28 September 2018

Uniting for Every Woman Every Child

Leaders and partners from across sectors gathered on Tuesday, 25 September, for a celebration of Uniting for Every Woman Every Child (EWEC). The high-level reception highlighted the political momentum around the EWEC movement, underscoring the role of high-profile global leaders and influencers to come together as one.

We know that bold, innovative partnerships are required to deliver concrete results for the world’s most vulnerable, so we can build healthier and more stable communities, vibrant economies, and resilient societies. We cannot hope to accelerate progress against the EWEC Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health and deliver on the SDGs without uniting around common strategies to ensure every woman, child and adolescent, can survive, thrive and have the opportunity to transform the world.

Co-organized by the EWEC Secretariat, Government of India, and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), this flagship event embodied the ongoing unification of EWEC partners toward the implementation and ambition set for the in the EWEC Global Strategy. The event also provided a platform for the EWEC ecosystem’s core partners to showcase their common strategic direction to deliver concrete results at country-level.

The reception was moderated by Raj Kumar, President and Editor-in-Chief of Devex, opened with a video message from the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed. Ms. Mohammed emphasized the important role of the EWEC movement in uniting partners across sectors, and the urgent need to break down siloes to collaborate and coordinate to ensure our efforts are sustainable, effective and inclusive.

“Today’s challenges require a new response. Every Woman Every Child and the deep commitment of its partners will be critical to this,” said Ms. Mohammed.

Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), provided welcoming remarks noting the critical role of partnership in driving progress as “teamwork makes the dreamwork.” She added, “We are delighted to host the EWEC Secretariat at UNFPA. Together we can and will develop an inclusive, sustainable, and equitable future for all.”

The talk-show style panel included: H.E. Mr. Anders Nordstrom, Ambassador for Global Health at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden; H.E. Mr. Jagat Prakash Nadda, Minister of Health and Family Welfare of India and Member of the High-level Steering Group for EWEC; H.E. Mr. Nikolai Astrup, Minister of International Development of Norway; Mr. Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS and Chair of the H6 Partnership; Mr. Alexander Feldman, CEO of US-ASEAN Business Council; and Ms. Tikhala Itaye, co-Founder of Her Liberty and SheDecides Chairperson and Youth Champion.

Key quotes from the panel:

“The EWEC Global Strategy is very clear in terms of what needs to be done. Now we need to make sure it’s implemented.”—H.E. Mr. Anders Nordstrom

“We all know that when we unify, we share best practices and learn where the gaps are and what’s need to close them. We are doing a lot of work in India—from birth to adolescence, we are putting in place numerous health programmes and initiatives. We are proud that our Prime Minister has taken a bold decision to help the most deprived and the most marginalized. One hundred million families have been identified across India, all of whom will benefit from support for health care so that they are not out of pocket for taking care of their health.”—H.E. Mr. Jagat Prakash Nadda, who also noted the upcoming PMNCH Partner’s Forum taking place this December in New Delhi, India.

“For too long we have simply not done enough. More than 5 million children die every year. That is like the whole population of my country being wiped out. We know that 35 million lives can be saved between now and 2030, but only if the Global Financing Facility [in support of EWEC] is fully funded. We will be holding a replenishment in November—there is no better reason to come to Norway.”—H.E. Mr. Nikolai Astrup.

“It is a transformative moment. It’s about leadership and about transforming leadership in the global health arena. It’s also about innovation, about how we do things differently. Which is why the H6 is so important—it is an entry point for United Nation reform—one results framework, one vision—demonstrating what we can do differently.”—Mr. Michel Sidibé.

“The US-ASEAN Business Council is fully committed to Every Woman Every Child. We are excited to play our part to ensure that health care in Southeast Asia reaches every woman, every child and every adolescent.”—Mr. Alexander Feldman.

“It’s so important that young people are engaged in these programmes, involved in these programmes and leading these programmes. With young people taking the lead, you will have the greatest impact. We need to do business differently, and to do this we need to take a people-centred approach and, most importantly, work together.”—Ms. Tikhala Itaye.

The event concluded with a strong message of unity and hope, led by Ms. Itaye. As she instructed everyone to join hands with the person on each side of them, she stated:

“This is symbolic of how we all should come together. How we all need to come together to make a difference for every woman, every child and every adolescent.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Check out photos from the evening here!

(Image gallery to come)