Secretary-General's press remarks before the first meeting of the Accountability Commission for Women's and Children's Health
Geneva, 26 January 2011Good morning ladies and gentlemen,
Dr. Chan of WHO [World Health Organization],
Dr. Touré of ITU [International Telecommunications Union]
You have just seen us sitting together with President Kikwete of Tanzania and Prime Minister Harper of Canada, who will be leading this Accountability Commission for Women's and Children's Health.
I thank them for their strong leadership and commitment to serve as co-Chairs of this very important strategy.
I am very happy to be here with such great leaders and champions of our Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, and I thank the initiative and support of Dr. Margaret Chan and Dr. Touré as heads of specialized agencies in dealing with this matter.
This Accountability Commission is a crucially important part of the picture. When it comes to ambitious development efforts like this, it is not enough to just collect pledges of funds. You may remember that one of the highlights of the MDG Summit Meeting last September at the United Nations was the Global Strategy on Children's and Women's Health. We mobilized 40 Million USD last September. But it is not enough to thank countries for their commitment, for their generosity. It is definitely not enough to issue a press release.
The world's women and children need more than pledges. Commitments are wonderful, generous, but by themselves they cannot build health clinics or immunize children.
That is why we have made accountability a hallmark of the Global Strategy. We are determined to hold ourselves and everyone else involved accountable. This is how: we will track how many promises are kept. We will monitor what we are doing with the funds that do come in. We will ensure that progress is made across the spectrum, and where we fall short, we will be open about that, too.
This Commission has strong leaders at the top. It also brings together medical professionals, finance officials, policy-makers, statisticians and human rights experts.
We cast a wide net because the health of the world's women and children's health is everyone's responsibility.
Our aim is simple: to turn our Global Strategy into global action for women and children's health.
This Commission will help us make health systems work better for all people.
I thank you very much for your support.
Off-the-Cuff on 26 January 2011