Thank you, Chair.
Norway thanks the secretariat for the report.
We are fully committed to the recommendations of the UN Commission on Life Saving Commodities for Women and Children, which indeed are life-saving and which continue to shape our investments in health for women and children. Recognising the achievements made in reducing maternal and child mortality and in improving access to health services, we emphasise the need to keep momentum for the post-2015 era in order to leave no one behind. We welcome the efforts to develop a new Global Strategy for Every Woman Every Child and adolescents, contributing to the new sustainable development agenda. The Global Financing Facility in support of the new strategy will be important in order to step up and consolidate health financing through rights-based and results-focused approaches. Norway will make substantial investments in the GFF Trust Fund over the next five years and looks forward to its formal launch this summer.
Acknowledging the barriers faced by adolescents in seeking and obtaining healthcare services, Norway will pay more attention to strengthening sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents. The GFF provides an opportunity for working with governments on country-led efforts to increase attention to these matters.
The report identifies delays in countries’ implementation plans. We encourage partners to continue to increase the availability and use of the 13 life-saving commodities and related services identified by the Commission. These are among the most efficient ways to reduce child and maternal mortality.
Efforts to shape markets saw great progress in 2014. At the global level, the Implant Access Program continues to improve access to contraceptive implants at lower than market price in the world’s poorest countries. Between 2011 and 2014, procurement of implants more than tripled, generating over 140 million dollars in savings in the first two years. At the country level, local manufacturing of zink and oral rehydration salts for childhood diarrhoea has generated competition in local markets while at the same time improving availability of commodities, boosting local economies, and saving lives. These are important contributions with a potential to generate long-term benefits.
The determinants of health are many. Preventive measures that take place outside health facilities provide cost-effective opportunities to improve health and save lives. With that in mind, Norway emphasises the positive synergies between education and health. Educating young people in sexual and reproductive health and rights is one such area which will not only answer the recommendations given by the Commission, but which may also promote rights-based health seeking behaviours.