Participants at the third Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) Forum reviewed progress in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5, identified factors for success, and agreed on commitments for action to help women, newborns, children, and adolescents in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.
The PMNCH Forum took place on 30 June-1 July 2014, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
1 July 2014: Participants at the third Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) Forum reviewed progress in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5, identified factors for success, and agreed on commitments for action to help women, newborns, children, and adolescents in the context of the post-2015 development agenda. The PMNCH Forum took place on 30 June-1 July 2014, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The event was hosted by the Government of South Africa in partnership with PMNCH, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), A Promise Renewed, Countdown to 2015, and the independent Expert Review Group.
In the Forum’s opening video message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the launch of the Every Newborn Action Plan. Ban said, “If we increase investments, focus on equity and promote human rights, we can create a world free of preventable maternal and child deaths in just one generation.”
Babatunde Osotimehin, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), discussed the ‘Roadmap to Accelerate MDG5 and Newborn Progress,’ which will be launched during the MDG Advocates tour of South Africa, complementing the launch of the MDG4 road map this spring. He noted that in the last 550 days to the MDGs, concerted efforts must be made to accelerate progress by all means possible. Nila Moeloek, Special Envoy of the President of Indonesia on the MDGs, underlined that it is critical to bring in neglected issues like newborns, stillbirths and adolescents.
Onyebuchi Chukwu, Minister of Health of Nigeria, said national leadership is central to the success of supporting women’s and children’s health, and every country therefore needs “one plan, one budget, one performance monitoring framework, supported by all partners.” Flavia Bustreo, World Health Organization (WHO), stressed the need for clear targets and indicators, as well as robust data based on civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) and strong national health information systems, to enable meaningful accountability mechanisms that inform and support progress.
Miguel Veiga-Pestana, Unilever, emphasized the importance of multi-sectoral approaches for improving the health of women and children in the post-2015 era. He cited water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as an example of scaling and delivering such approaches through private-public partnerships.
In closing, Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health of South Africa, said the health of women and children will determine the fate of world’s nations.
The 2014 Report from Countdown to 2015 was launched during the Forum.
PMNCH has held two previous Partners’ Forums: in Dar es Salaam, Ethiopia, in 2007; and in New Delhi, India, in 2010, which focused on operationalizing the UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health to accelerate progress towards the MDGs by 2015.