The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) today signed a declaration of cooperation to support the countries of the Americas in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The declaration signed by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne establishes joint activities primarily focused on equity, social inclusion, and social determinants of health in the region, areas in which both organizations have high interest.
“This marks an unprecedented effort in institutional collaboration related to the development agenda,” affirmed Almagro. He added that, “The OAS and PAHO are called upon to work with member countries to build a new institutional architecture in the inter-American system if we want to achieve truly inclusive development with equity and sustainability.”
The Americas is one of the most inequitable regions of the world and the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasizes this challenge.
The two inter-American agencies have decided to combine their efforts, experience, and knowledge to provide coordinated support to the member states as they implement the development agenda.
“This joint effort between PAHO and the OAS is a great opportunity to collaborate with the countries in addressing this ambitious development agenda and helping to reduce inequalities and improve health, without leaving anyone behind,” explained Etienne. Other agencies and organizations will be called upon to forge a broader interinstitutional partnership.
The activities to be carried out include the establishment of a High-level Interagency Working Group comprised of representatives of the two organizations to spearhead this joint effort. Its purpose is to improve coordination of institutional activities at the national level, ensure the global SDG process becomes regionalized, and facilitate cooperation and the exchange of best practices among countries so that institutions can be strengthened.
At the Summit for Sustainable Development, held in September 2015, the member states of the United Nations approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs) aimed at ending poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and coping with climate change.
The new global goals and the Agenda for Sustainable Development go far beyond the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and represent a true multisectoral agenda, which addresses the fundamental causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people.
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being across the life course is one of the goals, and it is directly related to PAHO’s area of work. Democracy, human rights, multidimensional security, and integrated development constitute the four pillars of the OAS agenda that are essential for achieving sustainable development.
OAS and UNFPA to Cooperate in the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Americas
The Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Population Fund, through the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACRO), will join efforts to support the countries of the Americas in the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The OAS General Secretary, Luis Almagro, and UNFPA’S Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Esteban Caballero, signed a statement that sets forth the areas in which the two institutions will work together, mainly in topics related to:
- Maternal health
-Universal access to quality health services, and
-The improvement of the well-being of women, children, and adolescents in the Americas with an equity perspective.
“This is about widening the range of opportunities for progress for all, and to do this we must focus on priority populations” said the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, who emphasized that “access to quality health services and the improvement of the well-being of women, children, and adolescents is critical to building a future with greater equity in the region where rights will go from being something that exists on paper to become a daily reality.”
For his part, the LACRO Regional Director, Esteban Caballero, highlighted that "preventable maternal deaths that still take place in the region are the clearest example of the unresolved agenda that is being transferred from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals.”
See the complete text of the joint Declaration here.