26 September 2012
Deputy Secretary-General

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

No One Can Do Everything, but Everyone Can Do Something, Deputy Secretary-General

Says in Stressing Partnerships as ‘Every Woman Every Child’ Event Concludes

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson’s closing remarks as prepared for delivery at the “Every Woman Every Child” special event in New York on 25 September:

Many warm thanks to the organizers, speakers and performers.  This has been a remarkable evening.

I have always been an advocate of Every Woman Every Child.  Before I was Deputy Secretary-General, I held many jobs in my life; one of them as United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator.  In Somalia in 1992, I saw the horrors of conflict and famine affecting women and children in huge numbers.

Later in life, I was a part–time blogger.  This time last year, I blogged about the Secretary-General’s high-level meeting on women’s and children’s health.  I shared the story of Clara Muchimba, a midwife in Zambia.  She is on the front lines of our struggle to save lives.  She understands that when people live in poverty, their health, indeed their lives, are always in danger.

There is not one solution, but there are many ways to make a difference, and with many partners we can succeed.  Tonight, we saw how Every Woman Every Child is transforming our work and our approach.  Together, Governments, civil society, the private sector and the United Nations are forging ahead to achieve the health Millennium Development Goals.

Thanks to new partnerships, more women and children are getting the medicines and health supplies they need.  Thanks to this new way of working, we have been able to better integrate services, and save more lives.  Here tonight, in this inspiring setting with so many committed partners, I want to say that now is the time to push harder.  We have to end this crisis; to save 16 million lives by 2015.

I have seen many examples of how investing in the health of women and children is one of the best and most rewarding investments we can make.  Tonight, I received this wonderful pin from the World Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.  This badge is a powerful symbol of partnerships.

No United Nations official, no doctor, no activist, no one can do everything — but everyone can do something.  With everyone engaged, we can reach every woman and every child in need in our world.  We must and we will.

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For information media • not an official record