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State Department official discusses global health diplomacy

In a speech titled “Global Health Diplomacy: Negotiating Health in the 21st Century,” Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs stated that “at the Department of State the emergence of health diplomacy and the increased importance of global health reflect three points:

1) The growing convergence of health challenges facing the developing and the developed world;

2) The growing importance of development as a key element of foreign policy; and

3) The increasing recognition that to address global health challenges requires approaches built on global partnerships.”

Assistant Secretary Jones proceeded to summarize President Obama’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) and the Administration’s work on influenza and described these efforts as “two specific examples where health diplomacy has been front and center in our recent work at the Department of State.”

Assistant Secretary Jones concluded her speech by making and elaborating upon three observations about the State Departments global health efforts:

- “First – The State Department is not a health agency.”

- “Second – The State Department does have a cadre of offices who work on health issues.”

- “Third – While not a health agency, the Department of State works in the diplomatic world and uses diplomatic forums and occasions to pursue health issues, to carry out health diplomacy.”

USAID issues consensus statement on family planning as a key component of post abortion care

USAID “issued a consensus statement about the importance of family planning as a key component of post abortion care.” The consensus statement, which was also signed by International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), and the International Council of Nurses (ICN), “notes that all women should receive counseling and family planning services after any abortion – spontaneous or induced – irrespective of the pregnancy termination or evacuation procedure used.”

Statement by U.S. Representative at Annual United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Population Fund Joint Executive Board Meeting

In a statement at the annual joint Executive Board meeting of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), Rosemary A. DiCarlo, U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs stated that “the United States looks to UNFPA as a key partner in our efforts to increase worldwide access to reproductive health and family planning” and that the U.S. “will work to integrate women-focused interventions among our health programs and link maternal health, voluntary family planning, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and other health services.”

USAID releases “Report to Congress: Health-Related Research and Development Activities at USAID, An Updated on the Five Year Strategy, 2006-2010″

USAID released “Report to Congress: Health-Related Research and Development Activities at USAID, An Updated on the Five Year Strategy, 2006-2010.” The report provides an update on USAID’s “strategy for using research funds to stimulate the development and introduction of key products” and highlights research in the following areas: maternal and newborn health; child, environmental, and urban health; nutrition; reproductive health and family planning; HIV/AIDS; malaria; tuberculosis; and health systems strengthening.

USAID releases report on child survival and maternal health programs

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released a report titled “Decades of Progress: USAID’s Child Survival and Maternal Health Program” summarizing USAID’s efforts and approach towards improving child and maternal health globally.

H.R. 2795 – Roadmap to End Global Hunger and Promote Food Security Act of 2009

The proposed bill would establish the “White House Office of Global Hunger and Food Security” to advise the President and coordinate U.S. government efforts to address global hunger and food security. This office would be required to create “a comprehensive government wide strategy to address global hunger and food security, . . . establish indicators to measure progress with respect to specific global hunger and food security targets,” and submit an annual report to the President and Congress on the status of U.S. efforts to address global hunger and food security.

The proposed bill would also create a “Permanent Joint Select Committee on Hunger” comprised of sixteen members (eight Representatives and eight Senators) that would be able to “hold hearings, conduct investigations, issue independent reports and analyses, make policy and program recommendations,” and oversee the progress of the White House Office on Global Hunger and Food Security to implement the government wide plan to address global hunger and food security.

The bill authorizes over $50 billion in funding for FY 2010 through FY 2014 to fulfill the requirements previously outlined.

Statement by U.S. Delegation at Annual United Nations Population Fund Executive Board Meeting

In a statement at the annual Executive Board meeting of the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), B. Glenn Griffin, representative from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration stated that the U.S. supports the “Program of Action” developed at the International Conference on Population in Cairo (1994) as the “clearest roadmap for meeting the reproductive needs of women around the world” and that the U.S. “strongly encourages and supports UNFPA’s effort to expand access to family planning and maternal health services” in Africa.