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UN Secretary-General takes stock of the progress made in the implementation of the Every Woman Every Child initiative

<p>Feature story</p>

September 26, 2012

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon brought together on 25 September in New York, leaders from government, civil society, the private sector and international organizations during a reception to draw attention to the progress made on the Every Woman Every Child initiative.

“If we take the human right to health seriously, we have to ensure that all people get basic services,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “If we ensure universal health coverage, we can stop many more preventable deaths. We can prevent illness and malnutrition. We can ensure that girls and women of all ages can choose if and when to have a baby. And that will protect people from falling deeper into poverty.”

Every Woman Every Child is an unprecedented global movement, spearheaded by Mr Ban, to mobilize and intensify global action to improve the health of women and children around the world. Working with a wide range of partners, the initiative aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children and improve the lives of millions more.

The effort puts into action the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, which presents a roadmap on how to enhance financing, strengthen policy and improve service on the ground for the most vulnerable women and children.

More than $40 billion was pledged at the launch of the initiative in 2010, and numerous partners have made additional financial, policy and service delivery commitments. However, the Secretary-General stressed during the reception the need for the international community to continue providing support and renewing their commitments to take Every Woman Every Child past the tipping point. Fulfilling the commitments made would mean saving the lives of 16 million women and children, preventing 33 million unwanted pregnancies, ending stunting in 88 million children, and protecting 120 million children from pneumonia by 2015.

“No child should be born with HIV and all mothers living with HIV should have access to HIV treatment for their own health,” said Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director. “Every woman and every child must have full access to health. We owe this to our future generations.”

The event was held at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and was organized by the MDG Health Alliance, the United Nations Foundation, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.