should focus on non-communicable diseases and include tobacco control, as NCDs account for 2/3 of the world’s annual deaths. But, we must ensure that health goals are at the forefront of the world’s agenda, alongside women’s rights, the environment, gender, education, poverty, economic growth, and more.
New Zealand also stressed the importance of linking NCDs and the environment. Ukraine emphasized the importance of health care and a healthy environment in the Post-2015 development agenda. The President of Rwanda stated the need to address preventable diseases. And, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry noted the need to invest in health to achieve our goals.
These statements were all important for the public health and global community, but a lot of work remains to be done to ensure a healthier world. We need to ensure that the important issues of tobacco control and NCDs are clearly noted in the new set of global sustainable development goals for 2015.
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