31 December 2019

EWEC 2019 Global health in review

It’s the end of the year and EWEC is thankful for your long-standing commitment and partnership to collectively deliver on the UN Secretary-General’s EWEC Global Strategy to improve the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents, everywhere.

There has been A few 2019 highlights worth noting in global health and international development more broadly, include:

In human rights:

Women stood up and spoke out for gender equality and ‘oranged the world advocating to end violence against women and girls.

Young people like Natasha Wang Mwansa challenged the status quo and demanded for the rights to their bodies, choices and voices saying ‘nothing for us without us because that is doing it against us’. Greta Thunberg at the UNGA and UN Secretary-General’s Climate Change Summit called governments out on their inactivity and lack of urgency to the climate crisis.

During the women deliver conference in Vancouver, Canada, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya committed to ending female genital mutilation by 2022, ending child marriage, acting on climate change, and making primary and secondary education compulsory for all children.


In global health financing:

Following the successful replenishment of the Global Financing Facility in Oslo in November 2018, we saw reinvigorated political commitment and new financial pledges from donors to advance global health issues. The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria saw a replenishment of funds up to US$ 14 billion to save 16 million lives thanks to pledges including 23 African countries, private donors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the French Government and many others.

At the 2019 Women Deliver conference, Canada pledged to raise its annual funding commitment to CAD 1.4 Billion in support of women and girls health worldwide, and that includes an additional CAD 300 Million for Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) including access to safe abortion.

The International Development Association (IDA) also saw commitments totaling US $22 billion including for basic health services and WASH.

Japan hosted the launch meeting for Gavi’s third replenishment on 30 August 2019 on the occasion of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), where Gavi unveiled its Investment Opportunity for the 2021-2025 period. Next year, the UK will host Gavi’s third fundraising conference, which aims to secure financial pledges to support Gavi’s work protecting children against diseases like pneumonia, diphtheria and measles for the period 2021-2025.


In global health:

On the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, world leaders adopted the ‘most comprehensive agreement on global health’ – the United Nations Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage . The declaration reaffirmed member states’ commitment to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights by 2030. In his statement, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that “This declaration represents a landmark for global health and development,“ and marks a new chapter in global health advancement in which it is “not health for some or health for most but Health for All“.

Through joint efforts including the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-Being for All and Every Woman Every Child, the United Nations is ready to support you with our convening power, knowledge and expertise.” said EWEC High Level Steering Group (HLSG) Senior co-chair, Mr. Antonio Guterres in his remarks at the General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage.

Also at the UNGA, the Chair of the H6 Partnership, the World Health Organization (WHO), launched the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All to push forward SDG 3. This action plan brings together 12 multilateral health, development and humanitarian agencies to better support countries to accelerate progress towards the health-related SDGs and related international commitments to health, such as the UN High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage and the Astana Conference on Primary Health Care.


Furthermore this 2019:

  • The EWEC Secretariat transitioned to UNFPA on behalf of the H6 Partnership and is now spearheaded by its new Executive Coordinator, Vivian Lopez who assumed duties on 2 December 2019.

  • EWEC Co-organized several events around global events such as:

  • 1 event co-organized with partners on the margins of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

  • 7 events were jointly organized between EWEC and partners- PMNCH and EWEC innovation Marketplace on the margins of the World Health Assembly (WHA).

  • 11 events were organized during the Women Deliver 2019 Conference by EWEC and PMNCH organized including positioning HLSG Principals (former President Tarja Halonen of Finland and Ms. Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of Plan International) in several High-level side events and main plenaries to advocate for EWEC.

  • 2 events co-organized by the EWEC Secretariat during UNGA 2019, in collaboration with PMNCH. The accountability breakfast held at the Westin Hotel and the EWEC High Level Reception held at the SDG Partner tent on the North Lawn of UNHQ to advocate for strengthened accountability and PHC, including SRHR services within UHC. High level remarks were given by President Kaljulaid of Estonia and the Deputy Secretary General, Ms. Amina Mohammed while HLSG, H6 and EWEC Principles participated as panelists in fire-side chat discussions, contributed to the advocacy for and commitment to women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and well-being.

  • EWEC in partnership with its ecosystem partners and supporting initiatives including FP2020 and the United Nations Foundation galvanized 10 new multi-stakeholder commitments, and six new governmental commitments to improve health outcomes for women, children and adolescents around the world, in support of the EWEC Global Strategy.


Thus as 2019 ends, we look forward to the promise 2020 holds. One thing we are sure of is your commitment, as ecosystem and supporting partners, to the EWEC mandate to advance the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents. We look forward to the new year and the Decade of Action and acceleration towards achieving Agenda 2030 and Beijing+25, the declaration for the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, everywhere. 2020 will be a landmark year and we are dedicated to meeting more ambitious milestones in global health and making progress on the SDGs to leave no one behind.

Happy Holidays!!!