United NationsДепартамент по экономическим и социальным вопросам Sustainable Development

Canada, Israel and United States of America

Thank you Mr. Co-Chair.

Canada, Israel and the United States believe that health and education goals must secure the gains of the MDGs, address any unfinished business, and go further to address key transformations in these areas. We continue to be pleased with the emphasis on inclusion for all.

Starting with health, we believe it is especially important to focus on health outcomes rather than inputs or outputs. We are fortunate that we have excellent methodologies in the health field for tracking outcomes, which further underscores this point.

We see particular strength in five target areas that build on, but go further than, the MDGs.

Like others, we believe that target a) should be stronger and broken into two areas, similar to the MDGs. We recommend a target to "End preventable newborn, infant and under-five deaths" and another to "Decrease the maternal mortality ratio to no more than x per 100,000, with a focus on skilled health attendants." As noted yesterday, this is in addition to a strong target on stunting, wasting and anemia that we could put under a nutrition and food security goal.

Target c) is an important contrast to the MDGs, although we see greater scope for precision in the formulation, taking into account how we will be able to measure our progress against these areas. We would therefore recommend reframing target c) around healthy life expectancy. This would require greater attention to non-communicable diseases, narcotic and substance abuse, behavioral changes, and mental health, but doesn't require us to specify a list of conditions and behaviors, and would therefore be a more strategic target.

Regarding target d) on universal health care, we have heard a lot of support for this target and it rightly deserves more attention. We would, however, propose that we maintain the focus on united health care and not overload this target with other concepts like financial risk protection.

We do think references to persons with disabilities could be usefully included.

For target e), again, we strongly support a focus on health outcomes, not outputs. Access to affordable medicines and vaccines will be necessary to achieve outcome targets, so we do not need to make a specific reference to it. This target could therefore be removed.

For target g), we think it could be streamlined around "poor air quality," which will be well understood in the public at large.

Mr. Co-Chair,

Turning to Education, we believe it should similarly focus on outcome targets rather than inputs, which also allows countries and localities - which in many countries are the locus of education policies - to determine their own strategies for reaching agreed objectives.

We see potential in a number of the targets in the latest document but believe they can be further sharpened in order to be precise enough to have traction. We see greatest potential impact in four areas that would pick up from the MDGs in the most meaningful way.

Target A should focus on key specific learning outcomes in primary school that are widely embraced in the global education community. We suggest "All girls and boys complete free and equitable quality basic education of at least 10 years and achieve relevant learning outcomes." This aligns with work that has been done by UNESCO and maintains a focus on access and learning outcomes – both of which are key.

We would recommend a separate target for secondary education, again focused on outcomes: " "ensure every child, regardless of circumstance, has access to lower secondary education and increase by x percent the number of girls and boys meeting standards on tasks related to reading, mathematics, and scientific literacy.” The phrase "regardless of circumstance" is a way of emphasizing the needs of the traditionally marginalized or excluded, like the disabled.


Target C, similarly, could be strengthened by adding an outcome element. We propose adding: "ensure every child starts primary school ready to learn and increase by x percent..." While we support this target, we acknowledge that we should have a clearer common understanding of what constitutes pre-primary education.

Target E and B on vocational training, technical training, etcetera, we believe can be combined, while retaining the special emphasis on persons with disabilities. We also feel that a reference to entrepreneurship skills merits consideration. Both Targets E and B are better formulated - as outcomes - than Target F which addresses similar topics but as inputs rather than outcomes and which we would therefore recommend dropping.

Target G is a good addition. We would recommend sharpening it again to emphasize outcomes - each of which is specifically tracked already by UNESCO so eminently measurable so it would read: "ensure that all children and youth can safely access school without fear of harm, abuse or discrimination." The phrase "healthy learning environment" we would drop as it is too hard to define.

Thank you.