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National Statement by Hon’ble Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare) of India, Mr. Shripad Yesso Naik at the Plenary Session, General Discussion of 69th World Health Assembly (23–28 May 2016) Geneva titled 'Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development'

69th World Health Assembly
23–28 May 2016

Plenary Session, General Discussion– National Statement by Hon’ble Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare) of India, Mr. ShripadYessoNaik

‘Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’


Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Saidi, Hon’ble President of the 69th World Health Assembly,
Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan,
Distinguished delegates, brothers and sisters,

1. Warm greetings to all of youfrom the people of India. I feel honoredand privileged for this opporunity to address this august house.

2. We are at a critical juncture in the history of public health. We are poised to make an all important transition from the health related Millennium Development Goals to the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. We need to identify key strategic approaches that build on the gains we have made so far, address our weaknesses, and move towards our goals.

3. SDG 3- the health goal, - “Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well Being for all at all ages”- symbolizes inclusiveness and equity. To achieve this goal, we have to reach out to unreached populations. Wemustmeet theirunmet healthcare needs. Obviously, convergence with all sectors that impact health is more crucial than ever before. We need sustained commitment from all sectors and ministries, to achieve the multiple targets that are bundled in SDG 3.

4. Our success is dependent on synergistic action by all countries, while recognizing the principle of common yet differentiated responsibility. Universal action must be distinct from uniformity of action. The historic 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes this principle. We must move towards universal health, with a strong force on equity.

5. The world today faces the unprecedented twin challenge of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Never before in the history of the world, there have been two major public health emergencies of international concern, namely for Ebola and Zika virus, declared in such quick succession. The emerging and re-emerging communicable diseases and pathogens do not recognize political boundaries. Anti-microbial resistance can demolish the very basis of modern medical science. Climate change is another major health challenge. It is a globalizedworld; the impact of any of these will also be global.

6. At the same time we must recognize that different countries are at different stages of development, and may not have uniform capacity and resources for meeting the diverse health challenges. Mechanismsthat provide both financial and technical resources need to be developed in this regard.

7. India has made huge health gains in recent years and is committed to carry the momentum forward. We have made significant progress in improving maternal and child health and wish to highight that the rate of reduction in maternal and child mortality has been higher than the global average.We have recently, very successfully launched Mission Indradanush, reflecting seven colours of the rainbow symbolizing seven vaccine prevnetable diseases under Universal Immunization Progarmme, to enhnace the coverage of the target population. We were the first to adopt a national action plan for noncommunicable diseases. We also focusing on enhancing quality of human resources for health and improving infrastructure at the primary and secondary levels.

8. Traditional medicine, which is rooted in the holistic concept of health, is also being promoted by us. It is affordable, locally available and time-tested for its efficacy. Collectively, we need to take this forward and integratetraditional medicine effectively into regular public health delivery system with appropriate standards and quality checks.


9. The Indian philosophy teaches us to treat the whole world as our family and have compassion and empathy for our fellow human beings in any part of the globe. To succeed together in the Sustainable Development Goals, we need to develop such compassion and empathy without any narrow considerations of territory, population, race or religion.

Mr. President,

10.    I wish you all success in your responsibility of chairing the 69th World Health Assembly. I also wish to express our gratitude to all Member States, the DG and her able team for the support extended during our Presidency. We will continue to support WHO in advancing its core mandate, i.e. better health for all.

Thank you for your attention.