The Roadmap to Realizing Rights: Every Woman Every Child’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health
The event was moderated by Dr. Daniela Ligiero, Vice President for Girls and Women Strategy of the United Nations Foundation.
In his opening remarks, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated his strong commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents through the Every Woman Every Child movement. He urged “everyone to make a new commitment to Every Woman Every Child – or renew an existing one.” The Secretary-General then singled out three opportunities in May to show support: at the Fourth Global Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen; at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul; and at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.
The next address was from Madame Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women. Madame Mlambo’s primary message was that when “women & girls enjoy the full range of human rights, their health is most likely to flourish.”
Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, United Arab Emirates, followed and underscored her country’s support to reach women and children in humanitarian and fragile settings through the EveryWhere efforts of Every Woman Every Child. In her remarks, the Minister said: “We must extend our reach and accountability everywhere. We must go to where women and children are most at need.”
Two Women Deliver Youth Advocates facilitated a panel discussion. Ms. Lucia Berro Pizzarossa, from Mujer y Salud en Uruguay, said that “we need transparency and to have women, children and adolescents involved in the decision-making process.” Ms. Marinella Matejcic said that her country, Croatia, must “provide women and children with full reproductive health services to advance women’s empowerment.”
The panelists responded to questions from the youth advocates and made their individual points.
Her Excellency Patricia Kaliati, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Malawi, gave a passionate speech and referenced that over 600 girls withdrew from their marriages and have been put back in schools in her country.
Her Excellency Natasha Stott Despoja, Global Ambassador for Women and Girls in Australia, said her country is providing support for survivors of violence and abuse, which is critical to women’s health and empowerment. In fact, Australia’s international aid program has a target that 80% of investments must effectively address gender equality concerns in their implementation.
Ambassador Dho Young-shim, Chairperson of UN World Tourism Organizations ST-EP Foundation and SDG Advocate, offered praise for the Secretary-General’s leadership. Additionally, she made the case for more women parliamentarians, since “women know our priorities.”
Ms. Alessandra Nilo, Member of the High-Level Task Force for the IPCD and Executive Director of a Brazilian NGO, GESTOS, commented “we must keep both governments and the private sector accountable.”
Closing the event, David Nabarro, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, observed: “We have a come a long way in terms of getting this issue at the center of policy and action”.
Mr. Nabarro received robust applause from the audience when he declared: “This 2030 agenda won’t work unless it is a totally feminist agenda.”
Mr. Nabarro weaved together the points made by different speakers around child marriage, education, accountability and humanitarian settings to make the case that interventions outside the health sector have positive effects not only on health, but also on achieving all of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In conclusion, Mr. Nabarro reiterated the Secretary-General’s call for new or renewed commitments to the Every Woman Every Child movement.
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Keynote Address: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [as delivered]
Opening Remarks: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women [as delivered]
H.E. Patricia Kaliati, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Malawi
H.E. Natasha Stott Despoja, Global Ambassador for Women and Girls in Australia
Ms. Alessandra Nilo, Member of the High-Level Task Force for the ICPD and Executive Director of GESTOS
Ms. Lucia Berro Pizzarossa, Women Deliver Youth Advocate
Ms. Marinella Matejcic, Women Deliver and ASTRA Youth Network Advocate