Action Update - Summer 2010
Realizing Rights: Action Update
The recent G8 meeting in Canada highlighted the painful reality that hundreds of thousands of women and nearly 9 million children die needlessly every year because of lack of access to basic health services.
G8 leaders underscored the need for urgent collective action, yet their plans to contribute additional funds to scale up maternal, newborn and child health interventions don???t come close to bridging a $30 billion funding gap in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The 'Muskoka Initiative' ??? a key outcome of the G8 gathering - commits only $5 billion over 5 years to meeting the health related MDGs.
Clearly, we can???t put all our hopes in a G8 that has continually failed to deliver on its own commitments to development assistance. A truly global effort is required if we hope to achieve the MDGs in the short time remaining. As the G8 rightly stressed, this means not only more effective action from all governments, but also from the private sector, foundations, and civil society, as well as multilateral organizations.
Realizing Rights has been working to contribute to that global effort. In June we collaborated with Amnesty International to shine a light on the importance and positive impacts of human rights commitments and approaches to making faster progress on the MDGs and offered a series of recommendations to governments as they prepare for the September UN high-level review of the MDGs.
We???ve also added our voices to calls for the UN???s draft Joint Action Plan on women and children???s health to include a clear focus on human rights. Women and girls across the world continue to be subjected to gender discrimination and other human rights violations including gender-based violence. They also frequently face multiple forms of discrimination, for example because of their race, caste, ethnicity, disability, socio-economic or marital status. Failure to tackle such discrimination, provide access to health services, and ensure accountability in efforts to meet all the MDGs will undermine even the best strategies.
As Realizing Rights approaches its planned end in December 2010, we know there is so much still to be done to demonstrate that human rights principles and approaches are key to achieving sustainable development for all. Our partners, and the programs and institutions we have helped launch, will continue to make a real difference. We are committed to engaging in the lead up to the Development Summit in September and throughout the remainder of the year to make the case for why human rights matter, and to empower others to do the same in the time ahead.
I hope you???ll take a few minutes to read more about these and other recent activities in this Summer edition of our Action Update.
- Mary Robinson
Join Realizing Rights for an evening of inspiration and celebration as we mark our planned end with a culminating event on 14 December 2010.
Strengthening Women's Leadership
UN and Governments urged to make new and concrete 'Commitments to Action'
To mark the tenth anniversary of UNSCR 1325 in October 2010, the Civil Society Advisory Group to the UN on Women, Peace and Security (CSAG) is calling on the UN and Member States to reinforce their commitments to protecting women???s rights in the context of armed conflict and empowering women???s full participation in all peacebuilding and reconstruction processes.
Realizing the Right to Health
Mary Robinson Participates at Women Deliver Conference
Mary Robinson participated in a range of events at Women Deliver, a global meeting on maternal and reproductive health which took place on 7-9 June in Washington, DC. The gathering of 3,500 world leaders, donors, and activists aimed to highlight achievements in reducing maternal mortality, breakthroughs in reproductive technology, the role of women???s health in development writ large, and remaining obstacles to improving maternal health.
Influencing the direction of Corporate Responsibility
Companies Commit to Human Rights in Increasing Numbers
From 24-25 June, representatives of more than 1,000 companies gathered in New York to assess their progress under the United Nations Global Compact, the world's largest corporate citizenship initiative. To coincide with the event, Realizing Rights and the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre published a list of over 270 companies worldwide known to have adopted a human rights policy statement.
Fostering Equitable Trade and Decent Work
Enhancing Women???s Economic Empowerment for Self Reliance in Ghana
Realizing Rights believes decent work opportunities are key to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). That is why we have been supporting over the past year a project by the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) in Ghana aimed at "Enhancing Women???s Economic Empowerment for Self Reliance".
Working for Climate Justice
Climate Wise Women complete North American Tour
Climate Wise Women is a global initiative to promote women's leadership on climate change and to give a human face and voice to this complex issue. After completing a successful North American tour in April 2010, Climate Wise Women look forward to the next phase of the journey in Fall 2010.