Background

CEB addressed the follow-up to the Millennium Summit, focusing on the theme “Treatment and prevention of diseases, including HIV/AIDS and malaria”, on the basis of an executive paper that the Secretary-General had asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to prepare in consultation with organizations most directly involved, for the consideration of CEB. CEB welcomed the executive paper prepared by WHO and expressed its appreciation for the work of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health both in analysing the financial and other needs necessary to deliver the millennium development goals in health and in stressing the linkages of health to poverty reduction and to long-term economic growth.

Discussion

In endorsing the WHO paper as a basis for the future work of the United Nations system and as a contribution to meeting the millennium development goals, CEB re-emphasized the multisectoral challenge of achieving the health goals of the United Nations Millennium Declaration and called for mutually reinforcing actions in education, water, sanitation, population, nutrition, agriculture, environment, rural development, sustainable human settlements, empowerment of women and investment in children. CEB also called for wider use of the multisectoral approach to treating and preventing human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), noting that the United Nations system is already applying a multisectoral approach in its system-wide strategy for combating HIV/AIDS.

CEB concluded that the interrelationship between health and other goals of the Millennium Declaration should be made explicit in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and in the system’s support strategies at the country level. It stressed the importance of securing the place of health in poverty reduction strategies and assisting countries in tracking progress towards the achievement of health-related goals of the Millennium Declaration. CEB highlighted the need to focus the system’s efforts on outcome strategies to overcome sectoral fragmentation and bring about measurable results.

CEB members discussed a rights-based approach to human health to supplement the investment analysis in the report of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health.

Action

CEB noted the need for further analysis and incorporation of a focus on reproductive health, as well as for greater attention to prevention aspects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In a like manner, a culture of prevention should be applicable to malaria which poses serious health problems in many parts of the world. In this regard, the United Nations system organizations need to support research and collaborative efforts to address this scourge. It was noted that the United Nations system should be a model of best practice in combating HIV/AIDS both at headquarters and in the field. Present efforts should be reinforced through effective follow-up action in implementing the system-wide strategy to combat HIV/AIDS. In this regard, CEB called on its members to fully implement the United Nations system’s existing policies on HIV/AIDS in the workplace, inter alia, through allocation of the required resources.