United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage
Statement delivered by Mr. Jón Erlingur Jónasson, Director-General, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland
23 September 2019
Mr. President, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Today’s High-Level Meeting plays a part in accelerating the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 3 on health. Providing universal health coverage is a crucial aspect of sustainable development and an important driver of equity.
In June, Iceland’s Parliament approved an ambitious new Health Care Policy until 2030. The policy is evidence based and fully aligned with the SDGs in order to accelerate Iceland’s implementation of the Global Goals.
Discussing prosperity for all, I would like to bring your attention to the issue of neurological disorders that affect up to a billion people worldwide, according to numbers from the WHO.
My government continues to promote cooperation on research and raise awareness through our Geneva-based Special Envoy in the field of neurological and spinal cord injuries. According to the WHO, people with spinal cord injuries are more likely to die prematurely, and they have lower school enrolment and economic participation.
We have seen important medical breakthroughs in the field of non-communicable deceases and are optimistic that with collective efforts we can see such a breakthrough for patients suffering from spinal cord injuries.
Finally, Mr. President,
I also take the opportunity at this venue to highlight the importance of inclusive development through promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights. SRHR are crucial not only for women and girls’ well-being and development but for society as a whole. This is an important health issue as it concerns our future.