7. How does health feature in the 2030 Agenda?

The 2030 Agenda provides for strong political commitment to public health: “To promote physical and mental health and well-being, and to extend life expectancy for all, we must achieve universal health coverage and access to quality health care. No one must be left behind.” (Agenda 2030, para 26).

Health and well-being for all at all ages are at the centre of sustainable development: as a determinant and an enabler of the SDGs, and as an outcome. The focus on universal health coverage (UHC) as an overarching theme, and greater emphasis on the interactions with the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development are two central features of health in the new agenda.

Health is positioned as a major contributor to other SDGs: without health many other SDGs cannot be achieved; at the same time, health also benefits from progress towards the other SDGs. Across all Goals there are over 20 health targets (see Annex). To achieve the SDG health targets, countries in the European Region can capitalize on their work to implement the Health 2020 framework, whose areas and targets are consistent with those in the SDGs.