[WHA68] IFMSA Intervention at Climate Change & Health Briefing

Intervention made on May 20th 2015 during the 68th World Health Assembly Technical Briefing on Climate Change and Health 

Link to IFMSA Policy Brief on Climate Change and Health, a global call to action: http://issuu.com/ifmsa/docs/cch_policy_brief

We thank WHO for opportunity to speak today, and more generally to the place the organization is giving to youth and health students.

We take note of the air pollution resolution released this morning and strongly welcome references to climate change throughout the text.

For several years now, IFMSA has been present at the several UNFCCC processes and meetings,  with the objective of making sure that health was not left out of the climate change discussions. As the doctors of tomorrow, we are deeply concerned about the unhealthy environments in which our future patients are most likely to live in, if no ambitious actions are taken today.

As of now, we feel health is not represented enough. As health students we demand more, for ourselves, for our patients and for the future generations that are yet to be born. We demand that decision makers negotiate for policy measures which address health and well-being.

As said by Dr Neira recalld it, we saw great health outcomes at COP20, where the concept of health cobenefits has been integrated to the call for action. In ADP session last February, we have continued in that direction.

Now ahead of ADP Session of June, starting in only a few days from now, we are asking to make sure health is not left out of the discussion. There are incredible opportunities for health to be integrated into the text on the way to Paris, so that its importance is not forgotten. The time is ticking, and we are inviting you to strengthen the climate health nexus within the  UNFCCC process. Cross and trans sectorial collaboration between the ministries is much needed.

In the coming weeks, the Global Climate and Health Alliance, of which IFMSA is a founding member, together with the WHO, will launch a global international communications campaign titled Our Climate , Our Health. We aim to mobilize the health community and the general public to act on climate change in the run up to COP21. We hope your voice will join ours.

We will be facing the consequences of the decisions taken today and the policies that are being implemented. As such, it is our moral obligation to speak up, our duty to act and our responsibility to reach out to policy-makers.

Our priorities, as future health professionals, on the road to Paris are:

    • To ensure that health and health cobenefits are key consideration in all climate change discussions and policies, particularly nationally in the INCDs and internationally at the UNFCCC negotiations towards and beyond COP21.
    • To have strategies to reduce the use and dependence on fossil fuels, and for institutions and the health sector to take a stronger stance on divestment.
    • To create training opportunities for a well educated, informed and prepared youth

As young people we are hopeful of a greener, healthier future, but we need your political will to make this happen. If we keep falling behind our mandate, it will be impossible for us to fulfill our responsibilities as health professionals and to protect populations’ health. We look forward continuing collaborating with you to shape this green, resilient, sustainable and healthy future.

Link to IFMSA Policy Brief on Climate Change and Health, a global call to action: http://issuu.com/ifmsa/docs/cch_policy_brief

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