Prime Minister Modi to act as Patron of the 2018 Partners’ Forum in New Delhi
11 APRIL 2018 | New Delhi, India
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has graciously agreed to become patron of the PMNCH Partners’ Forum taking place in New Delhi on 12 to 13 December 2018. The Partners’ Forum aims to drum up momentum and galvanize action to improve the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents, and will be co-hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, and PMNCH. Heads of State, Ministers of Health and other sectors, civil society, the private sector, young people and many more are expected to attend.
A global kick-off event for the Partners’ Forum on 11 April in New Delhi attracted more than 50 media organizations to a panel discussion attended by India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P. Nadda; incoming PMNCH board chair Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile; and Bollywood star and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Priyanka Chopra. A common theme during the discussion was the need for cross sectoral collaboration for action and results, as well as greater attention to improving gender equity and empowerment of women and girls. The panel discussion was followed by a visit to the residence of India’s Prime Minister Modi, who received the Partners’ Forum logo (photo above) and agreed to become patron of the Forum.
During the panel discussion, Dr Bachelet expressed her appreciation to the Government of India for the support shown by hosting the Partners’ Forum for a second time. The Partnership only convenes a Forum every 3-4 years, bringing together 1000+ partner organizations from 100 countries across different constituencies. “This cross sectoral approach is the way to work to find the best solutions to the problems we are dealing with,” said Dr Bachelet. “The Partnership gives us one such platform to drive this.”
“This cross sectoral approach is the way to work to find the best solutions to the problems we are dealing with”
A big focus of the 2018 Partners’ Forum will be sharing stories of success of how countries are successfully collaborating across sectors and stakeholders to fast-track improvements in the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents. There is mounting evidence that more can be achieved when sectors like health, education, water, hygiene and sanitation, and labour work together, instead of in silos.
A set of 12 Success Factors country case studies will be launched at the Forum that showcase how this is already being done. One of the 12 case studies is “Intensified Mission Indradhanush” from India, an unprecedented collaboration between India’s Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and 11 other ministries to increase immunization coverage among children and pregnant women to 90% by 2020. Though only launched in late 2017, the initiative has already reached a staggering 4.5 million children and 1 million pregnant women.
Explaining the success of some of India's programs, Minister Nadda said, “Convergence between ministries, states and stakeholders is critical to the achievement of shared goals for the health of women, children and adolescents. We need cooperation and collaboration at policy, programme and implementation levels, with all stakeholders.”
Actor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra is also lending her voice to draw attention to the 2018 Partners’ Forum, and to mobilize people from all walks of life to get involved and play their part. At the event in New Delhi, Ms Chopra spoke about her personal commitment to the health and rights of women and girls: “Girls must be given a safe environment to dream, to think big. That is how empowerment will happen— I hope that by lending my voice I can make a difference to their lives.”
Also launched at the event was a new global campaign supported by PMNCH to give women and girls an opportunity have their voice heard. Dr Aparajita Gogoi, National Coordinator, White Ribbon Alliance, told the audience that the “What Women Want” campaign, piloted last year in India to improve quality maternal & reproductive care for women and girls, aims to hear directly from one million women worldwide. Dr Gogoi highlighted the value of such policy advocacy agendas that are based on the needs of women, children and adolescents, listening to their feedback and taking into consideration the challenges they face. “Placing women and girls in the center of not just the problem but also the solution really matters,” she said. “We need to ask women for their opinions”. The December Partners’ Forum will provide the results of the What Women Want campaign as a major social accountability initiative supported by PMNCH partners.
Information note: PMNCH regrets the inconvenience caused by the inadvertent circulation of an erroneous map of the Indian Lines of Control as part of the press kit for the 11 April event in New Delhi. The map, developed by the inter-agency working group INFORM, has been rectified in accordance with UN cartographic guidelines and all country profiles will be brought up to date, with high priority for countries surrounding Jammu and Kashmir.