United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Palau Statement
OWG 11 – Focus Areas 3,4

Thank you for giving me the floor.
Mr. Co-Chair, Good morning to you and all the colleagues.
We will speak on focus areas 3 and 4.
Mr. Co-Chair
In focus area 3. First, we wish to add the word “Wellbeing” in the title to read “Health, Wellbeing and Population Dynamics”; This is because the word ‘health’ has become associated more with diseases, for instance, absence of or repair from diseases. And WHO’s definition of health is about a state that is more than mere absence of disease or disability. It is about ‘well-being’. Such a state is the aspirational goal of sustainable development.
Mr. Co-Chair:
We are flexible with all the suggested goals from (a)-(h), but if we were seeking to condense these further, we would suggest the following,
1. Keep goal (a)
2. Keep goal (c) with the following change. inserted “wellbeing” into the it to make it read: “Reduce by x %, the risk of premature mortality from the NCDs, injuries and promote mental health and wellbeing with strong focus on prevention”;
3. Keep (d) to ensure Universal Health Coverage, especially for the poor and vulnerable, including and especially persons with disability.
4. Keep (h) with the following change: add at the end, ‘tobacco use” so the goal reads, “Eliminate narcotic drug, substance abuse and tobacco use.” This is to address the #1 risk factor that cuts across all noncommunicable diseases.
We believe that these four goals specific targets and indicators can be developed that would encompass broadly all issues we want address to ensure health and wellbeing at all ages for all, inclusive of all special populations – i.e, persons with disabilities and the elderly.
Mr. Co-Chair,
We agree with all delegates who have spoken about the need to always identify means of implementation. For this focus area, we want to ensure that one means of implementation that is very important and readily available is the Implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. This is the first public health convention negotiated by member states and ratified by 179 states, to date. All we need to do is to implement it strongly in each country and it will help in controlling most of the noncommunicable diseases. It’s a ‘low-hanging fruit’.
(4) In focus area 4 on Education, again in an effort to condense the total SDG document, we’d like to suggest the following:
1. Combine goals (a) and (c)
2. Combine goals (b), (d) and with addition of the following phrase at the end; “a mechanisms to facilitate successful transition into labor market”
3. Keep goal (f)
4. Keep goal (g) with the following change: insert the words “physically and mentally” so that sentence reads: “All schools to provide a physically and mentally safe and healthy learning environment for all students”;

“Health, mental health and wellbeing is a cross-cutting issue resulting in poverty reduction and disaster resilience, impacts economic development and leads to sustainable and more peaceful society”. Therefore, it should be reflected in all appropriate places in these sustainable development goals.
Thank you for your attention.