Media Statement

24 March 2016

President Zuma back in South Africa after a successful Working Visit to France

President Jacob Zuma has this morning, 24 March 2016, returned to Pretoria after a successful Working Visit to the French city of Lyon where he co-chaired the official launch of the United Nations High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth (HLC HEEG).

The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, established the HLC HEEG following the adoption of United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/183, and invited President Zuma and President Hollande of France to co-chair the Commission. 

The two leaders committed themselves to work with speed to realise the objectives of the commission.  The key objectives are to come up with measures that will contribute to global inclusive economic growth, the creation of decent jobs and the achievement of Universal Health Coverage.

President Zuma said: “Health workforce shortages are growing in developing countries, including South Africa. There’s also the challenge of the brain drain. Highly trained health care workers from developing countries often migrate to advanced economies where they are readily absorbed, never to return”. 

The President further noted that “by training millions of health care workers all over the world and creating employment opportunities, we will go a long way to address the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality faced by developing countries”.

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development forms the basis of the Commission’s work. It also speaks to the implementation of the 2063 Agenda of the African Union and South Africa’s own National Development Plan (NDP).

A second meeting of the High-level Commission is envisaged to take place in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2016, where-after the Commission is expected to submit its report to the UN Secretary-General.

A summary of the meeting will be made available to the public through the Commission's website

Enquiries: Bongani Majola on 082 339 1993 or or Clayson Monyela on 082 884 5974 or

Issued by: The Presidency



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