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Health Agenda for the Americas Launched In Panama

PANAMA CITY, Panama, June 5, 2007 (PAHO)—The hemisphere's top health policy authorities have launched the Health Agenda for the Americas, setting out the health priorities the governments propose to tackle over the next decade. The plan was unveiled here before the opening of the 37th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS).


Panamanian Health Minister Dr. Camilo Alleyne and PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses Periago.

Panamanian President Martín Torrijos, Panamanian Health Minister Dr. Camilo Alleyne, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon and PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses, along with OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza signed the Health Agenda for the Americas.

PAHO's Dr. Roses said that launching the Health Agenda of the Americas represents a singleness of purpose around improving human life and enhancing understanding and harmony among peoples.

"The Health Agenda for the Americas will be a framework to orient the development of future health plans and the strategic plans of those organizations interested in cooperating in health with the countries of the Americas, including PAHO/WHO," she said.

Roses described the health plan as the product of a process of consultations at various levels, involving governments and civil society, to present "a platform that articulates the governments' sovereign and collective will, speaking to the world, to their citizens and to civil society while addressing the need for international cooperation and identifying what the health sector can contribute to development and what it needs from the other sectors."

Secretary General Insulza hailed the role played by the World Health Organization (WHO) and PAHO in guiding all the ministries of health "around this crucial effort." He said the project delivers "an ambitious agenda, a policy initiative for the next decade." Not only does it set certain objectives, but it also identifies "what commitments each country undertakes and what specific task each will pursue," he said.


From the left: PAHO Director, Dr. Mirta Roses, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, Panamanian President Martín Torrijos and First Lady Vivian Fernández de Torrijos.

He also described work by the OAS "to design a Social Charter" that articulates social citizenship rights for the peoples of the Americas, to complement the Inter-American Democratic Charter adopted in 2001, saying the social charter initiative is a parallel effort to the new PAHO plan. "We believe that our Democratic Charter asserts political citizenship-the right to participate in a free and democratic political system, civil citizenship-but also addresses social citizenship: the right to enjoy the benefits of development," Insulza said.

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The Pan American Health Organization, founded in 1902, works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples. It serves as the Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO).

For more information please contact , PAHO, Public Information, 202-974-3459.

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