High-level Event on the MDGs
MNCH Excerpts of leaders' speeches at UN Events
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon "Commitments were made on MDGs relating to child mortality and maternal health, totalling almost $2 billion next year, rising to $7 billion in 2015. Other US$3 billion were committed to launch the Malaria Action Plan. Over US$800 million has been committed over the next three years to support national health plans in eight of the poorest countries, and an additional US$90 million pledged for neglected tropical diseases. Your resolve to act is evident. Yes, you have stepped up to confront growing challenges. Now, I urge you to move with more speed and focus."
President of the UN General Assembly Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann "The poor performance in reducing maternal mortality is a telling sign of the magnitude of the problem. The current rate of more than 500 000 pregnancy- and childbirth-related maternal deaths each year constitutes a disgrace for humanity." President of the Republic of Chile, H.E. Michelle Bachelet "No other natural or man-made disaster is capable of exacting such a heavy toll in terms of human lives and suffering. The health of women and children is still lagging behind, particularly with regard to MDGs 4 & 5. We aught to give these targets the highest political priority, put under way more initiative and call for more financing, a task that has become even more urgent due to the sharp rise in the price of foodstuffs, being mainly pregnant women and small children who bear the brunt."
Prime Minister of Norway, H.E. Jens Stoltenberg We are making progress towards the Millennium Goals. Poverty is being reduced. Child mortality is falling. But we have not made any progress with regard to maternal health. That is appalling. There can only be one reason for this awful situation. And that is persistent neglect of women in a world dominated by men. Just think of all these millions of young girls and young women, who know, and who fear and dread, that giving life may cause their death. And all this human tragedy is avoidable. By simple means. But we have not taken the problem seriously.
President of Finland, Tarja Halonen "There is a clear link between defective human rights protection and poverty. Commitment to women's and children's human rights is also a commitment for progress in its full meaning. We are proceeding with the new thematic fund for maternal health. Mobilizing civil society institutions are often key in providing life saving mother and child interventions. It is very important to mobilize civil society in the future."
President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete "For too many of the world's women -- especially poor women -- it is a matter of chance whether they can reach a health care facility during pregnancy and it is even more difficult at childbirth; whether skilled maternity care providers are there; and whether essential equipment and drugs are available. Surviving childbirth should not be a matter of chance. It is a matter of women's basic right to health and life."
Prime Minister, United Kingdom Gordon Brown "Despite all our promises, with one mother dying in childbirth every minute, the 2015 goal to cut maternal in infant mortality will not be met even in 2020 or 2030, not before 2050. And with 75 million of the world's children still without a school to go to, the goal of promising every child schooling will not be met on present trends in 2015 or 2025 or even in 2100. And I say to the richest countries of the world, the poorest of the world have been patient, but a hundred years is too long to wait for justice."
Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation "When the Millennium Declaration was adopted in 2000, Melinda and I would never have predicted the power of these goals to gather the world's heads of state, our governments, businesses, and foundations in a focused effort to fight poverty and disease. And we certainly never expected that eight years later, one of our daughters would come home from school with an assignment to learn about the Millennium Development Goals. She was especially troubled to learn how many mothers die during childbirth."