The declaration signed by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and PAHO Director Dr. 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,” Almagro said, adding “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 OAS said that 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,” said Dr.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, the OAS said.