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Pacific Health Ministers give support for COP23 Presidency

Pacific Health Ministers give support for COP23 Presidency
The Pacific Health Ministers during the meeting. Photo: World Health Organisation
September 13
11:00 2017


The Pacific Health Ministers have extended their strong support of Fiji’s Presidency of the upcoming United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP-23, to be held in Bonn, Germany from November 6 to 17, 2017. This is an important event for the Pacific as it provides a platform for Pacific countries to advocate for strong health leadership in the Paris Agreement.

This was during the three-day Pacific Health Minister’s Meeting held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. WHO representative in the South Pacific and director of Pacific Technical Support, Dr Corinne Capuano said “the endorsement of the Healthy Islands Monitoring Framework was an important step forward for Pacific countries as it will enable them to monitor and measure their individual progress towards achieving the Health Islands vision.”

20 Pacific Island countries and areas took important steps towards achieving the Healthy Islands vision.

The ‘Healthy Islands vision’ is to strengthen leadership, governance and accountability; nurture children in body and mind; reduce avoidable disease and premature death; and promote ecological balance.

Since its adoption in 1995, this vision has served as the core unifying theme for health protection and promotion in the Pacific.

Over the three-day meeting, individual sessions were held on each issue for which resolutions were agreed upon by the Pacific Health Ministers and partners. These issues included universal health coverage, health information systems, rheumatic heart disease, the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), in particular childhood obesity, mental health and health security.

A statement from the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the critical outcomes of this meeting included the endorsement of the Healthy Islands Monitoring Framework and the Pacific Health Security Coordination Plan 2017-2022; and a renewed commitment by all participants to intensify actions to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change on human health.

Climate change may be the greatest threat to public health, culture and security of Pacific communities. A special session was held to discuss how Pacific countries can develop and support resilient health systems.

As a result of these discussions, Pacific health ministers called for a massive scale-up of efforts to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change on human health and a renewed commitment to work together to increase investment and develop initiatives that help build climate-resilient health systems.

Edited by Mohammed Ali



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