Richard Horton tweeted this week: “Based on the daily calls we get to squeeze papers into The Lancet for the UN General Assembly, September is truly the Burning Man of global health.” Another tweet went like this: “Five years ago I would never have considered the UN General Assembly an important week for global health. Now it is indispensable.” Not everybody agrees with this assessment, some think the UN meeting is less important than it appeared some months ago, and that everything is still up for grabs in the coming year or so. Anyhow, this newsletter features quite some papers and viewpoints related to the upcoming UN Special Event towards achieving the MDGs, with the brand new Save the Children report on UHC perhaps as the most important one. Speaking of UHC, Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, seems to be eager to take the global lead on UHC (see a Lancet Comment this week), but Richard Horton, Simon Wright and many others want the UK to be a vocal champion for UHC as well.
In Norway and Australia there was a change of guard this week, and the implications for foreign aid (and global health) will be considerable. The Norwegians already announced their priorities for the UN General Assembly, good practice obviously. Hopefully many countries will follow their example. Although the economic situation in Norway and Australia is not really in line with other (much more struggling) OECD countries, voters have voted for right-wing parties. ODA will suffer, at least in Australia, which is a trend seen in more and more OECD countries. Maybe this is the endgame for ODA – the UK is more and more an outlier, it appears – as right wing parties in developed countries point at the changed geopolitical situation, and find it generally easy to convince citizens that ODA cuts are the way to go in a changed world. Left wing parties who call for global justice (including climate justice), solidarity and equity face an uphill task, now that voters in many European countries and in the US feel that the post-World War II social contract has been rewritten and tax systems adjusted, in favour of the ultra-rich, the financial sector and multinationals. More and more people argue: why does our tax money have to go to LICs, now that we’re struggling to get by ourselves and our countries face big budgetary problems; instead, let the winners of globalization take care of development: the corporate private sector, the finance industry, philantrocapitalists, …. To put it bluntly, the sentiment is increasingly this one: let the ones who created the capitalist mess and an unjust world also clean up the mess. Right wing parties can easily exploit these feelings of alienation, even if many people understand deep in their heart that instead of 0.7 %, much more will be necessary to ensure global public goods in this century, that poverty remains an enormous challenge around the world, and that the 0.01 % ‘baddies’ will probably never really help the ‘goodies’ in poor countries, to paraphrase Tony Abbott. Next appointment for the alienated European voters: the European elections in 2014.
This week’s guest editorial, by Claire Brolan and Peter Hill, is dedicated to the post-MDG era. They reflect on the Go4Health satellite session in Copenhagen, earlier this week, where the Go4Health consortium launched its first report.
Enjoy your reading.
Kristof Decoster, Ildikó Bokros, Peter Delobelle, Basile Keugoung & Wim Van Damme
An ambitious Go4Health report in a challenging geopolitical constellation
Claire E Brolan and Peter S Hill, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Australia
In a Satellite Session that commenced the 8th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH) at the Tivoli Congress Center in Copenhagen on Monday evening 9th September 2013, the Go4Health international research consortium celebrated the launch of its first report, “Realizing the right to health for everyone: the health goal for humanity” (for a full copy of the report, see here).
Go4Health is comprised of 13 civil society and academic institutes from the Global North and South, and is tasked with reporting to the European Union on health’s positioning in the post-2015 global development agenda. Beginning in 2012, it is a 3-year interdisciplinary research project led by the Institute of Tropical Medicine’s health and human rights specialist, Gorik Ooms.
Gorik informed the audience and those watching a live webcast of the Denmark-based launch, that the Go4Health report proposed the post-2015 development agenda include a single overarching health goal, the realization of the right to health for everyone, with two targets, universal health coverage anchored in the right to health and a healthy social and natural environment. He argued that the content of the three ‘umbrella’ post-MDG health goals presently before the global community – “Maximising Healthy Lives” (proposed in the April 2013 report by the UN’s Global Thematic Consultation on Health led by UNICEF and the Governments of Botswana and Sweden), Ensuring Healthy Lives (proposed in the May 2013 report by the United Nation’s (UN) High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development) and Achieving Health and Well-being at All Ages (proposed in the June 2013 report of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network which was launched in August 2012 by the UN Secretary-General) – could be reconciled if united under one comprehensive right to health goal. Gorik stated the right to health, already widely found in international law (and entrenched in many national laws), was advantaged by the legal onus of “shared responsibility” it placed on nations to progress its implementation.
Lisa Forman (Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, Canada), then provided the audience with a comprehensive list demonstrating where the right to health had been found in international law since 1946. She agreed with Gorik that the right to health’s minimum core obligations could further act as a potent accountability tool supporting developing countries to call higher-income nations into account in the new post-2015 era, as “minimum core obligations are not only placed on states acting domestically but implicate the duties of richer countries to provide international assistance and cooperation”. Albrecht Jahn (Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg, Germany) then discussed how the new health and development goals could overcome the contemporary fragmentation of the global health landscape by moving from (and including) the three current disease-oriented health MDGs to the needs-based concept of comprehensive universal health coverage, complemented by a healthy environment. Thus, health has a cross-cutting dimension beyond any specific health goal. In my presentation I supported Albrecht’s call (which was also presented by the Go4Health team in a January 2013 WHO Bulletin editorial), but further highlighted the need to integrate and articulate a health and human rights agenda in the interconnected (and therefore intersectoral) sustainable development goal agenda, which would likely be the focus of post-2015 debate (particularly between and among the Member States) in the coming 12 months.
The launch’s key message – that the right to health is the logical, comprehensive, and unifying post-2015 health and development goal – was then powerfully completed by Walter Flores (Center for the Study of Equity and Governance in Health Systems, Guatemala) in his presentation, and reaffirmed in the Opening Plenary session the next morning by Go4Health’s Sameera Hussain (James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Bangladesh). Both Walter and Sameera highlighted that the emerging findings from Go4Health’s Work Package 2 community consultations with marginalized communities (consisting of communities – so far – from nine countries within the Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Australia-Pacific regions) on their health and development expectations – essentially evidenced that the health wants, needs and priorities of people around the globe – who are most likely to be affected by the post-2015 development goal agenda – in fact mirror the principles of the right to health. That is, that healthcare be adapted to meet communities’ contextual needs; that these needs and expectations go beyond the health sector; and participatory decision-making processes relating to meeting those needs and priorities (through governments genuinely engaging and collaborating with communities) is vital.
Although I am encouraged by the key message of the Go4Health interim report, I also leave Denmark to return home to Australia with some trepidation around its enormity. Essentially, the human rights concepts we are identifying as a research consortium have been around for well-over 40 years – and we must repackage and reaffirm them to the global community once more. However, we do so in a different development era; an era profoundly different to the late 1990s which contextually framed the MDGs. Indeed, now we cannot only progress the right to health goal to and within the global health community, but we must present it to the broader world at large – whose post-2015 interests and agendas will also wholly intersect with the post-2015 health agenda. Moreover, we cannot only connect with UN and multilateral agencies – as were the key players in formulating the MDG agenda over 10 years ago. Now we must connect our message to and with the Member States and importantly their constituents. Certainly, Go4Health has its work cut out for its international team in the next 2 years – mediating where both the right to health possibility and challenges lie.
Go4Health is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (grant HEALTH-F1–2012–305240), the Australian Government’s NH&MRC-European Union Collaborative Grants (grant 1055138), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Operating Grant: Ethics.
Claire Brolan is a Research Fellow from the School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. She is a member of the Go4Health Work Package 4 team that looks at the Global Governance of Health in the post-2015 health and development agenda. Claire is a social scientist working in the public health sector, and is a health and human rights lawyer.
UHC & post-2015
1. Save the Children – Universal Health Coverage – A report on the commitment to fill the healthcare gap by the Rockefeller Foundation, Save the Children, UNICEF and the World Health Organization
Universal Health Coverage focuses on how and why inequity – unfair and avoidable inequalities – should be prioritised as countries progress on the path towards UHC.
Investing in equitable progress towards UHC will save lives. It will improve health status, increase productivity, and contribute to economic growth and stronger household resilience. This report identifies policy options that governments and donors should consider when implementing reforms for UHC and estimates the effect this could have on health outcomes, setting out the implications for the post- 2015 sustainable development framework.
2. Lancet (Comment) – Renewing the promise of survival for children
Danzhen You et al.;
A new UNICEF report, “Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed Progress Report 2013”, looks at the advances made so far in fulfilling the promise of survival to all the world’s children. The report, released on Sept 13, provides comprehensive analyses on progress towards MDG 4 with data generated by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation. The findings indicate that although there have been substantial gains in reducing global child deaths since 1990, child survival remains an urgent concern and immediate action is needed to redouble efforts to end preventable child deaths. The international child survival community must seize the opportunity afforded by deliberations on the post-2015 agenda to focus even greater attention on child survival in every country, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and especially in west and central Africa (a region which is lagging behind, compared to East and South Africa).
By way of example, The Guardian zooms in on the much improved child mortality situation in Ethiopia.
In a Lancet Global Health blog post, Carissa Etienne (PAHO) points at the renewed resolve to advance children’s (and women’s) health. Accountability and good metrics will be key, but also the elimination of inequities that are at the root of unequal progress.
3. Lancet (Editorial) – Closing the killer gap in children’s health inequality
This editorial focuses on a report released last week by World Vision, “The Killer Gap: A Global Index of Health Inequality for Children”. 176 countries around the world are ranked according to the size of the gap between those who have greatest access to health education, awareness, prevention, and treatment, and those who have most barriers to good health, using the four indicators of life expectancy, personal cost of using health services, adolescent fertility rate, and coverage of health services. Ahead of the UN Assembly, the report serves as a reminder that every child has the right to reach his or her full potential for health and development.
4. Lancet (Comment) – Japan’s strategy for global health diplomacy: why it matters
Shinzo Abe, probably still overjoyed because of Tokyo’s nomination for the Olympics in 2020, wrote this Comment for the Lancet in which he explains Japan’s strategy for global health diplomacy. UHC is a key theme in this viewpoint.
5. Humanosphere – Global health boomerang – The risk of seeing past & present as prologue |
“The debate over setting the next global health agenda has been dominated by the recognition, and celebration, of dramatic gains made in the last decade or so against infectious diseases like AIDS, TB and malaria as well as some other more mundane, vaccine-preventable bugs that kill children,” Tom Paulson argues. “The leading narrative is that we’ve done so well against infectious diseases, the international community can now turn more attention and resources to the growing threat of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and the like.” Paulson explores whether this shift in the global health agenda is warranted. Dr. King Holmes, an infectious diseases expert who is quoted in the piece, puts it like this: “What’s lacking in the global health agenda, Holmes said, is a method for assigning priorities to the hundreds of health threats out there. We need to base it on a comprehensive assessment of what’s needed and also what’s possible, within a more systematic approach to all health and illness – as opposed to shifting from one favored health threat to another.”
6. CGD – The New Transparency in Aid Evaluation: The Millennium Villages Debacle Is a Good Sign of What We’re Learning
There’s a new transparency in development economics, Clemens argues. The new transparency comes from three revolutions in development economics over the last decade: methods, materials, and medium. He then illustrates these three revolutions with the story of the public controversy on the impact of the Millennium Villages intervention. Clemens considers the new transparency good news for the ethics of aid work.
I don’t know whether Horton was referring to this article in particular, but it’s perhaps interesting to point to a tweet by the Lancet editor-in-chief on the MVPs, earlier this week: ”It’s time to be kind to the Millennium Villages Project. There is something interesting going on here. And a campaign to discredit it too.” Looks like the last word hasn’t been said yet on the MVPs.
7. WHO Bulletin (early online) – The framework convention on global health
Lawrence O. Gostin et al.;
This round table seeks to spark international dialogue on a framework
convention for global health and to explore the pathways towards a global health treaty.
8. NYT editorial – The Race to Improve Global Health
This editorial was written in the run-up to the UN special event, and points at the global health achievements in the last decades, as well as on the huge financial challenge in the current environment. It ends with this warning: “The 2015 goals are described by the U.N. secretary general as the “halfway mark” in a long-range agenda to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, end hunger and malnutrition, protect the environment through sustainable development of natural resources, and enhance opportunities for all societal groups, including equal rights for women and girls. But without more intense efforts and money, the world will not even reach the halfway mark.”
9. Speaking of Medicine – Why Maternal Mental Health Should be a Priority
Dr. Sara Gorman from Columbia University discusses the importance of treating maternal mental illness. For the moment, maternal mental health is not a high priority on maternal health agendas, and this needs to change.
10. Social medicine – new issue
This new issue from Social Medicine features a number of relevant articles and viewpoints, essential reading for the plane to New York, if you ask us. Among others an Editorial by Jaime Breilh (based on his remarkable speech at the Third PHM’s Assembly in Cape Town in 2012), ‘Beyond the Current Crisis: Mobilizing for Health for All – Urgent Agreement and Agenda for Life: Towards an Organic & Cohesive World Health Movement’; and a viewpoint by Ted Schrecker, ‘Global reach, local depth, and the future of health Equity’, in which he explores the effects of globalization with respect to two dimensions, global reach and local depth, and draws some rather pessimistic conclusions about prospects for the ambitious agenda advanced by the Commission on Social Determinants of Health in 2008.
11. Lancet (Comment) – Socioeconomic development to fight malaria, and beyond
Jürg Utzinger et al.;
The authors agree with the findings of a new Lancet study (by Tusting and colleagues) and are convinced that investments that support socioeconomic development in malarious settings will prove an effective and sustainable intervention against not only malaria, but also a host of other poverty-related diseases, including the neglected tropical diseases.
12. Lancet – Loosening the grip of meningococcal disease in Africa
Elias comments on an encouraging new Lancet study (by Doumagoum Daugla and colleagues), which confirms the effectiveness of one shot of a glycoconjugate vaccine developed under the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP), against disease caused by and carriage of serogroup A meningococci in Chad. These findings might finally usher in the beginning of elimination of serogroup A meningococci in the meningitis belt, Elias contends.
13. Irin – Uganda rejects HIV prevention tool on moral grounds
Activists in Uganda have called on the government to rethink its dismissal of an emerging prevention protocol demonstrated to be effective in a trial conducted partly in Uganda, and which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The protocol in question is a form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) involving a daily dose of two antiretroviral drugs – marketed as Truvada – taken by an uninfected person who is in a sexual relationship with an HIV-positive partner. The government says, “public misunderstanding of the protocol could encourage “reckless sex”.”
14. CGD – New Data, Same Story: Disease Still Concentrated in Middle-Income Countries
Amanda Glassman & Yuna Sakuma;
The majority of the world’s sick live in middle-income countries – mainly Pakistan, India, Nigeria, China and Indonesia (or PINCI), according to new IHME data. The new data don’t necessarily tell a new story, Glassman & Sakuma argue, but they still herald important implications for the way global health donors allocate resources and focus efforts moving forward. If global health funders care about having the greatest possible impact on disease at the lowest possible cost, a new, tailored MIC strategy needs to be developed. They give some suggestions.
15. Lancet (Correspondence) – WHO’s budgetary allocation and disease burden
In 2008, David Stuckler and colleagues reported in The Lancet that WHO budget allocations were heavily skewed towards control of infectious diseases. This report concluded that WHO funding did not match the disease burden, particularly in the western Pacific region, which has low rates of infectious diseases and a high burden of non-communicable diseases by comparison with Africa. The authors of this Lancet Letter reassessed WHO’s budgetary allocation after 5 years to evaluate whether this situation remained. Yes, it appears.
16. WHO – WHO Director-General considers the tobacco endgame
In a keynote speech by M Chan, at the ‘International Conference on Public Health Priorities in the 21st Century: the Endgame for Tobacco’, in New Delhi, the WHO Director-general talked about the endgame for tobacco. (somebody should find out whether Margaret liked smoking when she was younger, as tobacco almost seems like a four-letter word for her)
In other tobacco control news, Mexico comes to Trans-Pacific Partnership talks with a statement signed by a big number of health organizations, calling for a tobacco carve out, and supporting Malaysia’s proposal (see last week’s IHP newsletter). Chile also supports the carve out.
17. Lancet Global Health – Understanding gender-based violence perpetration to create a safer future for women and girls
Michele R. Decker et al.;
In the Lancet Global Health, two multicountry cross-sectional studies in Asia Pacific assess the prevalence of and factors associated with non-partner rape and of intimate-partner violence as reported by men themselves. The numbers are shocking. Decker et al. comment.
Health Policy & Financing
18. Get involved in global health – Economic governance for European health
Remco van de Pas;
Remco van de Pas (Wemos) discusses the huge impact of the so called ‘European semester’ on public health and health care in all European member states. In a week that also saw Oxfam’s assessment of austerity policies and the dire European situation, this is a story that should be globally known – not the least because it brings back ugly memories.
19. Humanosphere – A Q&A with the other banker to the poor, World Bank Prez Jim Kim
Tom Paulson had a chat on the phone with Jim Kim, on the initial commotion around his appointment at the helm of the Bank, the ‘science of delivery’ and many other things.
20. SEARO – Consideration of the recommendations arising out of the Technical Discussions on ”Universal Health Coverage” (Report of the Technical Discussions)
This is a background document used at the Sixty-sixth Session of the (SEARO) Regional Committee for South-East Asia (10-13 September), which finishes today in New Delhi. The regional strategy for UHC identifies four strategic directions for accelerating progress on UHC.
As for the African region (i.e. the WHO AFRO meeting in Brazzaville, last week), African health ministers agreed on measures aimed at addressing maternal mortality as well as HIV, eHealth, traditional medicine and the health of elderly people.
The health ministers also adopted resolutions endorsing the report on the Rules of Procedure of the Regional Committee and a regional strategy on neglected tropical diseases.
21. Lancet (World Report ) – Aid agencies accused of ignoring rights abuses in Ethiopia
Earlier in this newsletter, we learnt about the progress made in terms of child mortality in Ethiopia. This World Report talks about the downsides of working in a country like Ethiopia: several major aid agencies have been blamed for not addressing rights violations in Ethiopia, including those linked to their programmes in the country. Samuel Loewenberg reports.
22. BMJ (Editorial) – What to do about unsafe medicines?
Gillian J. Buckley et al.;
Investment in (drug) regulatory systems in LMICs could bring about meaningful improvements in the health of the world’s poorest people, but donor countries would benefit as well.
Meanwhile, though, IP Watch reports that WHO will start to charge fees to manufacturers seeking prequalification of their medicines and pharmaceutical components. This obviously raises access fears.
23. Global Health Technologies coalition – Briefing Paper Volume 2: Financing – Perspectives from nonprofits on accelerating product development and improving access for low- and middle-income countries
‘Financing’ is the second in a series of briefing papers from the Global Health Technologies coalition examining approaches, challenges and opportunities confronting nonprofit organizations developing products to target neglected and poverty related diseases. While the coalition’s first report in the series focused on challenges to identifying, developing and introducing products in settings of limited infrastructure and scientific capacity, the latest brief explores the roles that innovation, coordination and collaboration must play in continuing global health research and development. For a summary, see Science Speaks.
24. ICES – ICES Receives Award, International Surgical Week in Helsinki, Finland
The International Surgical Week was held in Helsinki, Finland, August 25-29. Confronted with plenty of evidence, conference participants agreed the lack of quality surgical care is now too large of a global health issue to ignore.
25. Humanosphere – A chat with the outgoing chief of the Gates Foundation, Jeff Raikes |
Jeff Raikes, the CEO of the Gates Foundation, announced he will be stepping down soon. Humanosphere interviewed him to get his take on the current state of the Gates Foundation (including on transparency, the Gates Foundation’s reorganization, …).
26. Yale Law School and Yale School of Public Health – Global Health Justice Partnership Policy Paper 1 – Approach to Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines
In this paper from Yale’s Global Health Justice Partnership, a joint initiative of Yale Law School and Yale School of Public Health, the authors seek to counter the weight given to intellectual property rights with human rights laws, conventions, and arguments. Too often developing countries, fearing economic consequences if they prioritize health over intellectual property, enforce patent protections that keep life-saving drugs out of reach.
In related news, AFP reported “South Africa’s government has published a draft intellectual property policy with potential far-reaching effects for pharmaceutical patents, which rights groups hailed Monday as a move towards lower medicine costs” . If accepted, the reforms will facilitate the production of cheaper, generic medicines, according to MSF and Treatment Action Campaign.
27. Aidspan – Renewal Funding of $459 Million Approved
The Board of the Global Fund has approved funding in the amount of up to $458.8 million for seven applicants submitting requests for continued funding. The largest awards went to South Africa and Zambia.
Global health bits & pieces
- A Scidev.net article gives a summary of the key messages of the recent World Health Report.
28. Implementing a Health 2020 vision: governance for health in the 21st century. Making it happen
Ilona Kickbusch & Thorsten Behrendt ;
The WHO Regional Office for Europe commissioned this report to support the implementation of the Health 2020 framework. It builds on Governance for health in the 21st century: a study conducted for the WHO Regional Office for Europe. This report provides policy-makers with examples from around the world of how whole-of-
government and whole-of-society approaches have been implemented together with a set of tools to manage the complex policy process.
29. International Journal for Equity in Health – Taking stock of Myanmar’s progress toward the health-related Millennium Development Goals: current roadblocks, paths ahead
Yu Mon Saw et al.;
This study was undertaken to provide an overview and assessment of Myanmar’s progress toward the health-related MDGs, along with possible solutions for accelerating health-related development into 2015 and beyond. The review highlights off-track progress in the spheres of maternal and child health (MDGs 4 and 5). It also shows Myanmar’s achievements toward MDG 6 targets.
30. Global Health Action – A multi-layered governance framework for incorporating social science insights into adapting to the health impacts of climate change
Kathryn J. Bowen et al.;
A novel framework is presented that incorporates social science insights into the formulation and implementation of adaptation activities and policies to lessen the health risks posed by climate change.
31. Social Science & Medicine – The acceptability and feasibility of task-sharing for mental healthcare in low and middle income countries: A systematic review
Task-sharing has frequently been proposed as a strategy to overcome human resource shortages in order to scale up mental health care. Although evidence suggests this approach is effective, to date no review has been conducted to assess its acceptability and feasibility among service users and health care practitioners. This review summarises current findings and provides evidence-based recommendations to improve the success and sustainability of task-sharing approaches. The review highlighted that task-sharing is not an outright solution for overcoming human resource shortages in low and middle income countries.
32. BMJ blog – The struggle to provide rural health care in India
Radhika Arora & Krishna Rao;
EV 2012 Radhika Arora and Krishna Rao tell the tragic tale of Umesh Kumar Sahu, a doctor who served at a primary health centre in Chhattisgarh, a state in central India, which has one of the lowest densities of doctors in the country.
33. Social Medicine – The role of research in the right to health and the universal provision of health care
Mauricio Torres & Pierre De Paepe;
It is common for governments to promise universal health care coverage during electoral campaigns; indeed, it is something that hardly anyone could not aim for.
aim for. Research can play a major role in the evaluation of health systems, EV 2010 Mauricio Torres and Pierre De Paepe argue, starting from the Latin American picture. Research thus contributes to the public debate regarding the health and wellness effects of different systems as well as the degree to which different systems realize the universal right to health. Research can be used both by policy makers concerned with achieving effective coverage as well as by social movements interested in fostering public debate and social mobilization to demand governmental enforcement and protection of the universal right to health enshrined in international human rights law.
Global Health Announcements
- The Second WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices – ‘Priority Medical Devices for Universal Health Coverage’ will take place on 22-24 November 2013, Geneva, Switzerland. (see here )
- From 9th September 2013, the HIFA2015 forum is hosting a 6-week discussion on priorities in human resources for health, sponsored by the Global Health Workforce Alliance, in the run-up to the 3rd Global Forum on Human Resources for Health (Recife, Brazil, 10-13 November).
- SDG related Paper: “The United Nations in the age of sustainable development” (by H.E. Mr. Vuk Jeremić and Dr. Jeffrey Sachs ): “Achieving sustainable development is the overriding challenge of the 21st century,” said the President of the General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, at the launch earlier this week of a paper presented by his High-Level Advisory Panel, led by Jeffrey Sachs. The High-Level Advisory Panel was established by Mr. Jeremic at the beginning of the 67th session of the General Assembly last year to address the most important issues facing the international community. The paper considers how countries can tackle global issues and overcome interconnected crises through cooperation. One of the key messages: in the Age of Sustainable Development, the United Nations will be more essential than ever.
- Outcome G20 summit: Euractiv reported on Monday: “Developing countries will not have access to a new system of automatic exchange of tax information agreed in St Petersburg by the world leaders over the weekend due to their lack of administrative efficiency, a decision that was not welcomed by many development experts.”
- USAID, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation signed on Monday a Memorandum of Understanding expected to integrate the world’s largest retailer’s supply chains with the Feed the Future program. (we have a hunch this is what the Americans tend to call a ‘win-win’ situation)
- The Guardian reports on the report, “A million voices: the world we want”, published by the UN on Tuesday. What does the world want, according to the surveys taken so far?
- A nice Sci.dev article explains why African development statistics (GDP figures) are misleading.
- How are emerging donors changing the aid business? Nice blog post by a guest author on Duncan Green’s blog, providing an overview of the current situation, as many emerging countries are setting up their own development agencies.
- For the OECD’s post-2015 reflections, see here.
- Last but not least, we recommend this interview with Naomi Klein (in the Guardian ), on the environment movement. Big green groups are more damaging than climate change deniers, she says.