New York

26 September 2015

Secretary-General's Remarks at Every Woman Every Child Event to Launch Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health [As Prepared for Delivery]


I am pleased to join you to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the launch of the Every Woman Every Child movement.

This cause is close to my heart, professionally and personally.  I am proud of what this movement has delivered. 

Under the Millennium Development Goals, maternal and child death rates have fallen faster than at any time in history.

But, there is still much unfinished business.

We meet today at a critical moment. 

The Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda has delivered a historic agreement.

Agenda 2030 resolves to end the tragedy of preventable deaths of newborns and children under five and to dramatically reduce maternal mortality. 

It commits us to improve access to sexual and reproductive health services and end the unnecessary toll of communicable diseases.

And it aspires for universal health coverage, so every family can access quality healthcare and no family has to face financial hardship receiving the health services they need.

But it is not an agenda for health alone.

It is an integrated agenda for people and planet, which we will implement in collaborative partnership.

We know that ending preventable deaths of women and children and improving the health of adolescents means investing in girls’ education.

It means ensuring access to a nutritious diet for mothers and children all year round.

It means registering every birth and death, and much else besides.

That is why Agenda 2030 is interlinked and universal, aiming to address the root causes of complex, persisting and emerging challenges everywhere.

The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, which I am proud to launch today, will help to build resilient and healthy societies. 

To help guide its implementation, I am establishing a high level Advisory Group.

The Strategy rests on three pillars.

First, survival.  We want to end preventable deaths of women and children by 2030.

Second, we aim to ensure every woman, child and adolescent thrives.

Third, we commit to transforming the world in which women, children and adolescents live.

We already have the building blocks for implementation.

New resources are being delivered through the Global Financing Facility, which I launched earlier this year at the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa.

A robust accountability framework is building on the work of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health.

We are creating a new Innovation Marketplace to drive the development and scale-up of new products and practices.

And we are developing an operational framework to translate the aims of the Global Strategy to national and local levels.

Your leadership will be essential as we transition from the focus of the MDGs to the integrated agenda of the SDGs. 

This will mean working in different ways, across all areas of government and through multi-sector partnerships. 

Working together to deliver will be the key to meeting our aims.

That is why the Every Woman Every Child partnership is so important.

We have shown that our partnership can yield concrete results. 

More than 100 organizations and almost 40 countries have already pledged their commitment to the new Global Strategy, totaling over $25 billion.

I, and the entire UN system, remain dedicated to saving and improving the lives of the most vulnerable amongst us.

But achieving this will take leadership, commitment and collaboration. 

It will require many new partners. 

I call on each of you to pledge to further strengthen the Every Woman Every Child movement.

Together, we can realize our vision for every woman, child and adolescent to survive and thrive.

I count on your continued leadership.

Together, we can transform our world.

Thank you.