President Zuma to co-chair the United Nations High-level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth

President Jacob Zuma will be traveling to the city of Lyon in France to co-chair the official launch of the United Nations High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth (HLC HEEG) on 23 March 2016.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, recently established the HLC HEEG following the adoption of United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/183, and invited President Zuma and President Hollande of France to co-chair the Commission. This is not the first time that President Zuma has been appointed by the world body to undertake work on the global stage.

Other members of this Commission are the Heads of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and 20 high-level personalities from across the world, who will be supported by a team of experts working in the fields of economics, education, health, human resources and labour.

The Commission’s main objective is to propose measures that will contribute to global inclusive economic growth, the creation of decent jobs, the achievement of Universal Health Coverage and also complement various global development efforts set out by the international community.

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development forms the basis of the Commission’s work. It also speaks to the implementation of the 2063 Agenda of the African Union and South Africa’s own National Development Plan (NDP).

In brief, the Commission will seek to:

– Recommend multi-sector responses and institutional reforms to develop, over the next 15 years, health human resources capacity for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). These actions will enable inclusive economic growth by creating a sustainable local source of employment;

– Determine sources of financing and the conditions needed to maximize socio-economic returns from investments in health and social sector employment;

– Analyse the risks of global and regional imbalances and unequal distribution of health workers and assess the potential beneficial and adverse effects of international mobility; and

– Generate the political commitment from government and key partners necessary to support the implementation of the Commission’s proposed actions.

President Zuma will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and the Director-General of the National Department of Health, Ms Precious Matsoso. Ms Matsoso, who is the current Chairperson of the World Health Organisation’s Executive Board, has been appointed as the President’s Sherpa for this process.

A second meeting of the High-level Commission is envisaged to take place in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2016, where-after the Commission is expected to submit its report to the UN Secretary-General.

A summary of the meeting will be made available to the public through the Commission’s website

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa