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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
Report on the conclusion of the High-Level Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
ISSUE 93 - 27 September 2010
Below is a UNFPA press release on the conclusion of the three-day High-Level Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which took place on 20-22 September at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The release mainly addresses points relating to maternal health in the plan, “Keeping the promise: united to achieve the Millennium Development Goals”, adopted by world leaders.
UNFPA Welcomes World Leaders’ Action Plan for Progress on Maternal Health, Poverty
UNITED NATIONS — Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, has welcomed the action plan adopted by world leaders to redouble their efforts to reduce maternal death and poverty and improve the health and rights of women.
The plan, entitled, “Keeping the promise: united to achieve the Millennium Development Goals”, was adopted on Wednesday night at the 20-22 September Millennium Review Summit, attended by some 89 Heads of State and Government.
“Now all leaders of the public and private sectors must step up investments in education, employment and health, especially reproductive health, including family planning,” said Ms. Obaid. “This will speed progress to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”
In the action plan, world leaders stressed that accelerating progress on the health-related Millennium Development Goals is essential for making headway on the other goals. They pledged to redouble efforts to reduce maternal and child death, improve the health of women, strengthen national health systems and combat HIV and AIDS.
Calling women agents of development, the leaders said that “investing in women and girls has a multiplier effect on productivity, efficiency and sustained economic growth.”
In the 81-paragraph action plan, leaders make specific commitments on each of the eight Millennium Development Goals.
Some key provisions of the plan:
On Goal 5, to improve maternal health, they commit to speeding up progress by:
- Taking steps to realize the right of everyone to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, including sexual and reproductive health;
- Addressing reproductive, maternal and child health in a comprehensive manner, by providing family planning, skilled attendance at birth, emergency obstetric care and methods for preventing and treating sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV, within strengthened health systems;
- Emphasizing the need for universal access to reproductive health by 2015, including integrating family planning, sexual health and health-care services in national strategies and programmes;
- Acting to tackle the root causes of maternal death, such as poverty, harmful practices, lack of health-care services and gender inequality;
- Ensuring that all women, men and young people know of and have access to the widest range of safe, effective and acceptable methods of family planning;
- Expanding the provision of comprehensive obstetric care and strengthening the role of skilled health-care providers, including midwives and nurses.
On Goal 6, to combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases, they commit to:
- Redoubling efforts to achieve universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support services;
- Significantly intensifying prevention efforts and increasing access to treatment by scaling up programmes to reduce the vulnerability of persons more likely to be infected with HIV.
- Prevention programmes that respect cultures and encourage responsible sexual behaviour, including abstinence and fidelity, and expand access to essential commodities, including male and female condoms, and more access to voluntary and confidential counselling and testing.
The Summit asked the United Nations General Assembly to review progress annually and hold a special event in 2013 to follow-up on efforts to achieve the Goals.
For a copy of the entire final action plan, visit:
All previous issues of the UNFPA Global Population Policy Update can be found on UNFPA's website at:
This newsletter is issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in its capacity as the secretariat for the biennial International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD). The first IPCI/ICPD was held in November 2002 in Ottawa, Canada; the second in October 2004 in Strasbourg, France; the third in November 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand; and the fourth in November 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. These dispatches are intended to highlight important developments taking place around the world so that parliamentarians can stay informed of and learn from the successes, setbacks and challenges encountered by their fellow counterparts in other countries and regions in their efforts to promote the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (September 1994, Cairo, Egypt). It should be noted that UNFPA does not necessarily endorse the policies described in this newsletter.
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