Press Releases

    4 February 2002


    NEW YORK, 1 February (UN Headquarters) -- Leading health experts will join together with ambassadors to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in a round-table discussion on health to be held on Tuesday, 5 February in the Council Chamber from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The round table, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) under the auspices of the President of ECOSOC, is in preparation for the ECOSOC high-level segment for 2002, whose theme is "The contribution of human resources development to sustainable development, particularly in the areas of health and education."

    The WHO Director-General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland will lead the round table. Participants include Sudan’s Health Minister Dr. Ahmed Bilan Osman; Dutch Health Minister Dr. Els Borst-Eilers; South Africa’s Health Director-General Dr.A. Ntsaluba; Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); Dr. Peter Piot, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and Dr. Myriam Abel (Vanuatu), Chair of the WHO Executive Board.

    Also participating are Dr. Eve Slater, Assistant Secretary of Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. Gordon Conway, President, Rockefeller Foundation; Dr. Charles MacCormack, President, Save the Children Fund/USA; Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, Dean, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Services, New York University; Nils Daulaire, President, Global Health Council; Dr. Victoria Sharp, President, Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World), USA; and Stephen Lewis, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for HIV/AIDS in Africa.

    The round table will focus on global health challenges, providing an opportunity to discuss the recent findings of the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health; the launch of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the implications for the evolving global response to poverty; and the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.

    The morning session will discuss stewardship of health systems; increasing the impact of development assistance for health; global public goods; and access to medicines. The afternoon session will be devoted to a discussion of "good practices" as presented by the partner agencies -- the World Bank, WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNAIDS -- to determine how they could be improved and most effectively utilized.

    Two other round tables in February and March will focus on education and development, and on the overall theme of human resources development in the development process. The results of the round tables will be presented to the high-level segment of ECOSOC in July in New York.

    For further information, please contact the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at (212) 963-4420, or the WHO Office at the United Nations at (212) 963-4388 or (212) 963-4394. Observers without United Nations accreditation will need to fax their names, affiliation and contact address to (212) 963-8565 and bring a photo ID on 5 February.

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