Annette Kennedy, President of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), joined other high-level speakers at the Fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health held in Dublin, Ireland, 13-17 November 2017.
With the theme, Building the health workforce of the future, the Forum was the largest open conference on human resources for health-related issues, gathering over 1,000 delegates from 90 countries across the globe.
The Forum concluded with the Dublin Declaration on Human Resources for Health, a multi-sectoral and multistakeholder declaration for improved governance, strategic investments and financing for an effective, performing and sustainable workforce.
Mrs Kennedy spoke at the Closing Plenary, Working for Health: Galvanizing Commitment, Change and Accountability along with other representatives of a variety of constituents to pledge commitment to the Dublin Declaration. Other stakeholders who pledged commitment in this closing session included Isabelle Casanga, Youth Forum representative from the Malawi College of Medicine; Professor Paul Worley, National Rural Health Commissioner, Australia; Francis Omaswa from the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation; and Jim Campbell, Director of the Health Workforce Department at the World Health Organization and Executive Director of the Global Health Workforce Alliance.
Mrs Kennedy welcomed the collective political commitment demonstrated at the Forum. She pledged ICN’s commitment to seeing that the Dublin Declaration is implemented, and emphasized the need for accountability in relation to health care as well as the need for policy makers to involve the people delivering the service - the nurses and other health professionals - as they are the ones who know the needs of the population. The ICN President referenced some of the case studies from the ICN’s 2017 International Nurses Day resource, Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and highlighted the Nursing Now Campaign and the need to raise awareness about the role of nurses in achieving the SDGs and Universal Health Coverage. She also spoke about the need to support retention of the workforce by improving working conditions and building capacity in our own countries to prevent the movement of nurses from low income countries to high income countries through aggressive recruitment.
With the aim of advancing the implementation of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 and the recommendations of the UN High level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth towards achieving Universal Health Coverage and the SDGs, the Forum facilitated special sessions to debate and discuss health workforce issues of global relevance including; emergency preparedness and response, antimicrobial resistance, and the UNAIDS 90-90-90 initiative amongst others.
Featuring high-impact decision-makers, leaders, and investors representing all stakeholder groups, the Forum aimed to promote innovations in policy, practice and research and promote the engagement of HRH stakeholder groups in learning, knowledge sharing, networking andcollaborative actions.
The Forum was convened by the Department of Health, Ireland; The Health Service Executive; Irish Aid; Trinity College Dublin; the World Health Organization and the Global Health Workforce Network. Co-sponsors included Member States and supporting organisations engaged in the work of the Global Health Workforce Network.
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