Saving the Lives of 16 Million JUNE 2012

In Focus: Sustainable Development and Child Survival


Sustainable Development

This month, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or “Rio+20”, will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20 years after the historic 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development. Promoting women’s and children’s health is a cornerstone of creating a sustainable, stable and prosperous future. Robust sustainable development policies that take into account the health of women and children are urgently needed to meet the goals of the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health and ensure the future we want. View the conference website here. Click here to access an advocacy toolkit with additional background on Rio+20, partner activity, knowledge summaries and messaging, and information on side events.

 Women with WaterA woman collects clean water from a fountain in Ethiopia. Photo Credit David Evans, 2009. 

Child Survival

Over the past 50 years, child mortality has dropped by 70% worldwide. In the past two decades alone, child deaths have fallen from 12 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010. This rapid progress is largely due to high-impact interventions and tools for child survival, notably new vaccines and improved health care practices. However, concerted action by all partners is needed to protect each and every child. The governments of the United States, India and Ethiopia, together with UNICEF, are mobilizing the world to achieve an ambitious, yet achievable, goal – to end preventable child deaths. The Child Survival Call to Action will be held on 14 -15 June in Washington, D.C. This high-level forum will bring together public and private constituencies to generate ideas and actions to end preventable child deaths. In coordination with Every Woman Every Child, partners will reconvene each year to assess the progress made towards ending preventable child deaths. Learn more about the Child Survival Call to Action here.


In this Issue

Sustainable Development and Child Survival

Updates from May

Partner Spotlight: HRP

News and Opinion



Calendar of Events


A monthly roundup of pertinent resources. Please submit your recent reports via email for consideration.

French and Spanish editions of the 2011 publication “Essential Interventions, Commodities and Guidelines for RMNCH

PMNCH Knowledge Summary 17: Civil registration and vital statistics

Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990-2010

Read More Publications and Resources »

Quote of the Month

"That is why we launched Every Woman Every Child. This is a concrete strategy to promote opportunity and advance economic growth and the social well-being of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.  Because to invest in health is to invest in people.  And because investing in people — particularly women and children — is the best and fastest way to create the future we want"

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, delivering remarks on sustainability and health at an event hosted by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea on May 16.

Calendar of Events

7 - 8 June
Asia-Pacific Roundtable and Technical Workshop on the Global Strategy

12 - 14 June
Pacific Health Summit

13 - 14 June
 Child Survival Call to Action

18 - 19 June
G-20 Summit

20 -22 June
UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)

View full calendar »


Updates from May

Members of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities Meet in New York — Affordable, life-saving medicines and health supplies have the potential to save millions of lives, yet are not reaching the children and women who most need them. On 22 May, Commissioners to the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children met in New York to review and finalize recommendations to help increase access, reduce costs, and increase demand for 13 essential but underutilized products. Co-chaired by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, the Commission aims to help overcome persistent barriers to access. The Commission will release its final recommendations and report during the UN General Assembly week in September. Visit the Commission’s website to view latest news on the Commission, learn more about the commodities, and view photos and bios of the Commissioners.
Commissioners gather in NY
Commissioners gather for a meeting in New York on 22 May, 2012. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

Joint UN Maternal Mortality Estimates are Launched  The number of women dying of pregnancy and childbirth related complications has almost halved in 20 years, according to new estimates released in May by the World Health Organization, United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Population Fund and the World Bank. The new maternal mortality estimates confirm that the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth is declining, but emphasize that more progress is needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Click to view videos of UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin discussing the new estimates. Read the news release and full report.

Independent Expert Review Group at the 2012 World Health Assembly — The health of women and children was one of the most discussed topics at the World Health Assembly (WHA) this year. The WHA week was also marked by several important events for the independent Expert Review Group (iERG), a 7-member body created to monitor results and resources related to the Global Strategy and progress in implementing this Commission on Information and Accountability's recommendations. On 24 May, the iERG held its first open consultation with stakeholders, along with a media briefing and an iERG exhibit. Click here to learn more and read impressions of WHA and the iERG consultation by Dr. Richard Horton, Chair of the iERG.

Parliamentarians Meet on ICPD Plan of Action —300 Parliamentarians from around the world gathered in Istanbul on 24-25 May for the Fifth International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.  Participants discussed strategies for holding governments accountable to the promises made at the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994 in Cairo—to protect and empower women in exercising their reproductive health and rights. Learn more about the meeting.

Women Deliver Holds Regional Consultations in Bangladesh and Mexico — Women Deliver’s second regional consultation convened participants in Dhaka, Bangladesh during the Asia Regional Meeting on Interventions for Impact in Essential Obstetric and Newborn Care. View key recommendations and comprehensive reports here, including the need to address underlying causes of maternal morbidity in Asia, family planning as a key intervention for saving lives, and the need for a post-MDG developmental framework which prioritizes and increases support for maternal health in the Asia-Pacific region. The Latin America and Caribbean Regional Consultation took place from 5 - 6 June in Mexico City; additional information and outcome documents are forthcoming.

Partner Spotlight: HRP

HRP 40 Years of Innovation

For 40 years, HRP – the UNDP/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction – has been the main instrument within the United Nations system for research in human reproduction, bringing together policy-makers, scientists, health care providers, clinicians, consumers and community representatives to identify and address priorities for research to improve sexual and reproductive health. During 2012, the HRP is highlighting a key achievement in its efforts to achieve universal access to reproductive health. View the HRP commitment in support of Every Woman Every Child. Visit the HRP corner on the WHO site.

News and Opinion

29 May

A Push for Women's Rights at Rio+20


24 May

Corporate Buzz: Johnson & Johnson Supports Maternal Health Trainings in Nigeria


22 May

Africa: Global Leaders Celebrate Innovations in Reproductive Health Funding, Policies and Services


22 May

UN Commissioners Aim to Adopt New Recommendations to Increase Access to Health Commodities


16 May

Simple, Low-Cost Checklist Dramatically Improves Practices of Health Workers During Childbirth


16 May

UN Report: Maternal Deaths Dropped by Half Over 20-year Span


15 May

Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) Reaches Moms and Babies in 22 Countries with Critical Health Information


14 May

How to Advance Sustainable Development


14 May

Using Technology to Eliminate Maternal and Infant Mortality


14 May

A Real Gift to Mothers: Join the Fight Against Malaria


11 May

Famed Photographer Urges Moms to Vaccinate Kids


5 May

Midwives Around the World Recognized on May 5


2 May

New Count: 15 Million of World’s Babies Born Premature; US Rate Higher than Similar Countries


2 May

Kenya: Losing a Life to Give a Life


See All News »

Every Woman Every Child aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015.  It is an unprecedented global movement that mobilizes and intensifies international and national action by governments, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children around the world.

Learn more at

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