United Nations General Assemby September 2012: RMNCH In focus

18 SEPTEMBER 2012 | NEW YORK


H4+ Event

(H4+): UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank and UNAIDS

24 September 2012 | New York - The UN H4+ agencies ; UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, UN Women and the World Bank are lead technical partners for implementation of the Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women and Children’s Health, and the health MDGs. The H4+ is therefore uniquely positioned to discuss country-level progress on MDGs 4, 5, and 6.

This advocacy event, positioned around the margins of the opening session of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly, provided a unique opportunity to bring together stakeholders from diverse communities to advocate at the highest levels for the health of women and children globally. The main objectives of the breakfast meeting were to:

  • Highlight progress and challenges made by countries to meet their commitments to the Global Strategy for Women and Children’s Health;
  • Highlight selected UN H4+ partnerships that have enhanced country actions;
  • Advocate for accelerated action in the critical three remaining years before the 2015 MDG deadline;
  • Outline key priorities for the H4+ and other stakeholders from the Every Woman, Every Child community towards 2015 and outline directions for the future.

Agenda for the H4+ Event

  • 08:00 – 08:30 - Registration and Breakfast
  • 08:30 – 08:33 - Moderator: Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant- Director-General, WHO
  • 08:33 – 08:40- Welcome and Opening Remarks, Mr. Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF
SESSION 1: ACHIEVING RESULTS AT COUNTRY- LEVEL
  • 08:40 – 08:45 - Universal health coverage to improve maternal, newborn and child health, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General , WHO
  • 08:45 – 08:55 - In- country collaboration- achieving results in Zambia, H.E. Dr. Christine Kaseba Sata, First Lady of the Republic of Zambia
  • 08:55 – 09:00 - Recent findings from maternal and newborn human resources for health assessments, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA
SESSION 2: GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS TO ACCELERATE COUNTRY LEVEL ACTION
  • 09:20 – 09:30- Role of the Donor in Achieving Progress in maternal and newborn health, The Honorable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, Canadian International Development Agency
  • 09:30 – 09:40 - Private Sector Collaboration, Ms. Sharon D'Agostino, Vice-President, Johnson and Johnson

MODERATOR: Dr Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF

SESSION 3: ACCELERATING MOMENTUM AND SETTING DIRECTIONS FOR THE FUTURE
  • 10:05 – 10:10 - Gender Equality and women’s rights fundamental to the improvement of women’s and children’s health, Dr. Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women
  • 10:10 – 10:15 - Fighting Poverty by Investing in Women and Children's Health Ms. Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Vice President for Human Development, World Bank
  • 10:15 – 10:25 - Accelerating progress in reaching MDG’s 4 and 5 now – setting the direction for the future, The Honorable Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden
  • 10:25 – 10:30 - Closing Remarks, Dr. Michel Sidibe, UNAIDS

Quotes of note

H.E. Dr. Christine Kaseba Sata, First Lady of the Republic of Zambia spoke of her personal experience and the challenges, including gender challenges. Dr Sata spoke of bottlenecks in the system, in particular, the of lack of human resources. She pointed to solutions, including fast track training program for midwives and training centres to cater larger recruitments. A main challenge are insufficient resources to keep up with needed infrastructure. Gender imbalances are another challenge.

Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA mentioned collaboration with Intel mobile health, J&J’s work to increase capacity of teachers in East Africa and south-south cooperation. Canada and France for more resources.

Private Sector Collaboration, Ms. Sharon D'Agostino, Vice-President, Johnson and Johnson, spoke of J&J’s Credo and responsibilities as corporate citizens to leverage strength of people and products. Ms D’Agostino spoke of a five-year commitment towards the UNSG’s Global Strategy to reach at least 120 million women and children per year by 2015. She said that J&J focuses on innovation, pioneering new ways making child birth safer, the elimination of PMTCT, and has a country focus on Ethiopia and Tanzania.

Dr Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women spoke of the need to prevent child marriages and focus on adolescent girls. She emphasized the need for gender responsive funding and planning.

Ms Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, Vice President for Human Development, World Bank announced that on October 11, the Day of the Girl Child, the World bank will launch a financing facility for RMNCH – reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. She asked people to follow the World Bank's campaign to end poverty on Twitter: #whatwillittake.

The Honorable Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden – announced an additional US $ 52 million in un-earmarked resources guided by country programmes n the post-MDG panel with United Kingdom, Indonesia and Liberia.

Following the launch of the Every Woman Every Child movement in 2010, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, and the World Bank, as well as UNAIDS – leading United National agencies targeting health issues – joined forces as the Health 4+ (H4+) as a coordinated initiative aimed at reducing maternal and newborn and mortality. The WHO H4+ team is led by the Departments of Reproductive Health and Research and Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health. The team works with 49+ priority countries and brings together collective and coordinated efforts to support planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of country activities in relation to the UN Secretary General 's Global Strategy on Women's and Children's Health. The team works closely with other departments in WHO to address broader health systems issues such as human resources for health, social determinants, as well as HIV/AIDS prevention, malaria, nutrition etc.

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