In September 2015, countries had the chance to adopt a 'set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda'.

Ensure healthy lives

The health targets are the following:

3.1: By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births 
3.2: By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births 
3.3: By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
3.4: By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being 
3.5: Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol
3.6: By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
3.7: By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes
3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all 
3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination
3.a: Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate 
3.b: Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all 
3.c: Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States 
3.d: Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks


sustainable development goals image


To support dialogue at the UN Summit, six themes have been agreed. They provide a useful means of starting to highlight the inter-relationships between aligned areas of action.

1) Ending poverty and hunger

This theme not only includes poverty ‘in all its dimensions’, but food security and malnutrition. Also, completing ‘the unfinished business of the MDGS’. 

Health is not explicitly listed, but it is fundamental to achieving the goals in this theme. As significant inequities remain, so infrastructure strengthening (including health systems), and building more active collaboration and a common purpose within communities to address health and other factors is needed to tackle such barriers. For patients to be heard we need more and more to show how addressing health and wellbeing (beyond simply the absence of disease) is one aspect of a broader coalition.

2) Tackling inequalities, empowering women and girls and leaving no one behind

 Bringing together tackling inequalities within and between countries, supporting vulnerable groups and achieving equality. It explicitly highlights ‘access for all to education, health care, social protection and safe and affordable groups’.

3) Fostering sustainable economic growth, transformation and promoting sustainable consumption and production:

This theme covers goals to build economies, promote inclusion and innovation, sustainable infrastructure and employment. In earlier newsletters we highlighted how these factors contribute to health or ill-health, and as patient-groups, drawing the linkages between these areas and health will be crucial in the post-2015 arena.

4) Protecting our planet and combating climate change

Disasters and unsustainable practices that harm people and ecosystems are considered here. And again, direct and indirect links between environmental concerns and impact, and how patients are affected and how they can act can be drawn.

5) Building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions to achieve sustainable development:

IAPO principles and key messages include the need for infrastructure strengthening as a means not only of improving the health of people and populations, but important to creating inclusive and open societies. Here we see a grouping of justice, human rights, access and inclusion.

6) Delivering on a revitalised Global Partnership:

Finally, this theme describes the need for commitment to implementation, involvement, financing and effective multi-stakeholder partnerships – which again are already key tenets of IAPO action.