Stepping up the African regional involvement in health, Norway has joined HHA.
At the February 2012 launch of the first Norwegian white paper on global health, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said that “only partnerships can ensure effective action against the global challenges that characterise our time.” The white paper provides the strategic direction for Norwegian engagement in global health towards 2020. The paper lays out three priority areas: (i) Mobilising for women’s and children’s rights and health, (ii) Reducing the burden of disease with emphasis on prevention, (iii) Promoting human security through health.
The white paper states that “The cornerstone of Norwegian policy is to promote and respect fundamental human rights. The principle of equal access to health services is based on comprehensive, robust health systems serves as a guideline. Health is a global public good. Through political leadership, diplomacy and economic support, Norway will be at the forefront of efforts to mobilise a strong and broad global consensus on cooperation to address national health needs." The paper goes on to say that at the same time, Norway "will encourage national authorities to take responsibility for establishing and securing universal access to health services.”
Gender equity and the important role of women and women’s health is another key Norwegian priority. A new research project will identify the economic benefits of investing in women’s health.