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As Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Nabarro would have four key priorities.

Alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

David Nabarro standing in front of a poster showing Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good health and well-being.

The 2030 Agenda offers a clear roadmap for a more peaceful, equitable and prosperous future within communities and nations. Health is central to the achievement of the SDGs.

As a result of his experience in the last year as UN Special Adviser on Sustainable Development Dr Nabarro is ready to ensure that the WHO is well-positioned for this new era: he will encourage horizontal, cross-disciplinary, inter-sectoral working that yields measurable results.

David Nabarro discussing a map with a colleague while flying in a helicopter.

In times of outbreaks and health emergencies, the WHO is expected to exercise leadership by providing unparalleled technical expertise, while empowering others to act. Dr Nabarro has led inter-agency efforts to combat disease threats and outbreaks (including malaria, avian influenza, Ebola, Zika, and cholera).

In 2015-2016, Dr Nabarro chaired the Advisory Group on the Reform of the WHO’s Work in Outbreaks and Emergencies. He is committed to completing the work needed to solidify the WHO’s capacity to respond to outbreaks and health emergencies.

David Nabarro and a large group of people standing in a semicircle in a warehouse with relief supplies. Among the group members are former Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, and Anthony Banbury, former Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Mission for Emergency Ebola Response.

National authorities have the primary responsibility to promote the health of their people, but health objectives cannot be achieved without the full engagement of people and civil society, as well as decisive leadership and strong commitment from governments.

The WHO needs to be a trusted partner of all governments while holding itself to the pledge that world leaders themselves made in the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind. Dr Nabarro has consistently sought to engage with Member States in ways that are respectful and reliable, consistent, transparent and accountable.

David Nabarro listening to a staff member at the AIME Ebola Treatment Unit in N'zerekore, Guinea.

Ever since the Primary Health Care Movement in the 1970s, the WHO has advocated people-centred policies for health. Implementation depends on there being spaces in which organisations working for people’s health engage openly with other stakeholders. It calls for consistent attention to the capabilities and circumstances of care providers.

Dr Nabarro continues to champion the interests of all who work to sustain people’s health everywhere – including within households, communities, work-places, health care facilities and institutions.