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Item 13.16: Nordic Statement on Progress reports

Last updated: 25.05.2012 //

Mr Chairman,

I am speaking on behalf of the Nordic Countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

The progress reports have an important role to play to improve the oversight and results based management of WHO.  They should provide information for reflection and learning as well as analysis of work achieved so far in implementing these resolutions. They deserve real attention from us.  

In order to make the progress reports an ever stronger tool for monitoring and evaluation, we welcome that they address how the resolutions contributed to the achievement of relevant SOs and OWERs. The progress analysis should relate to the situation at the time? adoption of the resolutions- i.e. the baseline- and also spell out what WHO and countries aim to achieve. The expected relation between, for example, the production of guidelines and the operative country-level contributions to health systems strengthening should be clear in the progress reports.

This year’s reports  concern several important subjects but I will limit my comment to three of the reports:

A: Health systems strengthening

Efficient and sustainable health systems that offer both health promoting and sickness-preventing interventions and care are crucial to good health. In a global health architecture that has been increasingly characterized by vertical, disease specific initiatives, WHO has a central role to assist its member states -both developed and developing ones - in their efforts to develop efficient health systems.


We therefore welcome the intensified support to MS in promoting inclusive leadership and governance for health. We especially appreciate the operative support provided at country level to a large number of countries. The expansion of the program for long –term support to country policy dialogue sounds promising and we look forward to receive more information of its results.


M Reproductive health:  strategy to accelerate progress towards the attainment of international development goals;

Sexual and reproductive health and rights are crucial to promote gender equality , reduce maternal mortality, achieve the UN Millennium Goals and combating the spread of HIV. WHO’s strategy on sexual and reproductive health lays a solid foundation for the work.


While noting the relatively low number of respondents (58), we are therefore pleased that the evaluation of implementation made in 2011 indicates that progress has been made. At the same time we note with concern that MS still report significant barriers to improved sexual and reproductive health, and that those barriers contribute to uneven progress and inequity.


Provision of modern contraceptives and safe abortion are crucial to sexual and reproductive health.  The cited unmet need for contraception, especially in sub-Saharian Africa and among its youth, therefore needs to be addressed urgently.


O:  Climate Change & Health


Last year, the Lancet concluded that climate change is the largest threat to global health this century.

Most countries are not prepared to meet these challenges..  Poor people are most at risk, especially women, children, and the elderly. The health systems worldwide should start preparing climate change related health challenges.

We welcome the initiatives on climate change taken by the WHO secretariat, presented in document A65/26. The collaboration with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is very positive and important.

The Nordic countries encourage strengthened engagement by the WHO on climate change and health related impacts. Building knowledge and capacity in this field should be a key task for the organization, especially in developing countries. We support further cooperation with the WMO, the IPCC and the UNFCCC, as well as with the newly established “Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants”.

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