WHO Members Commit To SDGs For 2030, Despite Some Differences 29/01/2016 by Jahan Harry Taubman-Rezakhanlou for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)During the Executive Board meeting at the World Health Organization this week, member states agreed on committing to the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. The consensus reached by member states was that direct health development goals such as the continuous effort to rid the world of malaria, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C are at the forefront of pressing issues. But goals for health and those for related issues should be worked on together as they are mutually beneficial, they said. The WHO Executive Board is meeting from 25-30 January. The SDG issue was discussed on 27 January. The draft resolution, document EB138/CONF./8 [pdf], regarding health in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, noted that a healthier population is vital to economic growth and human capital required to carry out non-health-related SDGs. The draft resolution was proposed by Japan, Panama, South Africa, Thailand, the United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These UN development goals have come in 15-year cycles, meaning that this set, which were agreed in September to commence in 2015, have come off the back of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for 2015 which had been proposed in 2000. It was noted by Kuwait that although a new set of promising SDGs are reachable and welcomed, the Millennium Development Goals must not be forgotten as they are still vital for many economies. Thailand urged the international community to make a stronger effort in tackling the new SDGs than they had for the MDGs – as the global response to the “test” of last year’s Ebola outbreak had exposed the shortcomings in the aim of the MDGs to ensure healthy lives for all. The WHO assistant director general, in response, also commented that member states should start progress now, rather than waiting for 5 to 10 years as they had done for the MDGs. But the official was “inspired” by the quick initiative taken to transition from MDGs to SDGs, and that the MDGs were special due to their universality. Several countries asked the WHO to take national concerns into account, whether directly medical or non-medical. Russia highlighted an interest in promoting road safety as a health issue, Sweden raised female reproductive rights, whilst Jordan mentioned that instability in the Middle East has caused a burden on its national medical systems, which are not sufficiently resourced to treat the influx of refugees and its regular population. Inclusivity was presented as a key factor in achieving these goals, particularly promoted by Brazil and the Philippines, where greater transparency with medical data is needed to avoid unnecessary secrecy and mistrust. China promoted this aspect also, by offering to share its national healthcare system’s valuable experience with other countries. The document stated that innovation and the subsequent intellectual property would continue to be “an important tool for achieving access to essential medicines under universal health coverage” (PP17). The paper makes a series of requests to the WHO director general. For instance, the director general is explicitly requested to support member states in “strengthening research and development for innovation in the development of new technologies and tools,” including vaccines and medicines for communicable and noncommunicable diseases. Other requests to the director general in the document include taking a pro-active role in developing long-term plans on a prioritisation scheme to maximise the WHO’s effectiveness, and to report to member states on progress toward achieving these goals and targets on a regular basis, at least every two years. WHO is asked to report to the 2017 World Health Assembly on its progress in implementing this resolution, including specific measures to improve the agency’s “leading coordination role in international health matters.” The general consensus on the plan to achieve these goals amongst the member states was to do so through an inclusive universal health coverage programme. Also, by helping countries which lack sufficient medical resources with their own national healthcare plans, so as to make sure no countries would be left behind. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Jahan Harry Taubman-Rezakhanlou may be reached at email@example.com."WHO Members Commit To SDGs For 2030, Despite Some Differences" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.