Last week in Brussels, the European Development Days 2012 convened nearly 6,000 participants and 1,500 organizations from the development community to address the theme of “Sustainable and Inclusive Growth for Human Development” through a series of sessions and meetings. At the event, a high-level panel was organized by Action for Global Health (AfGH), Countdown 2015 Europe, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), UNAIDS, and the Oxfam International European Union Office. The panelists of this meeting examined the role, strategies, actions and challenges of the European Union (EU) in implementing the right to health, including sexual and reproductive health (SRH).
Panelists included Indu Capoor, Director of Centre for Health Education, Training and Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA); Jean-Marc Chataigner, Deputy Director General of Global Affairs, Development and Partnerships at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs; David Evans, Director of the Department of Health Systems Financing at the World Health Organization; Rosemary Museminali, Representative to the African Union at UNAIDS; Dr. Jan Paehler, Policy Officer for the Health Sector of EuropeAid at the European Commission; Stefan Seebacher, Director of the Health Department at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; and was moderated by freelance journalist Laura Shields.
Panel members noted that healthcare is a basic right for all, and that countries must ensure that everyone, especially the poorest and most marginalized populations, receive equal access to care. The panelists acknowledged a drop in aid in recent years, and urged organizations to continue to fund community systems so that the poorest and most marginalized populations can access health care without facing financial barriers.
Donors were called upon to contribute to programs based on the “subsidiary principle”, in which donors support systems that are successful in individual countries rather than funding overall solutions. The panelists also agreed on the need to develop innovative solutions to health problems and to build coalitions on a global level. They advocated the importance of strengthening systems through public-private partnerships, and of supporting existing successful health-care solutions.
To read more about the panel discussion, click here.