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International Council of Nurses Pledges Support to UN Commission Recommendations
Date Posted: 16/Dec/2016
International Council of Nurses pledges support to
UN Commission recommendations
Geneva Switzerland; 16 December 2016 – The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has pledged its support to the recommendations of the United Nations High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth at a high level ministerial meeting held on 14- 15 December. 
During the meeting, the ICN President, Dr Judith Shamian made an intervention expressing
ICN’s strong support of the Commission’s recommendations and its commitment to working with the global institutions and ICN’s network of over 130 National Nursing Associations, covering the 16 million nurses worldwide, to see these recommendations implemented for the benefit of healthcare workers and the patients and populations for whom they care.
ICN pledged to harness the expertise and experience of nurses from around the world to advise on strategies and actions to:
- empower women through institutionalizing their leadership
- scaling up transformative education for both new nurses and existing staff
- identify opportunities through which advanced nursing roles can develop, widening
and strengthening healthcare delivery, and advice on the appropriate development of new cadres
- advise on clinically effective technologies to improve access to and the quality of health services
- develop and promote the capabilities of nursing in humanitarian, conflict and disaster settings
- support the development of workforce planning systems to ensure the right numbers
of staff with the right skills in the right place at the right time
- identify unsafe and unfair working conditions and practices and advocate for and negotiate improvements in working conditions and environments
- with Nursing Associations monitor and lobby for health spending and investment “As the single largest professional group comprising close to half of all health care workers,
nurses are decisive in delivering the Commission’s ambitions,“ said Dr Frances Hughes,
ICN’s Chief Executive Officer. “Nursing will be a touchstone for both progress against and delivery on the Commission’s recommendations and that should be reflected in the action plan.”
ICN was an active partner in the development of the UN Commission report, which was released in September 2016. The global nursing federation hosted a consultation with 50 National Nursing Associations in May 2016, made a series of written submissions and, following the launch of the report, held discussions with 35 National Nursing Associations at Forums in Washington and Beijing.
ICN also has a strategic collaboration, the International Centre on Nurse Migration (ICNM), which is a global resource for nurse migration. It includes global nursing experts and is well placed to support the work of the international platform recommended by the Commission. ICN pledged to continue this work through country and regional meetings and events, including its internal Nursing Congress in Barcelona in May 2017, in order to:
- communicate and raise awareness of the Commission’s recommendations amongst
the global nursing community
- identify the challenges, barriers and enablers at local, national and regional level to
- work with partner agencies to contribute to monitoring and reporting on progress in
delivering the action plan
The HEEG Commission was established in March 2016 with the goal to guide and stimulate the creation of at least 40 million new jobs in the health and social sectors by 2030, with a specific focus on addressing the projected shortfall of 18 million health workers, primarily in low-income and lower middle-income countries.
The Commission is co-chaired by H.E. Mr. François Hollande, President of France, and H.E. Mr Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa. Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) serves as the co-vice chair along with Mr Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Mr Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Dr Judith Shamian, ICN President, serves as one of the Commissioners. More information on the Commission, and the final report, is available on:
Note for Editors
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses and leading nursing
internationally, ICN works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.
For further information contact Lindsey Williamson at:
Tel: +41 22 908 0100; Fax: +41 22 908, @Nurses

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