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Remarks by FM Osman Saleh at Summit of the Future ; UN High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage; and LDC Summit

Statement Delivered by H.E. Minister Osman Saleh

 Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea at the Preparatory Ministerial Meeting for the

Summit of the Future

New York, 21 September 2023

 

Mr. President,

Distinguished Ministers,

The future of humanity and our planetat large is indeed shaped by past and current challenges. Apparently, humanity is confronted with multidimensional crises – including climate change, environmental disasters, geopolitical tensions, conflicts and instabilities, health crises, and rife inequalities. Halfway through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it seems that fulfilling the envisaged development goals and commitments remains arduous and countries in the Global South are visibly left behind despite our collective declaration that “no one is left behind.”

Against this backdrop, the need to convene a“Summit of the Future”is imperative. However, as we ponder to rescue and accelerate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, the underlying injustices and inequalities among societies and nations need to be rectified.

Mr. President,

Illicit and arbitrary applications of unilateral coercive measures by certain powers against developing member states are further exacerbating existing injustices and imbalances. Hence, the Summit of the Future or any other intergovernmental process must categorically outlaw such measures as they are in contravention of the UN Charter, principles of international law, and the notion of multilateralism. Above and beyond, such malpractices are depriving developing countries of the inherent right to socio-economic development, and they must be annulled.

Mr. President,

The Summit of the Future could offer us a rare opportunity to mobilize untapped resources and coordinate multilateral actions. Normative pledges seem to have been creating false hopes while undermining the prospects of domestic resources and healthy partnerships. Let’s be realistic and set out common priorities and achievable programs of action.

We hope that our deliberations today and subsequent discussions will contribute to an action-oriented and concise “Pact of the Future” based on a consensual process. For our part, we remain committed to engagingconstructively for a just international order.

I Thank You!


 

Statement delivered by His Excellency,

Mr. Osman Saleh Mohammed, Minister of Foreign Affairs

of the State of Eritrea,

at the UN High-level meeting on the  Universal Health Coverage

 21 September 2023, New York

Mr. President,

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

Allow me to thank the co-facilitators for all the hard work put into the preparations of the UN High Level meeting on the Universal Health Coverage.

Excellencies,

Eritrea attaches great importance to the promotion of Universal Health Coverage. and was one of the countries that achieved the health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Since the adoption of the SDGs, Eritrea is exerting greater efforts against several leading causes of diseases and death. Life expectancy has increased dramatically; infant and maternal mortality rates have declined remarkably; and HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria deaths have been greatly reduced.

Excellencies,

Progress towards UHC means the health sector investments are expanding the range of services available for Eritreans, taking these services to all Eritreans, even those in hard-to-reach areas, and this is happening without imposing financial hardships on the people.

Consistent with the objectives of the SDGs to leave no one behind, Eritrea is making progress towards the achievement of UHC. The UHC service coverage index has increased from 47.6% in 2016 to 54% in 2019; and to 58.8% between 2020 and 2022; and the target for 2026 is expected to reach 60.1%. The UHC service coverage index includes sexual and reproductive health services, maternal, neonatal and child health services, prevention and control of infectious and non-communicable diseases, and service capacity indices.

Excellencies,

Globally, costs associated with accessing and using essential health services remain a key barrier to utilization of available services. The Eritrean health services are highly subsidized by the government. There are no fees paid at primary care facilities and for most common services. At hospitals, there is a fee  for non-exempt services, which is lower for referred patients. These user fees do not represent a major financial barrier to accessing services. No fees are charged in the first 24 hours, to ensure people can access emergency services. Above all, poverty certificates are issued where someone is not able to pay the nominal fees.

The Government will to continue to provide subsidized health services until the economy of the country grows, and new health financing mechanisms, such as health insurance, are introduced, to ensure the full achievement of UHC.

Let me conclude by reaffirming Eritrea’s commitment to advance the realization of Universal Health Coverage to all. The next high-level meeting on universal health coverage in 2027  should be another opportunity to undertake a comprehensive review on the implementation of the present declaration we just adopted, as part of the overall drive towards the achievement of universal health coverage by 2030.

Thank you!


Statement by H.E. Minister Osman Saleh

Foreign Minister of the State of Eritrea

at the Ministerial Summit of the Least Developed Countries

New York, 21 September 2023

 Mr. President,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

Let me first congratulate Nepal for its able chairmanship of the LDCs Annual Ministerial Meeting under a well-timed theme: “Translating the ambitious Doha commitments into tangible actions to accelerate the implementation of the 2030.”

This year’s Ministerial Meeting is taking place at a time when collective commitments are being tested by various predicaments. Intertwined global crises – including but not limited to climate calamities, drought, flooding, public health pandemics, unprovoked wars and geopolitical tensions…are posing serious threats to humanity. The direct victims are those who are already deprived and marginalized, and more evidently the least developed countries.

Amid such crises, astute policy guidance and well-calibrated strategies are more than needed.

 Mr. President,

At the national level, Eritrea has set out sectoral and industrial strategic plans and necessary mobilization of resources and implementation measures have been undertaken. Its development strategy is based on the principle of self-reliance and social justice, which obviate debilitating structural dependency, to attain sustainable and equitable development. Such a development strategy is a long-held commitment asserting local ownership, priorities, and implementation. The essence of the strategy is to rely on extended mobilization, maximizing value addition, efficient organization, and effective harnessing of the national capacity. As such, the realization of the SDGs and other relevant development commitments, including the Doha Program of Action, is based on such a course of action. Though much remains to be done, modest growth has been achieved and more is anticipated.

Mr. President,

Against our collective resolve, it is perplexing that national development endeavors have been hampered by the application of coercive unilateral measures for political purposes of the very few powers. Countries targeted by such illegal actions and more so LDCs suffer exceptionally on top of the existing underlying challenges. These actions must be terminated immediately, and a strong solidarity of all member states is needed to this effect.

Moreover, the existing international financial architecture must be reformed to effectively respond to the needs of the developing countries.

Mr. President,

In closing, the various commitments and processes aimed at accelerating the 2030 Agenda need to be coherently aligned and effective mechanisms of resource mobilization and implementation must be mapped out. Eritrea for its part is committed to engaging with member states and relevant organizations to deepen genuine partnership and cooperation.

I Thank you!

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