May 14 2015 12.40hr: Today at the VIP Lunch with Heads of State in New York Faridah Mwanje Luyiga a Ugandan maternal health advocate handed UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon a letter of recommendations from Citizens around the world for the updated Global Strategy on Women’s, Children’s & Adolescent’s Health.
These recommendations are the result of 100s of Community and National Level Hearings in some 30 countries, involving 10s of 1000s of people including health experts, Government officials and many youths; all spurred on by the desire to be heard by world leaders and help to develop recommendations to make the new Sustainable Development Goals a success.
The letter calls for greater accountability on Women’s and Children’s health to citizens, and starts:
"It’s all for us, yet we are nowhere.” Santana Murmu, Citizen Reporter, West Bengal, India.
On behalf of the tens of thousands of people that took part in the Citizens Hearings in some 30 countries, we would like to echo the voice of Santana and call for citizens to be at the centre of decision-making, health care delivery, review and accountability. Progress to reach all people will only be made by involving and empowering people…….. The status quo is not good enough. Commitments made must be delivered; reviews of progress to improve health must be done in consultation with citizens, including children and youth. A revised Global Strategy for Women's, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health gives us the opportunity to set a new course with people at the centre.
It concludes: Communities, district leaders and politicians are calling for greater accountability to citizens. We are counting on you to join with people worldwide to drive this change.”
In his speech UN Secretary-General remarked Ban Ki-moon: “Today, I would like to call on all of you, new and existing Every Woman Every Child partners, to help mobilize innovative new commitments around the updated Global Strategy. These new commitments need to demonstrate how the global health community, countries and multi-stakeholder partners can align, be fit for purpose, and forge new partnerships to deliver results. Now is the time to renew our pledge to every woman, every child -- everywhere. Let us remember, we are all accountable to Every Woman Every Child. Every Woman Every Child is a health worker going the extra mile to save a life. It is a politician, a business person, it is an educator. It is your mother or father, brother or sister. Every Woman Every Child is all of us. Every Woman Every Child is ME.” Secretary-General remarks at High Level lunch on Every Woman Every Child
The next step in this campaign is a World First, when a groundbreaking Global Dialogue between Citizens and Governments on accountability for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health will be held at the World Health Assembly (WHA) on 21 May. Following this a report from all the Hearings will be delivered to leaders this July before September’s UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, where the second ‘Global Citizens’ Dialogue’ event is planned.