Ambassador Homme recently met with the Indonesian Minister of Health ibu Endang R. Sedyaningsih and had an interesting conversation about global health issues of concern to both Norway and Indonesia.
The minister has a strong professional and academic background being a Doctor of public health – and she told the Ambassador that her professor at Harvard School of Public Health was actually Norwegian! Health was high on the agenda during this year’s UN General Assembly in New York.
Indonesia and Norway take active part in the group of seven countries particularly engaged in the connections between global health and foreign policy, started up by the Foreign Ministers of Norway and France. A ministerial declaration on the follow up of this was agreed upon in New York.
The Ambassador was pleased to inform about a letter recently sent from Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to President Yudhoyono in which he expressed his gratitude to Indonesia for promoting the health agenda nationally and internationally.
The two have since 2007 worked closely together in the global network of top leaders initiated by Stoltenberg. Particular attention was raised towards UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s launching of a Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and how individual countries can contribute to take concrete action directed towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. During the conversation the bilateral cooperation within safe laboratories, mental health, crisis management and student exchanges was also discussed.