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Item 8.1 Human resources for health and implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations’ High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth

Statement by Norway at # EB140 // 26.01.2017

Item 8.1 Human resources for health and implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations’ High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth

Thank you chair,

•The Commission set out with an ambition to demonstrate how educating and employing health personnel can be an investment, not a cost – if coupled with the appropriate measures in other sectors. The high-level meeting in December showed an unprecedented convergence around that message. That in itself is a success worth celebrating.

•The Commission report presents important priorities and key actions, such as supporting the SDGs, universal health coverage and increased focus on transformative education programs. We look forward to taking part in the coming cooperation on the Action Plan.

•However, much remains to be done: ◦We have to make sure that we stay on course: the recommendations must be a force for the education and employment of women; for the appropriate labour market interventions and policies; and for the attainment of universal health coverage.

◦As for the Action Plan itself, it needs to get some clearer direction as to whether it is intended as a tool for the three organizations or for member states' implementation. Indicators more must be tailored for the purpose of the plan; an ambitious timeline for implementation is needed, as well as a more detailed accountability scheme.

◦Member States now have a job to do at home – we have to make sure that we approach this work as governments, not as single ministries. We also expect WHO, ILO and OECD to develop appropriate ways of working together.

◦When assisting Member States in their national implementation of the Action Plan, we urge the three organizations to work in a joint manner. Agreed global priorities must be translated into country action. This requires strong and close collaboration on the ground.  

•Finally, chair, I wish to reassure WHO and its partner organizations of our continued support in this field. Norway continue to prioritize health personnel and employment as a cornerstone in any health system. We see the Commission's recommendations as a real opportunity to make significant progress towards several SDG targets.