A joint effort to accelerate progress on the health MDGs
Healthy Women, Healthy Children, Better World
Investing in Our Common Future
A sea change is urgently needed to save the lives of women, newborns, and children. Over the past few years, new levels of political interest, financing, and action on the ground have been mobilized through a number of important initiatives1 . However, there remains a need to mobilize existing and additional influential partners around a new organizational framework in order to accelerate progress, deliver results, and ensure accountability.
As agreed in the Consensus for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health launched in September 2009, bold, focused, and coordinated action is needed to accelerate progress towards reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) targets and to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Maternal and newborn health must be emphasized — while addressing major gaps in child survival — because women and infants are at greatest risk of death in the first days around birth, and because MDG 5 is most at risk of failure. Progress requires increased political and financial commitments, more effective implementation of programs, and the development of effective links between women and children’s health and nutrition, HIV, TB, and malaria, including a common approach for strengthening health systems.
In the lead-up to the 2010 MDG Summit, we must work together to significantly broaden the base of support and build a strategic organizational platform for women’s and children’s health.
A joint effort
Seeking to galvanize commitment and action, drive effective implementation, and ensure accountability for results, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General has initiated a joint effort on women’s and children’s health. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the governments of Ethiopia, Norway, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and the United States, together with WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, and the World Bank (the “H4”), UNAIDS, and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), are working closely with the Secretary-General’s office to help build momentum for this effort — in which all stakeholders are invited to engage.
Partners in this joint effort will develop a Global Action Plan, including a framework for accountability. The Plan will address critical gaps and accelerate progress on women’s and children’s health through increased attention, coordination, and resources, and through better leverage of ongoing national efforts as well as existing human, financial, and political capital.
The multi-stakeholder Global Action Plan will bring together key decision-makers from governments, international organizations, the G8, the African Union, the private sector, philanthropic foundations, and civil society to collaborate in advancing the RMNCH agenda, strengthening links with HIV and other key health issues, and ensuring the necessary follow-up. This is not a “new” global health initiative. Rather, it recognizes existing efforts and seeks to ensure additional leadership, organization, and accountability; to build on the significant progress made to date; and to gain the commitment of new and influential partners.
FEBRUARY – APRIL 2010
The Secretary-General will engage with number of leaders from government, multilateral/UN organizations and partnerships, civil society, companies, and foundations to initiate the development of a draft Global Action Plan aimed at galvanizing support for women’s and children’s health leading up to the September MDG Summit.
APRIL – SEPTEMBER 2010
Together with other partners, members of PMNCH will coordinate consultations with the global health community on the draft Action Plan at key events including the World Health Assembly, the Women Deliver/Countdown to 2015 conference, the Pacific Health Summit, the G8 and G20 summits, and at regional platforms such as the African Union Summit. Consultations will focus on broadening the base of support for women’s and children’s health, linking it to other health platforms, and challenging all stakeholders to make additional commitments. The results of the consultations will be provided to the Secretary-General’s Office for inclusion in the Global Action Plan and its accountability framework.
During the same period, interested Member States will work together to build a team of “champions” and ensure that the development of the Action Plan feeds into the intergovernmental process leading up to the MDG Summit.
SEPTEMBER 2010 AND BEYOND
The MDG Summit in September 2010 will generate a consensus among world leaders on advancing progress towards achievement of the MDGs. During the summit, the Secretary-General and key interested leaders will convene a multi-stakeholder event focused specifically on the health MDGs, where the Global Action Plan will be formally adopted. Beyond the MDG Summit, the accountability framework will be used to track progress and implementation of commitments made to the Action Plan.
All interested parties are invited to engage through their networks and to help generate strong, coordinated momentum for this effort. Join this process and contribute to achieving the health MDGs and saving millions of lives.
Information on how you can participate will be available in the coming weeks at
1 These include various international and national civil society campaigns; the “H4” WHO-UNFPA-UNICEF-World Bank Joint Country Support Plan for Accelerated Implementation of Maternal and Newborn Continuum of Care; the Global Campaign for the Health MDGs; the High-Level Task Force on Innovative International Financing for Health Systems; the GAVI-Global Fund-World Bank joint funding platform for health systems support; the International Health Partnership and related initiatives (IHP+); and the global Consensus on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, launched in September 2009..