2014 Partners' Forum

30 JUNE - 1 JULY | Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

Plenary 1: Healthy women and children at the centre of development

Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization

More than 800 leaders and health advocates gathered for the very first plenary session of the 2014 Partners’ Forum in Johannesburg. “Healthy women and children at the centre of development” was the topic of the session and gave panellist the opportunity to explore the major themes of the Forum.

The plenary which immediately followed the opening and welcome remarks was moderated by Nikiwe Bikitsha, broadcast journalist and columnist . Panellist were taken through a round of questions tied to themes linking to the forum which include measuring results, accountability, the power of people to drive change, multisectoral approaches and the post 2015 agenda.

What gets measured gets done

Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization spoke of the importance of measuring results to galvanize action. “If you check progress and measure results it is powerful. Good results reinvigorate country partners to do more”. Civil Registration and Vital Statics, reliable data as well as a good health system are imperative to this process she insisted. In her intervention, she introduced the Success Factors for Women`s and Child’s Health report which highlights the progress 10 “fast track” countries have made in reducing maternal and child mortality.

The power of the people

Ms Nunez Argote, Vice President for the World YWCA board and one of the more than 100 youth taking part in the Forum, laid out the youth demands calling for action and Investment in health and education of young people, advancing women’s rights and equality and ensuring that women and girls are at the centre of decision making and post 2015 agenda. We are citizens with rights she declared.

On the theme of the post 2015 agenda, Ms Amina Mohammed , UN Special Advisor, urged delegates not to silo issues as they negotiate the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. With a year to go in the negotiations, she stressed the importance of actionable targets and looking at the whole including areas of social justice and environmental protection.

Multisectoral and in-country approaches to health

Participants also heard from Dr Rajiv Shah, USAID who spoke about the Acting on the Call meeting in Washington, DC last week and 2.9 billion commitment made by the US Government to ending preventable newborn and child deaths. Christopher Elias, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopia highlighted the importance of the multisectoral approach to improving the health of women and children. Minister Ghebreyesus illustrated the connection with investments in other sectors and the connection to the health sector and improving lives. Christopher Elias went on to elaborate on the significant role of in country commitment and political will to this effort emphasising that the right policy and strategies can make a difference.

As the first plenary of the day came to an end but firmly set the tone for the serious deliberations about to begin, the Soweto Gospel choir, as if to urge on participants, closed the plenary with the words of the gospel song “this little light of mine I’m gonna let it shine” resonating through the hall.

  1. About the 2014 Partners’ Forum
  2. The 2014 Partners’ Forum begins: Now it is in our hands
  3. Plenary 1: Healthy women and children at the centre of development
  4. Session 1A: “Fast-track” countries share stories of success
  5. Session 1B: Building a Future Where Children Survive and Thrive
  6. Session 1C: Delivering Immunisation Together: Hitting the MDGs and health goals beyond 2015
  7. Session 1D: Every Mother, Every Newborn: Ensuring Quality of Care at Birth
  8. Plenary 2: Health: A model of Accountability for Post-2015
  9. Session 2A: Better data for better policy making, programming and accountability
  10. Session 2B: The Every Woman Every Child health model of accountability in the post 2015 era
  11. Session 2C: Accountability for RMNCH: The African perspective and prospects
  12. Session 2D: Countdown to 2015: Fulfilling the health agenda for women and children
  13. Session 2E: Addressing the Nutrition needs in a Post-2015 Agenda
  14. Plenary 3: Equity – leave no one behind
  15. Session 3A: Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality
  16. Session 3B: Bridging the Digital Divide: Making Mobile and ICTs a Reality for All
  17. Session 3C: Integrating services for HIV/AIDS and RMNCH to promote equitable access to quality care for women and children
  18. Session 3D: Universal Health Coverage and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Common Goals, Shared Challenges
  19. Session 3E: Equitable access to quality midwifery
  20. Plenary 4: Leveraging Investments for Health and Sustainable Development
  21. Session 4A: Scaling-up Innovations: New ways of dealing with unfinished business
  22. Session 4B: Investing in Adolescent and Youth as Agents of Change
  23. Session 4C: Mobilization of resources to RMNCH investments for reaching 2035 targets
  24. Session 4E: Getting It Right: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Family Planning in the Post-2015 Agenda
  25. Plenary 5: Our Common Vision – Delivering health and development for women and children beyond 2015
  26. Youth engagement at the 2014 Partners' Forum
  27. Private sector leaders reflect on post-2015 priorities and commitments to newborns
  28. World leaders: Women and children must be central to new 2030 global poverty goals