Press release: From Pledges to Action

An impressive gathering of partners

More than 700 partners from 35 countries have registered for the conference, where UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will deliver a welcome message.

Other featured speakers include Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India; Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization; Bience Gawanas, Social Affairs Commissioner of the African Union; Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos, Minister of Health of Mexico; and Purnima Mane, Deputy Executive Director at UNFPA, speaking on behalf of the four agencies that make up the "Health 4, or H4", i.e., WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank.

PMNCH Director Flavia Bustreo will introduce the Global Strategy and Julio Frenk, Chair of PMNCH, will offer next steps to be taken toward meeting the goals.

The Partners Forum follows closely the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC, where the use of mobile technologies, even basic cell phones, to help meet the MDGs is being considered. A pre-Forum session will also explore how mobile technology can help advance women and children's health.

In addition, an “Innovation Showcase” at the Forum will demonstrate recent innovations from many parts of the world that have potential to improve women’s and children’s health.

The 15 featured innovations include: an SMS Sex Education program from Indonesia; pocket-sized mobile ultrasound scanners; an inexpensive incubator for premature and/or low birth-weight babies that works without electricity; and the Life Straw, which removes 99.9 percent of waterborne bacteria and 98.7 percent of waterborne viruses and is powered only by suction.