Thank you Chair,
With the new and ambitious 2030 Agenda, Norway would like to stress the need for strategic priority setting and focus in WHO, to enable WHO to take a global leadership role in SDG areas where WHO has comparative advantages in the global health architecture.
The new Agenda requires us all to work more integrated with a wider range of issues and a wider range of actors than is currently the case. We will need WHO to lead the way and help us change our ways of working.
We are pleased that the targets include universal health coverage and increasing the health workforce.
Achieving universal health coverage while facing the global NCD epidemic, a heavy burden of mental health problems, demographic challenges, and the possibility of new pandemics, will mean that we have to prioritize the right health system strengthening measures.
The emphasis should be on developing the primary health services and strengthening the health workforce. Norway fully supports the two documents that this WHA will consider to this end, under agenda item 16.1.
We support the report’s emphasis on the wider determinants of health through governance for health.
We need increased emphasis on monitoring the quality of services with health impact, and equity of service access, use and outcomes.
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages will depend on peace, stability and good governance.
SDG 16 promotes just, peaceful and inclusive societies. We know that it wasn’t possible to achieve the MDGs in areas affected by crisis or conflict.
We can neither accept nor afford to lose a whole generation trapped in conflict, deprived of their right to health.
These are typically settings where states are weak or absent and the goal of universal health coverage is most challenging. Issues of violence, including sexual violence, adds burden to already fragile public health conditions.
These are settings where WHO needs to give guidance and use their leadership role to help align humanitarian and longer term development efforts.