Today, 12/04/2018, BeMSA’s National President, Yasnaïa Bruneel, represented the entire International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations at the 51st session Commission on Population and Development of the United Nations (UN) in New York. As part of a 4 person delegation, she had the opportunity to give a speech presenting our views on migration, sustainable cities and mobility.
You may find the full text of the speech below, together with a link to a video recording of the event.
“Honorable chair, distinguished delegates, Migration, sustainable cities and mobility are a priority when it comes to the promotion and prevention of social determinants of health. We, the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, acknowledge health as an essential human right and therefore anything that works to the detriment of it, should be addressed and combatted. In terms of these topics, we, believe that the intersectionality of factors occurring outside the technical areas are also present and determinant of the health-disease processes of a population.
Migrants and refugees, regardless of their migration status, still find themselves in very vulnerable situations. During their journey they face conditions which can acutely exacerbate their health conditions. Moreover, as many cities are still facing challenges in terms of internal migration such as housing, protection and the access to basic health care services, they are at increased risk to disease, maternal and child health complications, occupational health hazards, injuries, and mental health issues. However, we are convinced that healthcare must be accessible and provided without any discrimination based on health status, ethnicity, age, ability, education, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, or other status. This also includes the guarantee of universal youth-friendly health coverage as it is a key component to achieve the human right to health. Therefore, we call member states to urgently take proactive measures to meet the specific health needs of this population group with governmental and civil society organizations, at the local, national and international level.
Moreover, we believe that the goals within the topics of sustainable cities, migrant health and human mobility can only be fully fulfilled if sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as gender equality, are guaranteed. As Sustainable Development Goal 11 calls to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, we believe that women’s and girls’ full and effective participation and equal rights and opportunities need to be ensured at a political, economic and social level.
To conclude, we call upon member states to prioritize groups in vulnerable situations, worldwide that still have little or no access to essential, good-quality youth-friendly and affordable health services. We stress that youth are not only the generation of tomorrow, but also the generation of today. We, as medical students, are committed to raise awareness and promote meaningful youth participation in order to achieve universal health rights and sustainable development in the framework of this meeting.
More about the event itself may be found at the following link: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/commission/sessions/2018/index.shtml