United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced South African President Jacob Zuma will co-chair a new high level commission that focuses on health employment and economic growth.
The UN Secretary opined that the commission was established in order to “stimulate the creation of new employment opportunities in the health sector across all countries, especially in least developed countries.”
World Health Organisation statistics revealed that by 2030, the healthcare sector would be responsible for creating 45 million job opportunities due to population outburst and an ageing workforce. Hence, members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and emerging economics would spearhead this job growth within the healthcare sector.
According to the WHO, this meant that low-and middle-income countries would be losing about 18 million qualified health professionals and this will definitely posed a problem to the stability of health systems and global health security.
Speaking further, the commission, reiterates that President Zuma, would take care of “the considerable need for health professionals in middle and low-income countries”. He added that this commission, a UN initiative would “not only increase health security world-wide, but also promote inclusive economic growth, and in doing so, help to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Responding to his new appointment, President Zuma thanked the UN for giving him a chance to serve with France President François Hollande.
“I would like to commend the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, for establishing the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Development, and I am humbled by his invitation for me to serve as co-Chair of this Commission with President François Hollande of France.”
He expressed gladness that UN’s purpose of establishing the commission “goes to the heart of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which we adopted in September last year, and which could go a long way in helping to address the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality”.
“I therefore welcome and appreciate this opportunity to work with my Co-Chair, President Hollande, and the other vice-Chairpersons and Commissioners to help make a difference in the lives of people everywhere, particularly in developing countries where women and youth continue to carry a disproportionate burden brought about by poverty, unemployment and inequality,” Zuma said.
The commission would also have additional twenty-three commissioners, who would represent global governments, business and civil society. Among them are the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma [president Zuma’s former wife] and former President of the African Development Bank Mr Donald Kaberuka.
President Zuma and President Hollande would be supported by three Vice-Chairs, namely Dr Margaret Chang, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Mr Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Mr Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The commission is be expected to submit its report to the Secretary-General of the United Nations by December 31, 2016.