UNCDF participated in the high-level meeting on “Sustaining Healthy Development: the Post-MDGs Agenda for Global Health”, organized by the Council of Foreign Relations.
The first session of the event included the opening remarks by Robert Orr, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning. Mr Orr emphasized progress made across some key MDGs but also highlighted lessons to learn from their implementation, such as the need to focus on accountability, health systems strengthening, and sustainable budgeting and financing.
Nicola Crosta, Head of Policy and Advocacy at the UN Capital Development Fund – also presented evidence of global progress, but stressed the MDGs’ shortcomings in promoting inclusive growth and reducing inequality and offered options to include the measurement of territorial disparities and financial inclusion more prominently in the post-2015 framework.
John Podesta, the U.S. representative to the UN High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, envisioned that the new approach will be built upon the existing MDGs and noted the inclusiveness of the current process involving both poor and rich states and the importance of maintaining poverty reduction well present at the center of the post-2015 agenda.
The event offered the opportunity to delve into the status of health agenda which is at the center of the current MDGs (among the eight goals, three are health-specific objectives). Podesta agreed that health should be a “robust” part of the post-2015 agenda, but the challenge is finding a single comprehensive goal for that purpose. If communicated in a clear and straightforward manner, Universal Health Coverage, defined by the representative from the Rockefeller Foundation as “access for all to appropriate health services at an affordable cost,” potentially provides a unifying target that crosses all political and economic lines.
The event brought together senior representatives from various public and private sector institutions, including the US Department of State, USAID, UNCDF, UNAIDS, the Rockefeller Foundation and InterAction.