Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the “Every woman, every child” launch of the Global Financing Facility, in Addis Ababa today:
I am pleased to be with you today. Since 2010, the “Every woman, every child” partnership and the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health has accelerated progress towards the health Millennium Development Goals. We have helped save millions of lives, galvanize political leadership and attract increased financial commitments. I am immensely proud of this progress.
Now, as we transition to the sustainable development goals, we must build on this momentum. Our vision is clear: to end all preventable maternal, child and adolescent deaths within a generation and ensure that women, children and adolescents thrive. Ending extreme poverty and promoting development and resilience entails ensuring the survival, health, well-being and economic opportunity of women, children and adolescents everywhere. They are our greatest untapped resource for driving the transformative SDG agenda.
We need to continue to prioritize women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health under this new agenda and increase sustainable and innovative investments. That is why I am urging the global community, new and existing partners, to bring ambitious commitments to the updated Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, which I will launch in September in support of the SDGs [sustainable development goals]. Investing in saving and improving the lives of women, children and adolescents is not only a moral imperative, it makes economic sense. It reduces poverty, it stimulates economic productivity and growth, it creates jobs. It helps women, children and adolescents realize their fundamental human rights to health, well-being and a sustainable future.
But, despite compelling evidence, public and private sector financing for women's and children’s health has not been adequate. Without additional investment, the ambitious new sustainable development goals will not be reached. We have learned a great many lessons in the last five years, and perhaps the most important is that we cannot deliver on a strategy if we do not have the means to fully implement it.
This generation, more than ever before, has the financial and technical capacity to close the global health gap. We need innovative financing at scale and game-changing partnerships to support the updated Global Strategy and subsequent “Every woman, every child” movement. We cannot count on public funds alone. All resources — public and private, national and international — must be tapped. Our investments must build resilient institutions and responsive, effective, community-based health systems that can deliver universal health care. This is particularly important during humanitarian crises.
Today, I will formally launch the Global Financing Facility in support of “Every woman, every child”. This is a key financing platform of the updated Global Strategy. It is a country-led partnership that aims to mobilize additional domestic and international resources to scale up and sustain essential health services for women, children and adolescents. It will be driven by country-owned and developed national health strategies.
The Global Financing Facility represents a new model for aligning development partners with country priorities and leveraging innovative sources of financing from different sectors. It is a potential pathfinder for broader post-2015 financing. It will also support countries to build and fortify their civil registration and vital statistics systems, which is key to measuring progress on the SDGs. I thank the Government of Canada for their leadership in elevating this particular agenda.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, a successful outcome here in Addis Ababa is crucial. Governments must produce a comprehensive financing framework with concrete deliverables and a strong follow-up process. The efforts of your institutions will be critical to the achievement of the updated Global Strategy and all of the sustainable development goals over the next 15 years.
We need the leadership, commitment and partnership of the Ministers of Finance with the Ministers of Health, the financial sector and business leaders, as well as the international financial institutions. We must work across sectors and ensure we have the financing instruments that will allow us to do so. I hope we leave this discussion today with even more concrete commitments to deliver on our ambitions. Thank you.