Social Determinants Of Health Conference Releases Final Declaration

The final document of the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, which concluded last week in Rio de Janeiro, “calls for better governance for health and development, with transparent decision-making and social participation,” and “[g]overnments are urged to develop policies and measure progress towards defined goals,” Inter Press Service reports.

The non-binding Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health (Rio Declaration) “define[s] 15 commitments that should be undertaken by governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society,” the news service writes, adding, “One of the main outcomes is a recommendation that the next session of the United Nations General Assembly convene a high-level meeting to adopt a common platform” (Ortiz, 10/21). Though “[t]he report concedes that ‘achieving universal health coverage is not easy, as has become evident even in high-income countries’ … ‘the evidence indicates that moving equitably towards universal health coverage is possible in countries of all income levels,'” BMJ writes (Moszynski, 10/21).