07 September 2014

Remarks at launch of the Global Strategy for Women’s And Children’s Health

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome. We have been building towards this day for more than a year. And in some ways, for decades.

It is a great pleasure to see so many global leaders here in today’s audience. Today we are witnessing the kind of leadership we have long needed.

“Every Woman, Every Child.” This focus is overdue.

Today, with the launch of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, we have an opportunity to improve the health of hundreds of millions of women and children around the world, and in so doing, to improve the lives of all people.

We know the facts.

In some countries, one woman in eight dies in childbirth.

In many parts of the world, women have yet to benefit from advances that made childbirth much safer nearly one hundred years ago.

Millions of children die from malnutrition and diseases which we have known how to treat for decades.

These realities are simply unacceptable. The 21st century must be and will be different.

We can do this by addressing the savage inequalities that affect women and children.

By expanding access to basic healthcare … simple blood tests … a doctor’s advice … a trained birth attendant? and immunizations.

We can make the most simple, the most powerful investment, for developing our economies, our communities and our societies.

This Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health provides a clear road map for making a fundamental difference in millions of lives.

Piecemeal approaches yield piecemeal results. We need a broad partnership.

We all have a role to play: governments, international organizations, business, researchers, philanthropists, health professionals, and civil society.

We must scale up our successes.

We must provide the resources.

Because … investing in women’s and children’s health has a multiplier effect across the MDGs.

It is the best investment we can make.

Our strategy includes women’s empowerment. Women must lead the way.

Because by empowering women, we empower societies.

That is why the creation of UN Women is such an important step.

And that is why I am pleased that Michelle Bachelet is here with us today [gestures towards Ms. Bachelet].

It is time to turn the tide …

Time to right a historic wrong…

Time to deliver on the promise of health and a better future…

For every woman. Every child.

Thank you.