Thank you Chair,
We have an important agenda to complete. With less than 1000 days remaining until 2015, continuous joint effort are imperative to close the gap in women’s and children’s health. We must make sure that we remain focused on achieving the health related Millennium Development Goals in the years leading up to 2015 and beyond.
Initiatives under the United Nations Secretary-General´s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health have led to landmark results for Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5.
But our job is not yet finished, and our collective commitment is still needed. In response to the Global Strategy’s call, the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for women and children was set up to improve women’s and children’s access to life-saving commodities. Co-chaired by President Jonathan of Nigeria and Prime Minister Stoltenberg of Norway, its establishment followed from the Commission on Information and Accountability.
The Commission on Life-Saving Commodities estimated that an ambitious scaling up of 13 life-saving and essential commodities would save more than six million lives over the next five years. The commission made 10 recommendations for how to better get these resources to those who need them most, listing practical proposals to eliminate the key barriers and bottlenecks that prevent both the expansion of coverage and the access to life-saving commodities. We strongly support that these proposals are put into action.
That is why we are pleased to see that the implementation plan developed to ensure rapid progress has already seen considerable uptake. In the Abuja Declaration on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Commission from October last year a number of countries pledged their commitment to implement the recommendations, adjusted for local needs and priorities.
The resolution under this item was presented to the Executive Board as a joint initiative by Nigeria, Libya, the USA and Norway. As already highlighted by the EB Chair the resolution received broad support when considered by the EB. We strongly hope the WHA will give the resolution the same favourable consideration.
Regarding the follow-up of the Commission on Information and Accountability, Norway would like to suggest that WHO provides member states with an update and revision of the implementation plan addressing the recommendations made by the independent Expert Review Group. We believe the plan needs revision and reprioritizing according to realistic funding levels. It should also reflect, in our opinion, the external budgetary contributions made in kind from key institutions. Norway considers that this mechanism of external budgetary contribution is a model which needs to be further explored and put in use in a much larger scale than what it is today