PMNCH announces partnership with parliamentarians to drive accountability for adolescent health
25-28 MARCH 2018 | Geneva, Switzerland
The 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly was held from 25 to 28 March 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. PMNCH, in collaboration with IPU and the World Health Organisation (WHO), organized the session ‘Ensuring accountability and oversight for adolescent health’ on 27 March with over 40 parliamentarians from around the world.
This interactive session, moderated by PMNCH Executive Director, Helga Fogstad provided an opportunity for discussion and information-sharing between parliamentarians and experts on national responses to adolescent health. She began by emphasizing the crucial role of parliaments saying, “Parliament is a key institution of accountability in each country, it’s their responsibility to hold the executive to account for commitments made and make a difference in the lives of all adolescents, including the marginalized & vulnerable”.
A warm welcome from Dr. Habibe Millat, a Member of Parliament from Bangladesh Chair of the IPU Advisory Group on Health kicked –off the session with a warm welcome to participants. Dr. Chandra-Mouli representing WHO set the stage with a presentation highlighting gaps and achievements in reaching adolescents in the MDG era. He emphasized that the SDGs provides an opportunity for adolescent health and wellbeing to be prioritized, and that parliamentarians play a critical role to ensure data and evidence translates to political action. Elizabeth Mason, member of the Independent Accountability Panel (IAP), followed with key recommendations from the 2017 annual IAP report, which focused on adolescents. She emphasized recommendations on the importance of whole-government accountability and unleashing the power of adolescents through their meaningful engagement.
Parliamentarians in the room responded with key examples where young people have been engaged in their work – from inviting them to hearings to share their views, to working directly with youth organisations to tackle issues such as child marriage.
Helga Fogstad, PMNCH Executive Director, highlighted the role of the Adolescent and Youth Constituency, composed of ambitious and inclusive youth-led organizations who are working at country, regional and global levels. She also announced a new partnership with IPU, working together to strengthen the capacity of parliaments to improve accountability for resources, results and rights for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health.