The 2014 Partners' Forum Communiqué

1 JULY | Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

Ensuring the health and well-being of every woman, child, newborn and adolescent

We, the participants of the Partners’ Forum meeting in Johannesburg on June 30 and July 1, 2014:
  • Reaffirm that the health of women, newborns, children and adolescents is a human right and at the heart of a people-centered approach to sustainable development.
  • Applaud the progress in almost halving global maternal and child mortality since 1990 and note in particular the achievements on women and children’s health since the 2010 launch of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, the related Every Woman Every Child movement, and regional initiatives such as the African Union’s CARMMA and the Maputo Plan of Action.
  • Regret that progress has been uneven in many countries, with marginalized and underserved groups, including adolescents and newborns making the least progress. No one should be left behind and there is no room for complacency.
  • Recognize the right of marginalized and underserved groups, including young people, to actively participate as partners in the design of policies and strategies that affect their lives and health and note the recommendations in the PMNCH youth pre-forum outcome document.
  • Emphasize that preventing unintended pregnancies, violence against women, and early and forced marriage will significantly reduce maternal and newborn mortality and improve women’s and children’s health worldwide.
  • Stress that universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including quality, comprehensive and integrated sexual and reproductive health information, education, services and supplies, is central to ending preventable maternal, newborn, child and adolescent morbidity and mortality and preventing stillbirths. This must be fully incorporated into the priorities and obligations of the post-2015 development framework, alongside the crucial multi-sector actions and investments necessary for healthy lives.
  • Reaffirm that country leadership, including both governments and civil society, is vital for the success of these efforts.
In the remaining days of the Millennium Development Goals and beyond 2015, we commit ourselves to accelerate progress for women and children’s health through smart investments, in line with a country’s unique needs:
  • Invest in universal access to integrated sexual and reproductive health information, education, services and supplies, including by upholding this access as a human right by providing the awareness and information that enables women and youth to make informed decision, and by strong partnerships with the public, private, and civil society sectors.
  • Invest in poor and marginalized populations and in other groups requiring special attention, such as newborns and adolescents and young people. Support community-led efforts to address these challenges and advance inclusion.
  • Invest in high-impact health interventions, such as immunization; skilled attendance at birth and quality care for mothers and newborns; access to contraception; prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV, malaria and TB, as set out in the Global Investment Framework for Women’s and Children’s Health and the Commission on Investing in Health.
  • Invest in high-impact, health-enhancing interventions in other sectors to improve education, skills and employment; access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene; nutrition; rural electrification; roads; and women’s political and economic participation, including preventing early and forced marriage.
  • Couple these investments with long-term strategies that ensure sustainability through innovations and strengthening health systems to facilitate scaled-up access to quality health services.
We call for the health and human rights of women, newborns, children and adolescents to be prioritized in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, targets and indicators:
  • Include, at a minimum, a standalone health goal to uphold health as a human right and to maximize access to health and wellbeing, end preventable mortality and morbidity and meet individual demand for sexual and reproductive health and contraception and to be aware that other goals might emerge, for example on RMNCH.
  • Endorse global targets for 2030 to reduce child mortality to 25 or fewer deaths per 1,000 live births, newborn mortality to 12 of fewer deaths per 1,000 live births, and to reduce maternal mortality in all countries to a global ratio of less than 70 per 100,000 live births and a minimum of 75 percent of demand for contraceptives is met by modern methods.
  • Commit to differentiated targets and indicators to guarantee focus on key populations including adolescents, marginalized and underserved groups, and to take into account different levels of development in countries.
  • Establish shared goals with health-enhancing sectors, such as education, nutrition, water and sanitation, rural electrification, roads, skills and employment. Develop capacity for multi-stakeholder and multi-sector partnerships in order to maximize health outcomes and the contribution that better health makes to other sectors.
  • Strengthen the capacity of civil society and ensure the meaningful engagement of young people and other key populations in policy-making and implementation, as well as in holding stakeholders to account.
  • Develop civil registration and vital statistics systemsand strengthen national health information systems to collect and publish key RMNCH data, including for neglected groups such as newborns and adolescents.
  • Support good governance and leadership at all levels of government, civil society, the private sector and the global community, strengthened by the use of timely, reliable data and evidence for transparency in decision-making and accountability.
We, the participants of the Partners’ Forum leave with a renewed sense of commitment and joint accountability to achieve our goals of eliminating preventable death and morbidity for women, newborns, children and adolescents and ensuring universal access to the full range of services and goods for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. We further commit to collaborate together to:
  • Learn continuously and adjust: We will share lessons as a global community on what works and what doesn’t;
  • Review progress regularly and work together to achieve our shared goals.