I thank the Partners in Population and Development for bringing us together this evening – and for your shared commitment to South-South cooperation to advance our health goals.
South-South collaboration is more than just economic cooperation, it is about exchanging knowledge, experience and expertise and is a critical complement to traditional development assistance. It is a major foundation of a global and inclusive partnership for action.
And now is the time for action.
We have only 675 days until the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. At the same time, Member States are hard at work crafting the post-2015 development agenda.
Over the last two decades, many low- and middle-income countries have made impressive progress on development priorities and particularly the health goals.
I have seen it myself from Bangladesh and India to Nigeria, Ethiopia, Indonesia and beyond.
Sharing this success – and leveraging the contributions of all partners -- is fundamental to meeting our shared objectives.
If we make the right investments now and strive for universal health coverage, we have a unique opportunity to close the health gap between countries and realise a world without preventable infectious, maternal and child death.
We know that when women and children are empowered, educated and healthy, economies are vibrant, productive and strong.
That is why I launched the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health in 2010.
We were determined to mobilize the strengths of all actors to address the MDGs lagging most behind, and reach every woman and every child with the health needs and services they deserve.
In a few short years, the initiative has helped turn women’s and children’s health into a top priority for world leaders – from governments, private sector and civil society alike.
Our joint effort is helping to ensure that days of birth are no longer the most dangerous moments in the lives of mothers and newborns.
We are reducing child deaths faster than at any other time during the past two decades.
The number of women who die each year from pregnancy and childbirth has dropped by almost half.
We are also working together to make sure that promises made are promises kept.
The strong accountability mechanism we created has delivered better information, better tracking of resources, and better oversight of results and resources.
Every Woman Every Child has become a pioneering example of a new way of doing business – one that combines global leadership, country-level determination, and accountability for results.
We have drawn from this successful model to address other priorities, such as energy, and food and nutrition.
But to scale up these partnerships and to respond to the ever growing demands, we must do more and more effectively. That is what my proposal for a Partnership Facility is all about.
It is designed to help ensure that partnership solutions and action are geared towards the priorities set by the United Nations and its Member States. It would provide the Organization with the tools to leverage outside strengths to fulfil our agenda through an efficient, transparent and accountable process.
I look forward to hearing your ideas on how we can work together to improve yet further our support to the world’s most vulnerable women and children.
I am confident that through the Every Woman Every Child movement and South-South collaboration, we will make sure no one is left behind.