This week world leaders gather in New York at the United Nations to review successes and shortcomings in efforts to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Mary Robinson focuses on what is needed to make faster progress on MDG 5 concerning maternal health in this new article for This is Africa Online - a joint initiative of the Financial Times and the UN Development Programme.
Childbirth is a time of hope, joy and some apprehension. But for far too many women, giving birth ends in stark tragedy.
An estimated 350,000 to 500,000 maternal deaths occur around the world each year, the vast majority in developing countries. Though most result from lack of access to health services, at least 70,000 of those deaths are from unsafe abortions. Over 200m women want to avoid pregnancy but are unable to access family planning methods ??? a critical component of maternal health ??? because of cost, lack of availability, gender discrimination and cultural barriers.
And for every maternal death there are another 20 to 30 women who suffer severe injury or disability due to their pregnancy. These appalling numbers are an affront to human dignity and human rights ??? principles whose elaboration at the global level was one of the most important achievements of the last century.
On a recent visit to Uganda ...more
Officially called the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly, the review summit on the Millennium Development Goals convenes in New York between 20 - 22 September 2010. The summit is an opportunity to re-energise the global commitment to achieve the eight time-bound goals and agree on a conrete action plan towards meeting the Goals by their target date of 2015.