At the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000, 180 world leaders pledged to achieve significant advances in the well-being of the world's poor by 2015. Several of the key Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) relate to health, in particular controlling epidemic diseases and reducing the death rates of mothers in childbirth and young children. To further the Summit's goals, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland asked me to head a Commission on Macroeconomics and Health with the aim of charting a path for the world to achieve those MDGs in health and poverty reduction. Our Commission released its findings on December 20th.
Our Commission grappled with the challenge of burgeoning epidemic diseases that are ravaging the poorest countries of the world, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite a considerable diversity of views at the outset of the two-year investigation, the Commission reached a strong consensus after examining extensive evidence from around the world.