Speech/statement | Date: 24/09/2019 | Office of the Prime Minister
By Prime Minister Erna Solberg (UN General Assembly 2019)
Speech by Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the launch of the The Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All in New York, 24 September 2019.
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Ladies and gentlemen,
A strong society invests in its citizens.
If a society gets these investments right, the social, political and economic benefits are enormous.
An important part of this is investing in health.
Countries need to build up sustainable health systems that can deliver preventive health care and provide effective treatment.
Investing in health also furthers progress on the other Sustainable Development Goals.
Our common global roadmap for development – the SDGs – calls for a new and more ambitious approach.
Significant progress has already been made: extreme poverty has been halved, people are living longer, child mortality rates are falling, and more girls attend school than ever before.
But we must do more.
We are not on track to meet the health-related SDGs.
We live in a world where:
- there are still unacceptably high levels of maternal and child mortality in the poorest countries;
- what we eat is the single largest risk factor for mortality;
- 1 in 4 deaths are caused by pollution;
- the challenges are spiralling as a result of the climate crisis.
The is an urgent need for action.
With this in mind, Germany, Ghana and Norway encouraged the World Health Organization to draw up the Global Action Plan for healthy lives and well- being for all.
We kicked off this work in Berlin last year.
I would like to thank WHO and Dr Tedros for delivering a comprehensive plan for global health.
The Global Action Plan is a vital tool for accelerating progress on SDG 3.
We must avoid duplication of efforts.
This means there is a need for greater coordination.
I applaud the 12 organisations and funds that are joining forces across sectors to accelerate progress on the health goals.
The aim is to coordinate efforts to promote better health, achieve faster results, and enhance accountability.
This is no easy task.
But improved health outcomes can only be achieved by stepping up action across multiple sectors.
Ensuring good health should not just be the concern of health ministers.
It should also be an explicit goal in other sectors.
In addition, it should be a key consideration in the development of legislation, tax systems and public information.
To achieve good health for all, we need everyone on board.
We must do it in support of national leadership and plans.
We must do more.
We must do it differently.
And we must do it together.
The Global Action Plan can make a real contribution to bringing about the changes we need.
The comprehensive approach it recommends could also serve as inspiration for joint efforts on the other SDGs.
But of course, the launch of the Global Action Plan here today is just the beginning.
The important thing is how we use the Action Plan in practice, with the ultimate aim of building fairer, safer and more prosperous world.