The Right to Health key to achieving MDGs

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay tells the 63rd Annual United Nations Department of Public Information / Non-governmental Organizations Conference (DPI/NGO Conference) that the right to health is at the very core of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Mothers and children at a mobile clinic in Khemisset Province, Morocco © UN Photo/John IsaacHer office (OHCHR) emphasizes that pursuing development hand-in-hand with human rights gives governments a better chance of reaching the MDGs.

“Available information indicates that governments which have explicitly linked their human rights obligations to the development of MDGs policies have made the greatest advances,” Navi said in a video message to the DPI/NGO Conference on 30 August.

The three-day Conference on “Advance Global Health: Achieve the MDGs” in Melbourne, Australia, brings together hundreds of NGO representatives from around the world.

“Health policies which purposefully reached out to the poor and the most marginalized and gave them access to care exemplify such progress,” Navi said.

“The issue of health is also situated at the very core of the MDGs that is, curbing extreme poverty, offering education opportunities to all, removing gender inequality, reducing child mortality; improving maternal health, combating HIV, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing global partnerships.

“None of these goals can be achieved without consideration of the full range of human rights, including the right to health,” the High Commissioner said, adding that civil society is an indispensable partner in this endeavour.

Watch the full video message of the High Commissioner:
[Transcript file in Word]

30 August 2010