UN Headquarters

25 September 2014

Remarks at the Every Woman Every Child Event

Ban Ki-moon

Thank you for joining me today.

Women’s and children’s health has always been a top priority for me.

I have seen in my country, my family and in my travels how much women and children suffer without proper health care. I myself was born without help of a midwife, just some senior, older women - grandmothers - must have helped my Mother.

Four years since we launched Every Woman Every Child, it has grown to include over 300 partners. Many of our top leaders are here in this room today.

Thanks to their invaluable commitment and leadership, especially from the H4+ agencies, the world is reducing deaths of children under the age of five faster than at any time in the past two decades. Each day, some 17,000 more children survive. Deaths of mothers have been cut by almost half since 1990.

These are impressive numbers in conference rooms in New York. They are even more meaningful in hospitals, health posts and homes.

In today’s troubled world, our progress in this area shines brightly. It demonstrates what can be achieved when we come together as a community in partnership.

As we advance, we will have to protect these fragile gains – and cope with emerging challenges.

Climate change, water, education, sanitation, nutrition and human rights all affect women and children’s health. We have to rise to problems such as non-communicable diseases and Ebola. And we must seek out new ways to reach our goals.

Under the ground-breaking Every Woman Every Child partnership model, we are finding new, creative solutions and expanding new partnerships that are saving lives.

Over the next year, we must redouble our efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals while shaping a vision for the future development agenda.

That is why I have proposed that the General Assembly adopt a resolution this Fall establishing a Partnership Facility. We need to strengthen the UN’s capacity to form broad coalitions of partners and hit the ground running to implement the new development framework.

For the first time ever, we have the opportunity to end all preventable deaths of women and children within a generation.

Let us seize this historic opportunity as a moral imperative.

It is also one of the smartest investments we can make.

In 2030, when we look back on our progress on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, a key measure of our success will be the health and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents everywhere.

This success depends on us all working together. Every Woman Every Child will help get us there.

I call on all of you to renew your commitments, boost financing, keep insisting on accountability for resources and results, and reach every woman and every child.

Together, we can make history.

Thank you.