Construction of a European Network
for development education and awareness
raising on the Millennium Development Goals
in educational formai systems and local authorities



MDG Summit concludes with pledge to deliver promises

23 September 2010.

MDGs related to maternal mortality, reproductive health, water and sanitation were under the spotlight on the concluding day of MDG Review Summit held at the UN headquarters in New York. World leaders highlighted the need to reach out to the poor and most vulnerable to achieve the goals by 2015.

The UN Millennium Development Goals summit wrapped up with a strong emphasis on targeting the poorest and most vulnerable communities in order to meet the MDGs by their 2015 target date. In the final stretch of the busy three-day meeting, UNICEF participated in side events on critical MDG target areas, including maternal health, and water and sanitation. 

The Prince of Orange, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, moderates the panel discussion on water and sanitation/ Photo credit: Unicef
The maternal health event took place last night at UNICEF headquarters. Organized by the United Nations Population Fund, it brought together a panel of leaders and experts to strategize on accelerating progress towards MDG 5.

Among other targets, this goal calls for reducing maternal mortality and achieving universal access to reproductive health.

Delivering results
Since 1990, maternal mortality has been reduced by more than a third worldwide, yet approximately 1,000 women still die each day from complications in pregnancy and childbirth – most of them in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
While the vast majority of these deaths are preventable, MDG 5 is not on track for success, based on current trends. An orchestrated global effort will be needed to achieve it. The importance of taking an equity-based approach to maternal health was at centre stage in the panel discussion.

“For years, many have believed that it was simply too expensive to save women’s lives in the most disadvantaged places,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. Referring to the findings of UNICEF’s recent ‘Progress for Children’ report, he added: “By focusing our efforts on scaling up practical interventions that reach the poorest and most marginalized women, we can reach MDG 5 more quickly, more cost-effectively and more equitably.”

India’s Secretary of Health, Sujatha Rao, also stressed the need to reach marginalized women with maternal and reproductive health care. “Those who are most affected are also the poorest and the most disadvantaged, and that’s a large population in India. So equity is absolutely the most essential if we want to have a stable society,” she said.

“We must deliver results,” asserted Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). “We must reach the poorest of the poor and the hardest-to-reach child and woman.”