United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Women

Good morning…

My name is Shannon Kowalski of the International Women’s Health Coalition. I am speaking today on behalf of the Women’s Major Group, and a range of other stakeholders including NCD Alliance, FIA Foundation, the Partnership for Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport, the Stakeholder Group on Ageing, the Civil Society Working Group on HIV, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals:

We strongly support a goal on health and suggest rewording it as follows: Ensure physically and mentally healthy lives for all across the lifecourse. This goal must:
• Be firmly grounded in human rights, including sexual and reproductive rights, and contribute to the achievement of the right of all people across the life course to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
• Guarantee the provision of high quality, accessible, affordable and acceptable services to address the health needs of all people of all ages, with particular attention to reaching the most marginalized groups and be provided free from violence, coercion, stigma and discrimination.
• Reflect that the health of people, animals and the environment are interlinked.
In this context, a gap we see in the document continues to be the lack of attention to social and environmental determinants of health.

We support the call of the Indigenous People’s Major Group for the reinstatement of the target on disseminating medical knowledge, including the reference to traditional knowledge, and ask that it be expanded to include health education and information, which is essential for public health and mental health.

With regard to the proposals in the focus areas document, we have a longer document, which we will share, but in the interest of time I will read out the targets only as we think they should be worded:
• On target a) maternal health should be addressed through a comprehensive target on sexual and reproductive health and rights and maternal mortality should be addressed through indicators under that target. This should be refocused on child health, as follows: By 2030 end preventable new-born and child deaths in all countries by reducing child mortality to 25 or fewer deaths per 1000 births and newborn mortality to 12 or fewer deaths per 1000 births.
• On target b) by 2030, end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases by guaranteeing equitable, universal and affordable access to prevention, treatment, care and support for all people across the lifecourse and reduce by (x percent) the emergence of new infectious diseases.
• On target c) reinstate language on road traffic injuries. by 2030, achieve through prevention and treatment a relative reduction of premature mortality by 34% from non-communicable diseases (NCDs); reduce road traffic injuries by 50%; and promote mental health and wellbeing. Or these issues could be addressed in three separate targets, which would give each of them) the attention they deserve.
• On target 3(d): by 2030 achieve universal health coverage (UHC) and universal access to physical and mental health services for all people of all ages and abilities, including financial risk protection, with particular attention to the most marginalized and increase financing, development and training of the health and mental health workforce.
• On target e) ensuring universal access to affordable and essential medicines and vaccines for all is already within reach and a target date of 2030 is too late, reduce to 2020.
• We strongly support target f) but family planning should not be emphasized over other elements of sexual and reproductive health. By 2030, ensure universal access to high-quality comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services for all, including modern contraceptives, maternal health services, safe abortion services, and the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmissible infections and reproductive cancers, and sexual and reproductive rights;
• On target 3 g) By 2030, eliminate preventable deaths and illnesses from chemicals, indoor and outdoor air pollution, and other forms of environmental degradation.

We echo the call of the NGO major group to introduce the following targets:
• By 2030, reduce to zero the inappropriate use of antibiotics, particularly the non-therapeutic and preventative use of antibiotics in livestock production, to protect adequate and affordable healthcare for all.
• By 2030 increase by x years healthy life expectancy at birth and at age 60.

Finally, it was wrongly reported that the women’s major group supported the inclusion of target h) on eliminating narcotic drug and substance abuse. We do not support this target and call for its deletion. There will be a UNGASS special session on drugs in 2016, which is the most appropriate forum to address this issue globally.

We echo the calls of others and urge you to maintain an open and transparent process for the final stages, to guarantee the full participation of all major groups and civil society stakeholders.

We look forward to working with you to ensure that these issues are reflected moving forward.