Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit

Toronto, Ontario
30 May 2014

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today wrapped-up the highly successful Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit, which provided renewed global momentum to advance maternal, newborn and child health as a global priority beyond 2015. The Summit took place from May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, Ontario.

With the support of global leaders, including Jakaya Kikwete, Summit Co-Chair and President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, His Highness the Aga Khan, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, Dr. Margaret Chan of the World Health Organization, Anthony Lake of UNICEF, and Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada called on all global partners to renew efforts to end all preventable maternal and child deaths. Summit participants also set out the path forward to achieve this ambitious goal.

Over the course of the Summit, leaders and experts worked together to advance three priority themes:

Getting Results for Women and Children:Summit participants highlighted the benefits of coordinated action and the successes achieved since 2010. Leaders and experts also pointed to the importance of providing increased support for nutrition through key partners such as the Micronutrient Initiative, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization and UNICEF. In addition, Summit participants welcomed the announcement that Germany would host the GAVI replenishment meeting in 2015 and called on all partners to increase their support to the GAVI Alliance.

Doing More Together Globally: Summit participants also called for increased efforts to work together. They also called for more timely, reliable, accurate and accessible health information as a critical catalyst for greater accountability within national health systems. In addition, they agreed that a wider spectrum of expertise and resources are needed, including from traditional partners, local governments, the private sector, civil society and citizens.

Taking Real Action on Women’s and Children’s Health: Summit participants called on all partners to maintain progress and increase momentum on efforts to achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goals 4 (to reduce child mortality) and 5 (to improve maternal health) by the end of 2015. Summit discussions also made clear that ending preventable deaths of women and children within a generation will mean carrying forward the lessons learned, including the need for political leadership, sustained financial commitments, robust accountability measures, and a renewed focus on the approaches that are proven to save the lives of women and children.

Participants welcomed Canada’s renewed commitment towards MNCH through 2015-2020 and called on other global donors to meet their commitments to women and children, leading up to and beyond 2015. Summit discussions also emphasized the need for common goals and for governments, international organizations, civil society, businesses and health leaders to ensure that ending preventable maternal, newborn and under-five child mortality by 2030 is a central priority within the post-2015 development agenda.

Quick Facts

In 2010, the world came together to make saving the lives of women and children a global priority: first in Canada with the G-8 Muskoka Initiative and again in New York with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Every Woman Every Child initiative.
Solid international progress is being made to address maternal, newborn and child health. The number of women who die each year during pregnancy or childbirth has dropped substantially – from 523,000 deaths in 1990 to 289,000 in 2013.
The global number of deaths of children under the age of five has dropped significantly as well, from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012.
On May 29, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced new support for maternal, newborn and child health.
Canada’s renewed commitment to maternal, newborn and child health will build on the successes of the Muskoka Initiative, while focusing on areas that warrant more global attention such as newborn survival and civil registration and vital statistics systems.

“Canada believes that eliminating the preventable deaths of women and children in developing countries is within the reach of the international community. I am pleased that the Toronto Summit has been a catalyst for further global action to address these critical issues and keep them front and centre on the international agenda past 2015.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

“Canada will continue to be an international leader in pressing for real results on maternal, newborn and child health. We galvanized international attention at the Muskoka Summit in 2010, have spearheaded global efforts on how to move forward at the Toronto Summit, and have led by example in our efforts to save the lives of some of the most vulnerable women and children on the planet. Finally, we must ensure that the global spending on this file is targeted, effective and accountable. Our commitment will not waver.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

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