Thursday, 28 March 2013


The high-level meeting on the post-2015 global agenda concluded today (March 27), with five key areas for reform emerging.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of Indonesia and co-chair of the
U.N. High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Photo by: Marco Castro / United Nations
The 27 members of the high-level panel tasked by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to propose “an ambitious yet achievable framework” for a post-2015 global agenda, met in Bali, Indonesia, March 25-27 to draft their final agenda recommendations.

This brings to a conclusion a series of consultations, meetings and engagements with various stakeholders to promote the global ownership of the new agenda through an open, transparent and inclusive process, said the panel in a document obtained by Devex.

The vision: a transformative, people-centered and planet-sensitive development agenda that ends extreme poverty in the context of sustainable development, while enabling sustained prosperity for all.

The panel recognizes that this vision will only be achievable through defining the means of implementing the new agenda and by stimulating partnerships across all development processes.

It also advocates for coherent and mutually-enforcing post-2015 intergovernmental processes and outcomes.

The five key areas highlighted by the panel “on which progress is needed” to attain its post-2015 vision are outlined below:

1. Reshaped and revitalized global governance and partnerships. The approach to addressing today’s challenges should be universally applicable, while at the same time implementable at the national, subnational, community and individual levels. This includes ensuring that the United Nations, multilateral systems and all development actors support the post-2015 agenda effectively, using the full array of technical exchange, trade, migration, investment and other instruments to strengthen societies and protect human rights.

2. Protection of the global environment. The agenda must be grounded in a commitment to address global environmental challenges, strengthen resilience and improve disaster preparedness capacities.

3. Sustainable production and consumption. The future development framework should consider the challenge of the predicted peak of human population to 9 billion to 10 billion in 2050 and the need to manage the world’s production and consumption patterns in more sustainable and equitable ways. There should also be changed behavior in this regard in all countries, in order to make more efficient use of environmental assets and resources.

4. Strengthened means of implementation. The agenda should clearly specify the means of implementation, including financing for development. Adequate, stable and predictable financing, as well as the efficient use of resources, is required to support development. This will require honoring international, regional, and national financing commitments, enhancing domestic resource mobilization, and multiple complementary and innovative sources of finance — such as private investment, corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation, public-private partnerships, debt swaps, guarantees and market mechanisms.

5. Data availability and better accountability in measuring progress. Substantial improvements in national and subnational statistical systems, including local and subnational levels and the availability, quality and timeliness of baseline data, disaggregated by sex, age, region and other variables, will be needed. This will require substantial investments in building capacity in advance of 2015. A regularly updated registry of commitments is one idea to ensure accountability and monitor delivery gaps. We must also take advantage of new technologies and access to open data for all.

In the coming weeks, the panel will be preparing the final report on post-2015 agenda recommendations, which it hopes will “promote a single and coherent post-2015 development agenda.” This report will be submitted to the U.N. secretary-general at the end of May.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


By Ben Kangwa
Kristie Mikus, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Country Coordinator in Zambia, recently noted that work already accomplished through U.S. government sponsored HIV programs has paved the way for broader women’s health gains in Zambia. 

priorities for women's global health during the second Obama
Before PEPFAR, fewer than 3,500 people were on antiretroviral therapy (ART).   Now, nearly 500,000 Zambians living with HIV are receiving ART.  PEPFAR contributions in Zambia also include the training of healthcare workers, laboratory improvement, supply chain strengthening to increase the availability of essential medicines, and enhanced monitoring and evaluation activities to increase quality of services throughout the country.
Taking part in a panel discussion on “U.S. Policy Priorities for Women’s Global Health in the Obama Second Term” at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC on 7th March, 2013, Ms. Mikus noted that PEPFAR programs in Zambia are well situated to build cervical cancer and maternal health programs onto existing HIV and AIDS services to save more Zambian women.   In addition, the high rate of women accessing PEPFAR prevention of mother-to-child transmission services provides an opportunity to offer family planning information in the same visit.

Kristie Mikus (fourth from right) at the CSIS panel discussion
in Washington DC
Earlier in the discussion, keynote speaker U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius affirmed that no other investment has a larger payoff than investing in the health of women and girls as benefits ripple throughout their communities.  Since HIV remains the leading cause of death among women of child bearing age, Secretary of Sebelius stated that combating HIV in women and girls and ending mother-to-child transmission are top priorities of Obama’s Second term in office.
The keynote address was followed by a panel discussion based on a CSIS report that included praise for US President Barack Obama and ongoing international efforts to increase access to contraceptives around the world.
The panel also included Carla Koppel, the USAID Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Phil Nieburg, the Senior Associate at CSIS Global Health Policy Center and Kay Warren, the Founder of the HIV Initiative at Saddleback Church from Lake Forest in California.

Contributing to the discussion, Mr. Phil Nieburg who is Senior Associate at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center sated that Cervical Cancer kills 275,000 women every year, with 80 percent of those killed living in developing countries.
He pointed to the direct link between HIV and cervical cancer. He said this was because women with HIV compromised immune systems were much more likely to get cervical cancer. Mr. Nieburg also noted that with the second highest cervical cancer rates globally, these services were critical to strengthen women’s health in Zambia.
In her submission, USAID Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment described a “Gender based Violence Response Initiative” now in its second year in Mozambique, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
She observed that gender violence was more than simple violence that included men who are a significant share of the victims noting that Gender Based Violence (GBV) had a significant economic cost in developed and developing countries alike.
The Founder of HIV Initiative, Saddlebuck Church told the meeting that the stigma of HIV/AIDS, with the lack of understanding was the cause of most problems in the general population.   She noted the need to overcome the two with HIV/AIDS education.
Three short videos produced by CSIS on the importance of women’s global health programs both for U.S. global health policy and for the countries where they operate were also shown during the panel discussion.
 The first video featured Her Excellency, the President of Malawi Joyce Banda while the other two were set in Zambia and mainly featured the Permanent Secretary for  the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health Professor Elwyn Chomba.
 In the videos, titled “Saving mothers, Giving Life “, Professor  Chomba gave the most accurate and compelling account of the Zambian government’s vision for women’s health in Zambia and her Ministry’s involvement in those efforts. 
The Writer is Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the Republic of Zambia in Washington DC