Lauding the gains made in improving the health of women and children worldwide, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for renewed commitment and action to sustain the unprecedented progress made in this area in partnership with governments, civil society, the private sector, philanthropists and international organizations.
“For the first time ever, we have the opportunity to end all preventable deaths of women and children within a generation,” Mr. Ban said at the ‘Every Woman Every Child’ event held at UN Headquarters on the margins of the General Assembly’s high-level debate.
“Let us seize this historic opportunity as a moral imperative. It is also one of the smartest investments we can make.”
Launched by the Secretary-General in September 2010, Every Woman Every Child aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015.
The initiative has catalysed unprecedented progress in reducing maternal and child mortality, doing so through a pioneering model of multi-stakeholder partnership involving governments, civil society, the private sector, philanthropists and international organizations. To date, over 400 partners have made commitments under Every Woman Every Child.
Mr. Ban noted that efforts have led to the reduction in deaths of children under the age of five faster than at any time in the past two decades. Each day, some 17,000 more children survive. Deaths of mothers have been cut by almost half since 1990.
“These are impressive numbers in conference rooms in New York. They are even more meaningful in hospitals, health posts and homes,” he noted.
“In today’s troubled world, our progress in this area shines brightly. It demonstrates what can be achieved when we come together as a community in partnership.
“As we advance, we will have to protect these fragile gains – and cope with emerging challenges. Climate change, water, education, sanitation, nutrition and human rights all affect women and children’s health.”
“I call on all of you to renew your commitments, boost financing, keep insisting on accountability for resources and results, and reach every woman and every child,” said the Secretary-General. “Together, we can make history.”