Address at "Vision 2030 and Global Health"

Oslo, 13 April 2015

'The implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, which we hope will be adopted by the UN General Assembly in September, will require hard work in the years to come' said State Secretary Hans Brattskar in his address at the conference "Vision 2030 and Global Health".

Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for inviting me to speak at this event.

Let me start by commending you for the contribution you are all making to improved global health. As a government, we appreciate your expertise, your hard work and your commitment to global health. Many of the improvements we have achieved have been the result of a common effort.

We need your commitment more than ever. The implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, which we hope will be adopted by the UN General Assembly in September, will require hard work in the years to come.

All of you in this room can contribute with our knowledge, ideas and solutions for the future and put this to use where it is most needed.

My main message here today is that we cannot reach the new Sustainable Development Goals on health without your knowledge, new ideas and innovations.

***

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • Since the year 2000, governments, the UN and a multitude of other partners have worked together in new ways and directed common efforts towards clear-cut quantifiable targets.
  • We have focused much of our efforts on knowledge-based and innovative partnerships such as GAVI and the Global Fund.
  • We have forged partnerships for financing and organised results-based health-efforts on the ground, contributing to building national capacity.
  • In short, our efforts have served as platforms for large-scale implementation of innovative solutions and ideas that work, based on solid research and knowledge.
  • This has been part of a true global movement, involving many stakeholders, also yourselves.

Much has been achieved and we must recognize this success. However, the job is only half done.

For example:

  1. Since 1990, the percentage of people living in poverty is halved, although the world population has grown substantially.
    Our common goal now should be to eliminate all extreme poverty before 2030.
  2. We have worked hard to see a 50 % reduction of children dying before the age of five (to 6, 3 million), and a similar reduction of mothers dying from causes related to childbirth (to 289 000).
    Our new goal for 2030 therefore must be to eliminate all preventable deaths for these two groups.
  3. Even if many of the 35 million infected with HIV do not know their HIV-status, the number of people on antiretroviral treatment is increasing exponentially (to now 13,6 million as per June 2014).
    Now, our goal for 2030 must be to end the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
  4. In addition Norway has pushed for a 1/3 reduction of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease as part of the new Sustainable Development Agenda. We have also succeeded in keeping the promotion of mental health and wellbeing in the document.

If all agree in New York, we will this autumn have a more holistic and comprehensive agenda than before, aiming at healthier lives for as many people as possible around the world before 2030.

***

However, bold ambitions require more than just talk.

From the Governments' side it is clear that we must further develop our policy on global health.

This is why we also in 2015 have increased our budget for global purposes.

At the same time, we want to get more out of every "krone". We must focus on innovation.

That is why we launched the Vision 2030-initative last year.

We invited Norwegian researchers, the Norwegian private sector, foundations and civil society to contribute with articles on innovations for health and education.

We wanted to get a better picture of the potential for innovation.

The response was overwhelming. Altogether, 118 articles were submitted. Many of them were innovative. Some of them were perhaps even game changing.

***

This is also why the Foreign Minister Børge Brende has announced a new financing-mechanism for innovation in health and education. The overall goal of the mechanism will be to reduce poverty.

This new mechanism will be catalytic for other sources of financing, and amount to up to 50 million NOK a year.

It targets primarily Norwegian research communities, the private sector, foundations and civil society. However, we hope to see partnerships between different actors within Norway and beyond our borders.

The mechanism should contribute to scaling up and developing innovative solutions on health and education.

It will have a built-in research component for learning purposes.

The details of this mechanism are not yet all worked out. We will continue to work on the details during the spring with a view for opening up for competitive bids during the fall of this year.

FK Norway is an integrated part of official Norwegian Development Cooperation and an instrument in our efforts to promote global health and the MDGs as well as the Post 2015 agenda.

FK Norway is the implementing partner of the Norwegian contribution to the Esther Alliance. FK Norway's method is to facilitate mutual exchange of health professionals within the framework of institutional cooperation.

The professional network of the Esther Alliance shall ensure high quality and good cooperation, coordination and efficiency in Global Health partnerships.

The Norwegian Network for Health and Development (NHU) can play another important role in this respect. I hope that the network can grow stronger and give positive synergies of the Norwegian contributions in the field of global health.

***

I therefore would like to conclude by saying that your dialogue here today is most important.

We must all develop and share our knowledge, ideas and innovations, if not we will not be able to fulfil what is likely to be an extremely international agenda.

I therefore wish you all fruitful discussions in the two days ahead.