UK meeting helping to set global agenda to fight poverty beyond 20151Comments
Tomorrow in London, David Cameron will co-chair the second meeting of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on the future strategy to fight global poverty.
There are just three years to go until the target date for achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These eight goals have given a historic local and global focus to efforts to tackle the big health and development issues including malaria, with Goal Six including a specific target to ‘halt and reverse the spread of malaria by 2015’. Considerable steps have been taken towards achieving these goals over the last decade, with malaria standing out as an example of progress and momentum with millions of lives transformed and global deaths cut by 26%.
The MDG’s have also inspired new funding models, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which now represents over half of all international funding to fight malaria as well as two-thirds for tackling TB and 21 per cent of international financing against AIDS – a significant contribution towards halting and reversing the spread of these diseases.
Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine writes today: “There is still so much more we need to do. Progress has been uneven, with some goals and some areas falling behind, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected states and in sub-Saharan Africa. The next three years are critical, but we also need to look well beyond 2015, and to reflect on lessons learned, and how to implement and scale up solutions that improve the economic, health, development and equality prospects of all, especially the 1 billion people around the world who still live in extreme poverty”.
Peter encourages the High Level Panel to consider the interwoven and complementary nature of the goals, as people’s health and development are inextricably linked with health being a key driver of development.
Peter also reflects on the exemplary role played by the UK in setting the agenda to tackle global poverty saying: “The UK has a strong track record on driving forward changes in global health, and I am proud that the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has played its part over many decades and continues to be a catalyst today. We must remember that these issues affect us all. Diseases have no respect for national borders
Tomorrow, David Cameron and his co-chairs President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia will have the power to help to shape the agenda for years to come. It is an unenviable task, but I hope the panel shares the view that global health is a critical priority. Health is at the heart of successful development, intrinsically linked to productivity, growth, equality and sustainable development.
Despite the progress so far, disease and poverty will not disappear in 2015, and we have much to do to provide a healthier future for all our children and grandchildren”.