Angela Merkel, Erna Solberg, Bill Gates, Tedros Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus and others at Grand Challenges, 2018

The Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being

Germany’s commitment to ‘Stronger Collaboration, Better Health’

Health is enshrined in the Agenda 2030 with a standalone goal: SDG3 seeks to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all people of all ages. Simultaneously, health is linked to almost all other SDGs. This is why Germany supports the Global Action Plan in its commitment to stronger collaboration for better health.

More and better action is needed to achieve the SDGs

The global health sector is highly fragmented with many international programmes and funds. Given their limited resources, it is of utmost importance that international actors better coordinate their programmes to reap synergies, enhance efficiency and avoid duplication. At the same time, countries’ own efforts are particularly important.

Many development partners, international organisations and funds have already geared their programmes to the implementation of the universal Agenda 2030. However, the transformation and paradigm shift required for successful implementation has yet to fully manifest itself. Reviews and assessments show that more and better action is needed to change gear for achieving the goals by 2030.

A letter to the WHO Director-General

This is why, in April 2018, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, together with Norway’s and Ghana’s heads of government, wrote a letter to WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, asking WHO to moderate the development of a Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being. The Global Action Plan should break down the period up to 2030 into concrete quantitative targets, e.g. with interim targets for reducing maternal mortality and HIV and tuberculosis incidence. This should make progress and lack thereof more measurable and provide clear guidance for the necessary change of direction. 

The process of development saw various rounds of briefings and consultations involving the signatory agencies and the Group of Friends of Global Health. First a nucleus document of the Global Action Plan was developed, as well as seven discussion papers on specific thematic areas. The final Global Action Plan was then launched at the SDG Summit in New York in September 2019, following the UN High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.

Holding UN organisations to account during the decade of delivery

In order to achieve the Plan’s commitment to ‘Stronger Collaboration, Better Health’, the 12 organisations made four key commitments: First, to engage to define and implement priorities together with countries. Second, to align their individual efforts with national country priorities. Third, to accelerate implementation through new ways of working together. And fourth, to strengthen accountability and transparency for SDG3. Germany fully supports these commitments and will hold the signatory agencies to account throughout the decade of delivery.

As of March 2020

© WHS

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