22 May 2014

Remarks at Lunch on Maternal and Child Health Hosted by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the National Health and Family Planning Commission

Ban Ki-moon

I thank our hosts for organizing this lunch on a subject so close to my heart and bringing together such a distinguished group of Chinese leaders.

I also thank the Zhengda Group for sponsoring our event today.

Just before coming here, I attended the opening of the Shanghai Municipal Centre for Maternal and Child Health.

I saw how China is putting a priority on healthy mothers and healthy children.

I learned why China has made such significant progress on the Millennium Development Goals related to health.

China is one of the few countries to already meet the goal on child mortality.

It is important to reflect on these impressive achievements as we celebrate the Year of Women’s and Children’s Health in China.

We must work to spread these successes to every woman and child -- everywhere.

That is why I launched Every Woman Every Child in 2010 to support the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.

China was one of the first countries to commit.

The movement now has more than 300 commitments from partners spanning governments, the private sector, civil society, the United Nations and academic and research institutions.

Success now and in the post-2015 period depends on five factors.

First, strong leadership at the highest levels.

Second, the commitment of multi-stakeholder partners at the country level.

Third, predictable financing.

Fourth, accountability for resources and results.

And fifth, innovation.

These are the core principles of Every Woman Every Child.

We have made much progress, but there is still a long way to go, especially in improving well-being for the hardest to reach.

As a developing country, China has a major role to play in sharing its many valuable experiences, particularly through South-South collaboration.

The Chinese private sector has some of the world’s most innovative minds, spurring unprecedented growth.

With its impressive success at home and fast expansion overseas, the Chinese private sector is well-positioned to contribute to sustainable and equitable development.

In this room we have leaders from the pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, finance, the media, energy companies, academia and health practitioners.

The opportunities for fruitful collaborations are plentiful.

I count on China to use the Every Woman Every Child platform to assist other countries as well as expand progress at home.

China-Africa engagement, in particular, could have a huge impact on the lives of millions of women and children.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can collaborate on this through Every Woman Every Child.

Ladies and gentlemen,

A society can only be as healthy as its mothers and children.

Securing the health of women and children is vital for sustainable development and a life of dignity for all.

Let us work together to ensure no-one is left behind.

To take from the well-known Chinese proverb “ Yi Nuo Qian Jin,” meaning “a promise that will be kept.”

Let us turn that into “Yi Nuo Qian Xin,” “one promise” – to do everything we can to improve women’s and children’s health, and “a thousand hearts” – let us do it together, and for all.

Let us commit together today to provide a world of safety and opportunity for every woman and every child.

Thank you.