2014 Partners' Forum
30 JUNE - 1 JULY | Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa
Plenary 5: Our Common Vision – Delivering health and development for women and children beyond 2015
As the 2014 Partners’ Forum drew to a close, panellists explored how to align the roles of private, public, civil society and other sectors to accelerate progress toward health for all. This plenary aimed to establish a common vision and galvanize partners for joint action beyond 2015, learning from the partnerships that leveraged action during the MDG era and strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships within and beyond the health sector.
Dr. Carole Presern, Executive Director, PMNCH delivered her closing remarks sharing her personal takeaways about the Forum and key moments, as well as key points from the Partners’ Forum communiqué. She thanked the participants and panellists, and the co-hosts: Government of South Africa and Countdown, USAID and UNICEF for APR, and iERG, and all other stakeholders who have made the Partners’ Forum possible.
The panel was made up of a number of inspirational speakers, who are both leaders and doers, in the reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health space.
Dr. Ariel Pablos Mendez, Assistant Administrator, USAID, spoke to the plenary about the “Last mile and beyond: What will it take?”. Dr Pablos reflected on the collective outcomes of the series of meeting in the sprint of 2014 (Toronto, Washington and the Partners’ Forum) and how they together provide a stronger base for action to fulfil our Global Strategy vision. Following on from the discussion on ‘what will it take’, Mr. Miguel Veiga-Pestana , Vice President, Sustainability Strategy and Global Advocacy, Unilever, provided a perspective on the “Multi-sectoral approaches, delivered in partnership”. He suggested that moving into the post-2015 era, multi-sectoral approaches are essential for improving the health of women and children in the post 2015 era. He cited ‘WASH’ as an example of how such approaches can be scaled and delivered successfully through private-public partnerships.
The Partners’ Forum showed itself as an example of a venue where youth voices have been recognized and supported. Mr. Yemurai Nyoni, Founding Director of Dot Youth Organization, noted that we need more such opportunities for youth to be heard, including in relation to the post-2015 framework, if we are to “reach every woman and every child”. The “Roadmap to Accelerate MDG5 and Newborn Progress”, was discussed by Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA. Professor Osotimehin noted that in the last 550 days to the MDGs, concerted efforts must be made to accelerate progress by all means possible. Complementing the launch of the MDG4 roadmap this past spring, a new roadmap for MDG5 and newborn health will be previewed ahead of its formal launch during the MDG Advocates tour of South Africa. He also passed on a message of support from Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women.
Professor Nila Moeloek, Special Envoy of the President of Indonesia on the Millennium Development Goals told the audience that the MDGs provided tremendous momentum for accelerating progress – they were few in number, focused in impact, and established women’s and children’s health as central to human development. Moving into the post-2015 era, it is critical to keep that vision at the heart of our efforts, bringing in neglected issues like newborns, stillbirths and adolescents and linking efforts to a strong performance monitoring framework and robust accountability mechanisms. That bridging will be inspired by “Country leadership, which the key to success”, as noted by Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Minister of Health, Nigeria. One plan, one budget, one performance monitoring framework, supported by all partners. National leadership is therefore central to our collective success in supporting women’s and children’s health
Delivering our promises will need to be done in “Action and accountability in partnership”. No was better to talk about this than Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General, Family, Women’s and Community Health, World Health Organization. She noted that clear targets and indicators, as well as robust data based on CRVS and strong national health information systems, enable meaningful accountability mechanisms that inform and support progress, supporting the realization of the rights of women and children to the highest possible standard of health.
In closing, the Honourable Minister of Health of South Africa Aaron Motsoaledi, thanked all of those who participated in the Forum, brought their energy, passion, and gave us hope. In the two days we were here we did not only talk about health; health is integral to all that we do, our societies and our economic and social progress. The health of women and children will determine the fate of our nations.