Canadians meet with Partnership on Muskoka Initiative
7 JULY 2010 | OTTAWA - The President of the Canadian Development Agency and CIDA senior staff met with the director and members of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health to discuss next steps of the Canadian commitment towards maternal, newborn and child health resulting from the Muskoka Initiative at the last G8 meeting. CIDA’s Margaret Biggs met with Canadian PMNCH Board HCPA representative Dr André Lalonde, G8 spokesperson for The Partnership, Dr Dorothy Shaw and Director of The Partnership, Dr Flavia Bustreo last week in Ottawa.
Ms Biggs commended the work of The Partnership and its partners, which, she said, "planted the seeds which have allowed great progress from l'Aquila to Muskoka for maternal, newborn and child health". She is looking forward to continue working with the Partners in the next steps as Canada gets ready to implement the Initiative. Ms Biggs confirmed that Canada will remain committed to this agenda, particularly supporting maternal, newborn & child health during the handover period, which will end at the end of the year, when France takes the Chair for the next G8.
Ms Biggs stressed the importance of having financial commitments as a big milestone and a step in the right direction. Despite some of the criticism received with regards to the amount committed, Ms Biggs affirmed that given the current financial situation, Canada as well as the other contributors, have taken a very appropriate decision by committing realistic amounts that can be delivered, as opposed to making grand promises which would create a big disappointment when they are not met due to financial constraints.
Canada is also co-chairing the working group on the accountability framework of the Joint Action Plan for Women's and Children's Health. The Muskoka Initiative signals the importance on focusing on results, pointing at the need for commitments and accountability, thus creating the links between the G8 and the Joint Action Plan. These links are clearly stated in the Muskoka declaration, in paragraph 13: "we the partners to the Muskoka Initiative trust today's launch will give added momentum to the UN-led process to develop a Joint Action Plan to improve the Heath of Women and Children, and make a key contribution towards the September 2010 UN High-Level Plenary Meeting on the MDGs.
The visit to CIDA ended with a Question and Answer session about the Joint Action Plan for officials from different departments of CIDA.