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High Level Dialogue on Health, 5-6 March, Botswana


The culmination of the global consultations on health in the Post 2015 development agenda took place in Botswana on 5-6 March. The High Level Dialogue on health was co-convened by the Governments of Botswana and Sweden, UNICEF and WHO, and the consultation on health was one of eleven thematic consultations initiated by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG). The meeting brought together about 45 participants from Un institutions, government representatives, the private sector, academia and the civil society as well as delegates of members of the UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons. The Botswana meeting emphasized the need for “hardwiring” equity as a principle in all future discussions related to health as well as stressed the need to push forward on the MDG agenda (reducing child mortality, reducing maternal mortality, securing and promoting sexual health and rights and fighting AIDS, Malaria and TB) in the remaining two years. Importantly the unfinished agenda on Sexual and Reproductive Rights (MDG 5b) was oftentimes invoked by participants together with commitments to redress this situation.

ASTRA’s recent health consultation, convened in Moscow on January 26-27 was one of the series of regional health consultations with civil society representatives and the outcome report of the meeting was an important input to the Post 2015 process. Recommendations from this report, will feed into the final report of the High Level Panel which will be submitted to the UN Secretary General.

ASTRA member and activist from Romania, Irina Costache was present at the meeting and advocated for ASTRA’s recommendations for a more gender sensitive and gender equitable health agenda in the future Post 2015 development framework. The current understanding of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the MDGs has been found to be very limited presenting women’s health issues in a narrow perspective – that of compulsory maternity. The future framework should address Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights from a more inclusive reference point taking into account the need for personal self-determination and self-fulfilment, respect of individual choices and diversity. Moreover ASTRA’s presence at the dialogue represents an outstanding commitment from the behalf of the organizers to a more inclusive approach to future global health goals both in terms of regional representation and in terms of stakeholders involved.

To learn more about the health consultation process go to www.worldwewant2015.org./health

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