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Ban tells public health educators to get involved in post-2015 development agenda

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Ban tells public health educators to get involved in post-2015 development agenda

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the global public health academic community to be active partners in the future development framework as the international community starts to set its post-2015 anti-poverty goals.

“Our hope is that governments will fashion and reach consensus on an ambitious and coherent global agenda with a single set of goals by 2015 that are every bit as inspiring as the MDGs have been,” Mr. Ban said yesterday at the Global Colloquium of University Presidents, hosted by New York University.

Noting the importance of public health, Mr. Ban added that there appears to be growing consensus that, in addition to specific health goals, “we should develop concrete health targets under all development goals.”

The eight MDGs, agreed at a UN summit in 2000, set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a ‘Global Partnership for Development.’

This September, the President of the General Assembly will convene a special event on the MDGs to assess progress ahead of the 2015 deadline, as well as identify remaining gaps and challenges ahead.

With about 1,000 days left until the deadline, the UN and the wider international community are starting to plan the post-2015 agenda.

Mr. Ban told the participants that a number of themes are emerging that could shape a future goal. Among them, universal health coverage.

“People should be able to use health services, for prevention or treatment, without fearing that they will be plunged into poverty,” Mr. Ban said.

“Another is maximizing life expectancy. This takes us beyond the health sector to the broader determinants of health.”

Turning to the academic community he was addressing, Mr. Ban encouraged participants to continue to play a vital role in advancing the health goals, as well as the development of the global health agenda, particularly through investment in women’s and children’s health.

He also encouraged the university presidents to join the UN Academic Impact Initiative, meant to realign higher education priorities with those of the world body.