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UN General Assembly Resolution 63/33, Global Health and Foreign Policy

Published November 26, 2008

UN General Assembly Resolution 63/33, regarding global health and foreign policy, was adopted on November 26, 2008.

The General Assembly,

Recalling the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields, especially those related to global health,

Recalling also its resolutions 58/3 of 27 October 2003, 59/27 of 23 November 2004 and 60/35 of 30 November 2005, all entitled “Enhancing capacity-building in global public health”, and other health-related resolutions, as well as resolutions of the World Health Assembly,

Welcoming the theme of the annual ministerial review to be held by the Economic and Social Council in 2009, “Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to global public health”,

Recalling that achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals is essential to socio-economic development, concerned by the relatively slow progress in achieving them, and mindful that special consideration should be given to the situation in sub-Saharan Africa,

Recognizing the leading role of the World Health Organization as the primary specialized agency for health, including its roles and functions with regard to health policy in accordance with its mandate,

Welcoming the adoption on 24 May 2008 of World Health Assembly resolution 61.18,1 which initiated the annual monitoring by the World Health Assembly of the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals,

Recognizing the contribution of initiatives in the field of global health such as, among others, the GAVI Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the International Finance Facility for Immunization, and the International Drug Purchase Facility UNITAID, as well as other national and regional initiatives,

Noting the role and contribution of the Foreign Policy and Global Health Initiative in promoting synergy between foreign policy and global health, as well as the contribution of the Oslo Ministerial Declaration entitled “Global health –
a pressing foreign policy issue of our time”  to placing health as a foreign policy issue on the international agenda,

Noting also the outcome of the Thirty-fourth Summit of the Group of Eight, held in Toyako, Hokkaido, Japan, from 7 to 9 July 2008, which highlighted the principles for action on global health to achieve all the health-related Millennium Development Goals,

Emphasizing that the United Nations system has an important responsibility to assist Governments in the follow-up to and full implementation of agreements and commitments reached at the major United Nations conferences and summits, especially those focusing on health-related areas,

Underscoring the fact that global health is also a long-term objective which is national, regional and international in scope and requires sustained attention, commitment and closer international cooperation beyond emergency,

Appreciating the contribution made by civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, on issues related to foreign policy and global health,

Welcoming ongoing partnerships between a variety of stakeholders at the local, national, regional and global levels aimed at addressing the multifaceted determinants of global health and the commitments and initiatives to accelerate progress on the health-related Millennium Development Goals, including those announced at the high-level event on the Millennium Development Goals, held at United Nations Headquarters on 25 September 2008,

1. Recognizes the close relationship between foreign policy and global health and their interdependence, and in that regard also recognizes that global challenges require concerted and sustained efforts by the international community;

2. Urges Member States to consider health issues in the formulation of foreign policy;

3. Stresses the importance of achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals;

4. Recognizes that the annual ministerial review to be held by the Economic and Social Council in 2009 will focus on the theme “Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to global public health”, and in that regard calls for enhanced coordination within the United Nations system;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, in close collaboration with the Director-General of the World Health Organization, and in consultation with Member States, to submit to the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session, in 2009, a comprehensive report, with recommendations, on challenges, activities and initiatives related to foreign policy and global health, taking into account the outcome of the annual ministerial review to be held by the Economic and Social Council in 2009;

6. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-fourth session an item entitled “Global health and foreign policy”, taking into account the cross-cutting nature of issues related to foreign policy and global health.
60th plenary meeting 26 November 2008

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