15-19 May 2007
60th World Health Assembly
Geneva, 15 May 2007 - Health ministers at the 60th World Health Assembly were urged to focus on reducing maternal, newborn and young child deaths by two members of The Partnership --the Prime Minister of Norway, the Rt. Hon. Jens Stoltenberg, and Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Both spoke of the need for partnership to achieve MDG 4 & 5.
Prime Minister Stoltenberg: "Seven years ago, I had the privilege of signing the Millennium Declaration together with 189 other Heads of States or Government. Every 3 seconds a child dies, and every minute a pregnant woman dies in our globalized world. All together over 10 million deaths every year. This is unacceptable. It is a moral imperative that we take corrective action as prescribed for us in the Millennium Development Goals."
The Prime Minister spoke of Norway's initiative, the Global Business Plan, aimed to spearhead political impetus at the highest level to save lives and achieve MDGs 4 &5. The plan is being developed with The Partnership and other partners, including Chancellor Gordon Brown, UK, the Gates Foundation, Tanzania, Indonesia and Mozambique.
Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director of the UNFPA, during her keynote address to the 60th World Health Assembly here today, warned that “no nation can be developed when women are denied the right to health, and no nation can progress when large numbers of women die while giving life”. Over the past two decades, said Ms. Obaid, more than 10 million women have died from complications relating to pregnancy and childbirth, and some 300 million women have suffered injuries or long-term disabilities, such as obstetric fistula. “By any measure,” she added, “this situation is deplorable when we consider the fact that most of these deaths and disabilities could be prevented.”
Geneva, 19 May 2007 - The Assistant Director-General of the Family and Community Health Cluster, Mrs. Daisy Mafubelu, reported from the Secretariat on resolution WHA58.31: Working towards universal coversage of maternal, newborn and child health interventions: biennial report .