The Sustainable Development Goals and The Grand Convergence
On 6 July 2015, UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, launched The 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report: “2015 is a milestone year. We will complete the MDGs. We are forging a bold vision for sustainable development, including a set of Sustainable Development Goals. And we are aiming for a new, universal climate agreement.” (UN. 2015. The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015. United Nations).
The Report shows the highly significant progress made on all goals since their endorsement in 2000 demonstrating how the MDGs have saved millions of lives and improved conditions for countless worldwide. We are at the dawn of a second period, which may change the face of our planet and the lives of all of us living on it.
The success of the MDGs has to reassure us that the approach taken so far works and that we can continue to succeed, but the challenges presented by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 100 indicators adopted in September 2015 are even greater.
In parallel, the concept of the Grand Convergence in Global Health, an ambitious proposal launched by the Lancet Commission in late 2014, will support us in facing the challenges offered by Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
The report “Global Health 2035: a world converging within a generation” made the case that we have the financial and technical capacities to close the health and longevity gap between low/lower-middle-income and high-income countries, reducing infectious, child, and maternal mortality rates to low levels globally to achieve a “Grand Convergence” (GC) in health by 2035.
The Grand Convergence gives us a vision, an objective within our reach and a systematic framework to close the health gap between countries at different levels of development, thereby helping humanity to reach the SDGs as well. (Jamison, Dean T. et al. “Global health 2035: a world converging within a generation.” The Lancet 382 (9908):1898-1955. 2013)