15 April 2013

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

Bold, Determined Action Now Will Save Millions of Lives in Future, Stresses

Secretary-General in Message to Global Newborn Health Conference

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Agostinho Zacarias, United Resident Coordinator in South Africa, to the Global Newborn Health Conference in Johannesburg on 15 April:

I am pleased to send greetings to representatives of 50 countries and other participants attending this valuable Global Newborn Health Conference.

Your meeting falls at an opportune time, near the 1,000-day mark in our 15-year campaign to reach the Millennium Development Goals.  I welcome your focus on newborns.  Their health is critical to realizing the goals of the Every Woman Every Child effort that I launched in 2010.

That movement has demonstrated the value of partnerships involving the United Nations, Governments, civil society and the private sector.  Every Woman Every Child is helping to ensure that life-saving services and products reach women, children and newborns.

I am heartened that you will launch the Global Newborn Action Plan, building upon two initiatives that work to advance the goals of Every Woman Every Child:  the “Born Too Soon” effort on pre-term birth and the initiative “A Promise Renewed” for child survival.

I will continue to encourage all members of the Every Woman Every Child community to fully support the Global Newborn Action Plan as we strive to implement the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.  Advancing progress in these areas is critical to reducing unnecessary deaths and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

The United Nations family — especially the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund — will fully support this effort in the critical period ahead.  The Global Newborn Health Conference can add to the growing global momentum as the effort to reach the Millennium Development Goals enters its final stretch.

I count on you to build on this progress by taking bold and determined action now to save millions of lives in the future.

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For information media • not an official record