The health and well-being of women, children and adolescents is central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Yet today, women and children are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis and are disproportionately impacted by growing conflicts, rising social inequality, and vulnerabilities wrought by climate change. In this complex global environment, putting the most vulnerable at the forefront of the development agenda is critical if we are to build the peaceful, sustainable and inclusive societies we have promised to achieve through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To achieve these goals, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is appointing today a new Global Advocate for Every Woman Every Child, Kersti Kaljulaid, the President of the Republic of Estonia. Ms. Kaljulaid is a former Co-Chair of the High-Level Steering Group for Every Woman Every Child. This is a first-of-its-kind appointment to raise global awareness, inspire greater ambition, and push for faster cross-sectoral action on the Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. “In a time of complex development challenges, the investments we make today in women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and well-being will help build the peaceful, sustainable and inclusive societies we have promised to achieve through the Sustainable Development Goals,” said the UN Secretary-General.
President Kaljulaid of Estonia embodies the mission of Every Woman Every Child. She has been a champion for multilateralism and addressing inequality through leveraging technology as an “equalizer of opportunity” to reach those left farthest behind.
“Improving the well-being of the most vulnerable — women, children and adolescents — and their access to health care is amongst the biggest challenges we are facing in the following decades. The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated existing inequities, with severe disruptions in essential health interventions disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable women and children around the world and risks reversing decades of progress for women’s and children’s health. We need to work together — States, agencies, NGOs, every individual — with a strategic view and a focused plan, and use every means to deliver our message, mobilize new supporters and advocates, and help those in need,” said President Kaljulaid of Estonia.
The Secretary-General’s Global Advocate for Every Woman Every Child will use her unique platform and leadership to inspire and mobilize the global community and deliver an annual progress report on women’s, children’s and adolescent health and well-being. The Secretary-General has entrusted the Global Advocate with driving action, building ambition, and accelerating progress towards women’s and children’s health during the Decade of Action.