Message of His Excellency Jean Ping,
President of the 59th session of the General Assembly,
on the occasion of the World Health Day

(New York, 7 April 2005)

Hundreds of thousands of women and millions of children die every year because they do not have access to quality health care.

In developing countries, pregnancy and childbirth are amongst the first causes of women's death, and one out of twelve children die before the age of five.

The international community cannot be indifferent to this situation, as it continues to remind us, five years after the Millennium Declaration, that much progress is still to be achieved to reduce maternal death and child mortality by 2015. To give hope for a better life to those millions of women and children, the world community must act together.

I, therefore, commend the World Health Organization (WHO) for having chosen as its slogan for the World Health Day 2005 "Making every mother and child count". This is obviously an appeal to governments and to the international community as a whole to improve the living conditions of women and children, particularly in developing countries.

We must indeed continue to mobilize ourselves to obtain increased financial, material and technical assistance from financial institutions and other donors, with a view to improving the health care of millions of women and children around the world.

Fact is, the welfare and the future of our societies also depend on our capacity to remain mobilized so as to improve the health of every mother and child.


59th Session of the UN General Assembly