GENEVA, Switzerland – The 12 signatory agencies to the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All (SDG3 GAP) warmly welcome the International Labour Organization (ILO) as a new member of the partnership between health, development and humanitarian agencies working to better support countries to accelerate progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, stronger collaboration is essential for the multilateral system to effectively support countries in getting back on track to achieve the SDGs.
“The ILO’s expertise and networks are enormous assets that will help the world recover and build back better from COVID-19,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general. “In this International Year of Health and Care Workers, as health systems struggle to cope with increasing COVID-19 cases, it’s vital that health and care workers are vaccinated first in all countries so they can continue to work to keep others safe. We’re delighted that ILO is joining the Global Action Plan, and we look forward to working together to protect those who protect all of us.”
The ILO has staff based in regional and country offices in 135 countries and ongoing collaborations with WHO and other signatories of the Global Action Plan. Key areas of cooperation include health financing and social protection, occupational health and safety, the working conditions of the health workforce and gender equality.
On joining the partnership, Ryder, director-general of the ILO, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has clearly demonstrated the interaction between health, social factors and decent work. It has highlighted the critical need for investments in all three areas. This will foster recovery and will lead to a more sustainable, equitable development path. Equally, investments in the health of workers and the health and care workforce are vital to make progress towards universal health coverage. If we are to achieve SDG3, increased cooperation is needed. By joining this partnership the ILO reaffirms its commitment to support countries during this pandemic and beyond, through a multilateral and coherent approach.”
Although every agency has a specific mandate, by leveraging their respective mandates and resources and by working together, they are each better able to jointly support countries to fast-track progress towards the health-related SDG targets through:
- Further strengthening country ownership, engagement and impact on health-related SDGs.
- Accelerating country progress by ensuring that the SDG3 Global Action Plan responds comprehensively in the COVID-19 era by supporting country-level work across the seven programmatic areas of focus (accelerators), with a commitment to gender, equity and human-rights-based approaches.
- Further aligning operational and financial strategies, policies and approaches where possible.
- Accounting for progress under the Global Action Plan and learning together to enhance a shared commitment to accountability for collaboration.