Child survival call to action

14-15 JUNE 2012 / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed

Julion Frenk at the Child Survival Call to Action
Dr Julio Frenk at opening session

The governments of the United States, India and Ethiopia, in collaboration with UNICEF, have convened the Child Survival Call to Action in Washington D.C., bringing together 700 leaders and global experts to launch a sustained effort to save children's lives. The untold story of child survival is that the global community now has the combined knowledge, innovations, technical know-how and affordable tools to end preventable child deaths. Evidence shows that it is possible to decrease under-five mortality rates in developing countries to levels approaching those in wealthier countries, and to reduce disparities between the poorest and wealthiest children within nations.

The Call to Action challenges the world to reduce child mortality to below 20 child deaths or fewer per 1,000 live births in every country by 2035. Reaching this historic target will have saved an estimated, additional 45 million children’s lives between 2010 and 2035, bringing the world closer to the ultimate goal of ending preventable child deaths. The Call to Action forum will launch Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed, a pledge to accelerate declines in maternal and child mortality. Through national action and international cooperation, governments and partners renew the world’s commitment to give every last child the best possible start in life.

Confirmed speakers include (in speaking order):

  • Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Health, Government of Ethiopia
  • Johnny Isakson, U.S. Senator, Republican-Georgia
  • Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State (opening keynote speaker)
  • Ben Affleck, Actor, Director, and Founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative
  • Hans Rosling, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
  • Julio Frenk, Dean, School of Public Health, Harvard University

On the right, find the speech given by Dr Julio Frenk, Chair of PMNCH Board, and Dean, Harvard School of Public Health.

Panel Discussion - A New Approach to Ending Preventable Child Deaths

  • Linda Douglass, The Atlantic - moderator
  • Maria Da Luz Guebuza, First Lady of Mozambique
  • Margaret Chan, Director General, World Health Organization
  • Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development
  • Ray Chambers, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Malaria
  • Chris Elias, President Global Development, Gates Foundation

Spotlight speakers

  • Shanaz Wazir Ali, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • Denis McDonough, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor

Panel Discussion - Bending the Curve: The Role of Innovation and the Private Sector

  • Femi Oke, International Correspondent, WNYC Radio - moderator
  • HRH the Infanta Cristina of Spain, Director of International Programmes, "la Caixa" Foundation
  • John Cahill, CEO McCann
  • Una Ryan, CEO Diagnostics
  • Geralyn Ritter, SVP, Merck

Spotlight speaker

  • Mary Landrieu, U.S. Senator, (Democrat, Louisiana)

Panel Discussion - Meaningful Involvement of Civil Society and the Faith Community

  • Femi Oke, International Correspondent, WNYC Radio - moderator
  • Bishop Sunday N. Onuoha, Executive Director, Nigerian Interfaith Action Association
  • Kay Warren, Co-Founder of Saddleback Church
  • Carolyn Woo, President, Catholic Relief Services
  • Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Vice President, New York Board of Rabbis
  • Cleopatra John Byarugaba, Director U Report, Uganda
  • Ishtiaq Mannan, MaMoni-Integrated Safe Motherhood, Newborn Care and Family Planning
  • Project, Save the Children, Bangladesh

Spotlight speakers

  • Zulfiquar Bhutta, Countdown to 2015
  • Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary
  • Anthony Lake, Executive Director UNICEF


Ten years after the UN General Assembly passed the landmark resolution on A World Fit for Children, A Promise Renewed aims to build on the global success in reducing preventable child deaths and renew political will to get the job done. By pledging support for A Promise Renewed, partners vow to redouble efforts to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 by 2015 and to reduce child mortality in all countries, achieving 20 or fewer under-five deaths per 1,000 live births by 2035, with a focus on reaching the most disadvantaged and hardest-to-reach children in every country.