Concept Paper of
High-level Forum on Health MDGs in Asia and the Pacific

June 16, 2005

The High-level Forum on Health MDGs in Asia and the Pacific brings together development, finance and health ministers from countries throughout the region with their counterparts from a wide range of international organizations. Together they will take stock of progress, and identify opportunities and challenges for accelerating momentum towards an achievement of the health MDGs. Hosted by the Government of Japan in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank (WB), and the World Health Organization (WHO), the meeting will focus on actions that can be initiated at country level and strengthened through regional cooperation. Experiences and best practices from Asia and the Pacific will be an important input to the global review of progress on MDGs taking place in 2005.

1. Background

Better health is central to the achievement of the MDGs, both as an end in itself and as a major contributor to the overarching goal of reducing poverty. Improvements in health also depend on, and contribute to, the achievement of other goals in such areas as education, water, and environment. In the poorest countries, however, achieving the health MDGs represents one of the greatest challenges in international development. Not least because they include the goal of reversing the pandemic of HIV/AIDS. To this we have to add the steep declines required in child and maternal mortality, where progress lags far behind aspirations.

It is increasingly evident that improving health outcomes will not be possible without major improvements in health care delivery systems. These improvements will in turn depend on more effective public sector management, new forms of engagement with the private sector (leading, for example, to a wider availability of affordable drugs, vaccines and diagnostics), as well as policies and interventions well beyond the health sector itself.

Progress will also depend on an increasing of the availability of resources. Whilst there is a growing body of work that suggests how much is needed, the meeting provides an opportunity to develop strategies for increasing the amount, effectiveness and equity of spending on the health sector from both domestic and external sources.

2. Objectives

a) Review progress and challenges faced by countries in Asia and the Pacific region as they seek to achieve the Health Millennium Development Goals,
b) From this review, identify best practices and opportunities to accelerate progress at country level,
c) Highlight strategies for cooperation between countries and for strengthened regional collaboration, and
d) Recommend options of increasing domestic and international resources for the health sector in efficient and equitable ways, including through regional cooperation and South-South cooperation.

3. Date, Venue, and Participants

(1) Date: June 21 -22, 2005

(2) Venue: Mita Conference Hall (Tokyo)

(3) Co-organizers
Hosted by the Government of Japan in cooperation with ADB, WB, and WHO

(4) Participants

  1. Asia-Pacific Countries: 24 countries
  2. Donor Countries: 6 countries + 1
  3. International Organizations and others: 7 organizations
  4. Other organizations: 2 organizations

(5) The meeting will be closed to non-invitees.

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