UNICEF’s new chief opens Countdown to 2015 main session with call for statistical and moral success


Anthony Lake, UNICEF Director + other presenters at Countdown to 2015 Decade Report Session

UNICEF new Director, Anthony Lake called on professionals and statisticians at the Countdown to 2015 Conference to beware of creating a “statistical success” and a “moral failure”. Mr Lake called for some 300 professionals at the Decade Report Session of the Countdown to 2015 at Women Deliver not hide inequities in health care delivery to the poorest, most vulnerable and most isolated: “The last thing the women and children need is a statistical success which masks a moral failure,” said Mr Lake.

Admitting that some progress is being made to save both child and maternal lives, Mr Lake pointed out that the Countdown Decade Report is important in that it reveals the startling truth: “We are not making enough progress: 19 million children and women have died because of treatable causes since the last Countdown report (in 2008).” Mr Lake emphasized that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were inter-connected, linking girl’s education and empowerment to health of women and children: connection between saving mothers’ and children’s lives: “I know that saving mother’s lives (MDG5) is the single most important factor in saving children (and achieving MDG 4)...and reducing global poverty (MDG1).” He concluded by applauding the health care professionals’ work and action: “We can do this, but only by working in partnership with governments, civil society...and most of all, families who are most affected. We have a tremendous responsibility to do what we must do—now!