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Post-2015 Development Agenda Must Address Global Health

“A proliferation of complex challenges to development, such as political conflict, economic austerity, and environmental degradation, all demand attention, but should not deflect from recognizing that good health is central to advancing global prosperity,” GAVI Alliance CEO Seth Berkley, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria Executive Director Mark Dybul, World Bank Sector Manager for Health in Latin America Keith Hansen, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin, and UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, write in a Lancet opinion piece examining the post-2015 development agenda. “Whatever framework for development is agreed upon for the post-2015 era, people must be at the center,” they continue, adding, “Ultimately, we must be able to measure our success through indicators that help us understand the difference we have made in people’s lives.”

“Looking back to 2000, when 189 countries adopted the Millennium Declaration, which set the principles and commitments for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it was not known if such a framework would work,” the authors write. “Although the MDG framework is not perfect, its contribution to the results in global health is tangible,” they add and provide statistics. “A healthy population is a prerequisite for development,” they state, noting, “Healthy individuals are more productive, earn more, save more, invest more, and work longer. Unhealthy people carry a high cost for themselves and for their countries.” Noting “[t]he consultative meeting of the U.N. High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Bali, Indonesia, on March 25-27, 2013, will produce recommendations for the post-2015 development agenda, which will be discussed at the U.N. General Assembly in September 2013,” they conclude, “Sustainable development is fundamentally a question of people’s opportunity to influence their future, claim their rights, and voice their concerns … The post-2015 development agenda must recognize this and give due prominence to advancing global health” (3/30).