UN Secretary-General Makes Global Health a Priority

Mandy Van Deven, Online Administrator

As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon is uniquely positioned to heighten awareness of pressing international issues. This month marks the beginning of the Secretary-General's second five-year term, and he has already made his commitment to global health clear.

“We have to connect the dots among climate change, [the] food crisis, water scarcity, energy shortages and women’s empowerment and global health issues. These are all interconnected issues,” he told UN Radio.

Over recent decades, popular understanding of the relationship between population, sustainability, and global reproductive rights has advanced significantly. We now know that it is not an “either-or” situation when it comes to reproductive rights and reducing carbon emissions: ensuring healthy and sustainable communities requires collaboration among environmentalists and reproductive rights advocates.

As a first step toward cooperation and movement building, in May 2011 IPPF’s governing council adopted a policy on climate change and sustainable development, and IPPF/WHR Regional Director Carmen Barroso partnered with Sierra Club Chairman Carl Pope for a blog series on population issues at RH Reality Check. We are excited to learn Ban Ki-moon has a likeminded perspective.

“Together, nothing is impossible,” he said. “If we strengthen these partnerships among governments, business communities, civil organizations, and philanthropists, then I think all these powerful partnerships can bring us towards the right direction.”

Watch the full UN Radio interview with Ban Ki-moon below:


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