UN SPECIAL HIGH-LEVEL EVENT: Philanthropy and Global Public Health


Mr Ban-Ki-Moon, Ms Sylvie Lucas, Dr Klaus Leisinger
Mr Ban-Ki-Moon, Ms Sylvie Lucas, Dr Klaus Leisinger. Photos: Wikipedia, Ecosoc, Novartis

23 FEBRUARY 2009| NEW YORK - More than 500 high-level politicians, corporate leaders, donors and members of civil society met at the United Nations to identify ways to increase corporate sector responsibility and funding for health.

At the meeting -the High-Level Special Event on Philanthropy and the Global Health Agenda- organized by UN ECOSOC - participants discussed and made recommendations about the private sector and its potential contributions to global health. Two panel discussions focussed on: "Improving the Health of Women and Girls" and "Raising the Profile of Neglected Tropical Diseases".

The following recommendations were agreed :

  • To increase funding, particularly more innovative and efficient spending;
  • To increase private-public sector partnerships with clearly defined roles for members, with a strong national leadership and a grassroots approach;
  • To create a Global Business Alliance for MNCH modeled on the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis;
  • To mobilize local resources to supplement funds acquired from philanthropic organizations.

The event was opened by UN Secretary General, H.E. Mr Ban Ki Moon, closed by US former President, Mr Bill Clinton and presided over by UN ECOSOC President, H.E. Sylvie Lucas. Dr. Klaus Leisinger, President and CEO of the Novartis Foundation gave the keynote address.

The ECOSOC Special Event was one in a series of events leading to the 2009 Annual Ministerial Segment of the ECOSOC- “Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to global public health” - to take place in July 2009 in Geneva. Its recommendations will be reported to the Ministerial Segment by H.E. Mrs Sylvie Lucas.

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health was one of a number of co-convenors dedicated to promoting the meeting and strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships in support of the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs.