Three elements are critical – the 2030 Agenda, the One Health Approach, and political advocacy.
The 2030 Agenda offers a framework for establishing positive linkages between health and the other sustainable development goals. It will be important for WHO to ensure that attention is paid to health when policymakers take decisions on how they deal with migrants, how to conduct war, how they regulate the environment. WHO will need to encourage and support and all of government approach, making sure that ministries of health are working alongside ministries of sanitation, social welfare, and security.
Similarly, the One Health approach focuses on the issues that emerge at the interface between animals, humans and the ecosystems in which they live. This is evolving into the concept of planetary health that seeks to integrate human health within on-going dialogues on climate-compatible economic growth, resilient livelihoods, sustainable infrastructure, the future of land and oceans, urbanization and industrial development. Examination of the connections within different settings quickly exposes immediate or potential opportunities for health improvement through action in sectors and disciplines other than health.
Finally, WHO will always need to be an advocate for health outcomes: elevating and maintaining health as a priority on political agendas at all levels. In recent years, political groupings such as the African Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union, the G7 and the G20, as well as the United Nations, have increasingly focused on health as a priority. It is important that WHO is plays its part in such settings to explain, interpret and be ready to advance issues as leaders provide political impetus for health. Antimicrobial Resistance was highlighted in this way at the 71st UN General Assembly in New York in September 2016.