United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


6 May 2014

Swedish statement at OWG 11 on Focus Area 3 on Health and Focus Area 4 on Education.

Mr Co-chair,

Focus area 3 and 4 are crucial in terms of finishing the unfinished business of the MDGs. Like others, we feel strongly that we need to strive for targets being met by everyone, ensuring that we are leaving no one behind. I also want to align myself with Zimbabwe and others in stressing that we need quantifiable global targets for these focus areas.

On Focus Area 3 we reiterate our suggestion for a reformulation of the goal so that it reads: Improving Healthy Life Expectancy.

We should be cautious in trying to narrow down the number of targets under this focus area - we need to recall that in the current MDGs, three out of eight goals are health goals. We must make sure that we do not loose out on any MDGs and at the same time make room for including new targets which have broad support on for instance non-communicable diseases.

We join others in suggesting that target a) is broken out into two targets, reducing maternal mortality on the one hand and ending preventable new-born and child deaths on the other. On the specific numerical global targets we need to consult UN agencies and other experts and make sure that we are in line with other international commitments and agreements.

On target c) on non-communicable diseases, we welcome the emphasis on prevention, but ask that the target be more specific in accordance with the WHO resolution on non-communicable diseases.

On target e) we would like to add safe, effective and quality to affordable medicines including antimicrobials, vaccines and medical technologies. This would address the global threat of illicit pharamceuticals and antibiotic resistance.

On target f) we need to ensure universal access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights. This should include access to modern methods of family planning including contraceptives and access to information, education and services, especially for the young, to ensure that they stay healthy.

We support target b), d) and g) as is. On d) we particularly stress the importance of retaining financial risk protection and on g) we want to emphasize that indoor and outdoor pollution, according to a recent WHO report, is the world's largest single environmental health risk, resulting in 7 million premature deaths in 2012.

In addition we would ask you to consider the addition of the following target:

Increase the capacity for early warning and management of national and global health risks, including biological, antimicrobial resistance, radio, nuclear and chemical risks. This is a universal challenge and requires international cooperation.

Finally, the reference to Sweden having suggested target h) is wrong, we have not suggested this. We have nothing against addressing hazardous substances, but it should probably be reformulated and integrated in target c).

On Focus Area 4 we strongly support the goal formulation and the targets proposed. The only additional target we would suggest, which would be truly universal is:

Ensure that all adolescents reach their national knowledge requirements after completing compulsory schooling.

Thank you, mr Co-chair.