Cablegate: Joint Letter to G8 On Maternal Health and Infant

P 032138Z JUL 08
INFO PAGE 02 STATE 072005 032133Z

C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 072005

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/02/2018

Classified By: EEB PDAS DAVID D. NELSON. REASON 1.4 (B) AND (D).

1. (C) Summary: Norway,s Charge d,Affaires Aud Kolberg
met EEB PDAS David Nelson July 2 to present a letter (text in
para 7) from leaders of Norway and six other countries to
Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda urging Japan to lead the G8 in
devoting greater attention and funding to combating maternal
and child mortality. PDAS Nelson assured Kolberg that G8
leaders would highlight the need for such action in the
Summit declaration on Development and Africa. He told
Kolberg that food security, climate change, and health would
be among the main issues discussed at the July 7-9 G8 Summit.
Finally, PDAS Nelson expressed concern about reports we had
received that an Iranian gas field in which the Norwegian
state oil firm Statoil reportedly has invested may soon start
production. Kolberg promised to follow up with Oslo and
report back. End Summary

2. (U) Norwegian Charge d,Affaires Aud Kolberg met July
2 with EEB PDAS David Nelson to present a letter signed by
Norwegian Prime Minister Stoltenberg, Chilean President
Bachelet, Brazilian President Lula, Liberian President
Johnson Sirleaf, Mozambican President Guebuza, Senegalese
President Wade, Tanzanian President Kikwete, and Ms. Graca
Machel. The letter to Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda, as the
host of the July 7-9 G8 Summit in Toyako Japan, urges strong
action by the G8 to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs) related to reducing infant mortality and improving
maternal health. Kolberg said this initiative was &close to
the Prime Minister,s heart8 given his longstanding interest
in improving the quality of health care and indicators in the
developing world.

3. (U) PDAS Nelson thanked Kolberg for sharing the letter
with us and noted that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and
U.K. Prime Minister Brown would be hosting a high-level
meeting in New York on September 25 to review progress in
achieving the MDGs. EEB/ODF Director Christopher Webster
added that the G8,s Development and Africa Declaration to be
issued at the conclusion of the Summit reiterates the
importance of meeting the MDGs on child mortality and
maternal health. Kolberg was pleased to hear this news.

4. (U) Responding to Kolberg,s questions about this
year,s G8 priorities, PDAS Nelson stated that food security,
climate change, and health would be the most prominent issues
discussed. The outcome of the food security discussions was
expected to be consistent with the three-pillar U.S. approach
outlined by President Bush on May 1 ) food assistance to
meet immediate humanitarian needs, liberalization of
agricultural trade by concluding an ambitious Doha Round
Agreement and working to eliminate market distorting measures
by countries with food surpluses, and promoting investments
to stimulate food production and transport, including greater
reliance on biotechnology. On climate change, the G8
discussions would complement the discussions that would occur
in the Major Economies Leaders Meeting to follow immediately
after the G8 Summit.

5. (C) Closing the meeting, PDAS Nelson expressed concern
about reports we had received that an Iranian gas field in
which Statoil reportedly has invested may soon start
production. He said that these reports troubled senior State
Department officials and anticipated that U/S Burns would be
questioned about them when he testifies before Congress next
week on Iran. Statoil actions would have to be closely
reviewed in the light of Iran Sanctions Act requirements.
Kolberg undertook to get information from Oslo and report

6. (U) Norwegian Embassy First Secretary Mattis Raustol
accompanied the Norwegian Charge. Stephen Wheeler from
EUR/NB also attended.

7. (U) Text of Letter:

Begin Text

Dear Prime Minister Fukuda:

In 2000, at the Okinawa G8 Summit, Japan launched the Okinawa
Infectious Disease Initiative. This highlighted the urgency
of responding to the communicable disease burden facing many
developing countries. It set out a new ambitious vision of
the possible and helped to shape the development assistance
agenda in the years ahead. Looking back at the eight years
since Okinawa we see unprecedented levels of commitment to
respond to that challenge and substantial investment through
a number of initiatives including the Global Funds to fight
AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM).

This effort has delivered impressive results. Development
spending on health increased from USD 6 billion in 2000 to
USD 14 billion in 2005. In addition, this year we expect to
see, for the first time, USD 10 billion spent on the response
to AIDS. As a result, more than two million people are now
receiving AIDS treatment, tuberculosis rates are stabilizing
across much of the world, polio is closer to eradication than
at any time in human history, measles deaths have fallen by
70%, and malaria is being pushed back in many countries.

Sadly we have not seen the same progress in addressing other
health and development priorities. This is particularly so
as regards reducing child mortality (MDG 4) and reducing the
number of women who die during pregnancy and childbirth (MDG
5), an area where there has been little progress over the
last 20 years. Yet everyone agrees that urgent action is
needed to prevent millions of children and their mothers
dying needlessly each year.

At the halfway point to 2015 we need to take stock. To look
where we are making a difference and where we must intensify
our collective effort if we are to realize the Millennium
Development Goals. Last September saw the launch of the
Global Campaign for the Health Related MDGs ) a movement to
refocus and accelerate international efforts, to get us back
on track to meet the MDGs by 2015 and to deliver on the
world,s promise to the weakest and the most vulnerable.

In July this year Japan will again host the G8 summit. As
you yourself have pointed out, &among the health-related
Millennium Development Goals, the issues of safe motherhood
and health of children under five years of age remain serious
as before, with some 500,000 pregnant women and 10 million
children dying annually.8 It is difficult to accept that in
2008 a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth every minute.

We now need the same step change in investment in relation to
MDGs 4 and 5 that we have seen in recent years in relation to
MDG 6. Japan,s post-war experience in building community
health systems shows how countries can improve maternal and
child health and tackle infectious diseases at the same time.

In 2008 we again look to Japan to lead the G8 in pushing the
boundaries of the possible, by setting an ambitious agenda
backed by the level of resources needed to make a difference
in the seven years remaining to 2015.

Yours sincerely

Michelle Bachelet
President of Chile

Armando Guebuza
President of Mozambique

Jakaya Kikwete
President of Tanzania

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
President of Brazil

Ms. Graca Machel

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
President of Liberia

Jens Stoltenberg
Prime Minister of Norway

Abdoulaye Wade
President of Senegal


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