Countdown 2015 urges parliamentarians to save mother and child lives
Special session: IPU/ Countdown
Maternal, Newborn & Child Health at the 120th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
TUESDAY 5 APRIL 2009| ADDIS ABABA -The special session was held during the 120th IPU assembly following one minute silence to mark the 15th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide and the victims of the earthquake in the North of Italy which occurred days just before the Session.
This Session was conceived as a follow up to the Countdown/IPU event in 2008. The Countdown 2008 Report was launched in conjunction with the 118th Assembly of the IPU in Cape Town, South Africa, 13-18 April 2008. At that time, Parliamentarians signed a commitment to continue working on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) issues. In this year’s session, countries presented case studies with examples of Parliamentarians working on MNCH initiatives in their country.
The session was introduced by Mr Teshome Toga, Speaker of the Ethiopian Parliament, and chair of the session. Dr Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Health or Ethiopia and Co-chair of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health addressed the audience on his keynote speech, calling parliamentarians to lead by example.
Dr Adhanom suggested "five specific areas of action for parliamentarians in improving the lives of mothers and children:
- representing the voices of women and children;
- creating and accelerating appropriate legislation to ensure universal access to essential care, including skilled care at birth
- overseeing government accountability to implement policies for mother and children
- providing adequate budgets for maternal, newborn and child health national policies and programs, and finally
- advocating nationally and internationally for the MDGs."
After showing a short video about the Countdown to 2015, Dr Nicholas Alipui, UNICEF Director of programmes gave a statement on behalf of the Countdown Partners.
Two presentations followed:
- Hon. Jean Kapata, Zambia - Chairperson, Parliamentary Caucus on Children; Member of the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Welfare presented on the Zambian experience.
- Senator Barbara Contini, Italy: Member of Parliament (PdL) presented the Italian case, about a joint bill presented to Italian Parliament to increase development aid targeted to maternal, newborn and child health.
Following the presentations, the floor was open for debate, with interventions from the floor from the Honourable members of parliaments: Mme E. Bazaiba Masudi (Democratic Republic of Congo), Mme R. Hamdan (Palestine), Mme P. Fouty-Soungou (Congo) and Mrs P. Cayetano (Philippines).
Dr Tedros Adhanom keynote address
Statement by Dr. Nicholas Alipui
Presentation from Italy: Legislating for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, by Sen. Barbara Contini
Presentation from Zambia: Parliamentary Caucus on Children
Draft Bill to Italian Parliament February 2009 English summary
Draft Bill to Italian Parliament - 2009 italiano
- Back to Countdown and MNCH in 120th IPU Assembly