International Council of Nurses

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
11.4 Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the over 20 million nurses worldwide.
We would like to applaud governments and WHO for their efforts to ensure that health remains central to the Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Health in the SDG era is about health in all policies. The cross connection of health and well-being to quality education, gender equity, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, peace and justice, and reduced inequities should not be minimized. It has been noted that nearly 50 targets across 14 goals are critical to ensure health and wellbeing.

ICN firmly believes that the SDGs will not be achieved unless inequities between populations are addressed. In collaboration with other health care workers, Nurses and Advance Practice Nurses are integral to the solution to addressing inequities. Around the world nurses are working in incredible and sacrificial ways for the betterment of others health. There are nurses caring for prisoners irrespective of what the crimes they may have committed; working on the streets caring for the homeless; for anyone who walks through hospital doors; on the back of trucks providing mobile clinics; in completely under-resourced, remote locations in the world. The voice of nursing is a commanding one because it sees the health needs of the patient beyond the medical diagnosis.

As outlined in the Global Action Plan, a shift in focus to the highly cost-effective frontline health system will accelerate the progress to reach SDG 3. As nurses make up the majority of the frontline health workforce, this means investing in nurses.

In order to fully mobilize the expertise of nurses, we encourage WHO and governments to continue to actively involve nurses in the planning and development of relevant policies and strategies and provide global support for the expansion of advanced practice roles.