14 APRIL 2010 | NEW YORK

Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health visual

Organizer: United Nations
Event dates: 14 April 2010
Venue: New York, NY

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania

14 APRIL 2010 | UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK – The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted a high-level luncheon and press conference to announce the development of a Global Strategy for accelerating progress on maternal and newborn health, which included President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway, Indonesian Vice President Boediono, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Canadian Minister of International Cooperation Beverley Oda.

Calling for urgent and strategic efforts, the Joint Action Plan will urge all stakeholders, developed and developing countries, civil society actors, private businesses, philanthropic institutions and the multilateral system to each offer new initiatives and adopt an accountability framework that will keep maternal and child health high on the national and international development agenda. The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health has played-- and will continue to play--a substantial role in the UN Secretary General-led efforts. This includes the development of the Global Strategy with accountability framework, a Landscape Analysis presentation, major media outreach, coordination of partner consultation meetings and event coordination. Please find links on the right to the documents presentation,video and clippings.

“The fact remains that one preventable maternal death is too many; hundreds of thousands are simply unacceptable – this, in the 21st century,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told key partners on the eve of a formal meeting that he has convened to further develop a set of concrete actions to advance the Plan. “It has been 10 years since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We are making great strides in some areas. In some countries maternal deaths are declining. That is great news. But progress on maternal health is still lagging far behind. For too long, maternal and child health has been at the back of the MDG train, but we know it can be the engine of development. So we say: women and children first. After all, a health system that delivers for mothers will deliver for the whole community.”

The Secretary-General convened meeting of key partners on Thursday, 15 April, to further develop a set of concrete actions to advance the Strategy. The Strategy highlights the central role of women’s health in sustainable development, and links women’s rights with safe motherhood and child survival.

Quotes of note

Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg: “We cannot accept the fact that women continue to die in childbirth and that children continue to die from easily preventable causes. Now we must mobilize the necessary resources and know-how to save the lives of women and children and make sure we can achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”

Vice President Boediono of Indonesia: “Increased and secure funding is essential to increasing the momentum towards achieving the MDGs, particularly goals 4 and 5. Therefore, governments must make health a priority - increasing national health expenditures both through our current mechanisms, and through internationally integrated and innovative financing mechanisms for health. We need to ensure that discussions and negotiations related to health in the World Health Organization are supported.”

Beverley J. Oda, Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation: "Canada welcomes the UN Secretary-General's focus on these urgent priorities. As G8 President in 2010, Canada is championing a major initiative to support developing countries in improving maternal and under-five child health. Commitments made at the G8 Muskoka Summit in June 2010 can make a tangible difference and will be a key contribution to the UN Secretary-General's initiative."

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: “A cornerstone of the Obama Administration’s Global Health initiative is women and girl-centered programming that acknowledges women are the gateway to their communities. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to ill health and are comparatively underserved by health services. When women receive the care they need, their families, communities and all of society benefit.”