Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed’s video message for the launch of the virtual event “Protect the Progress — Rise, Refocus, Recover: The 2020 Progress Report on the Every Woman, Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health”, held today:
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
I want to start by thanking President [Kersti] Kaljulaid of Estonia and Prime Minister [Erna] Solberg of Norway for their leadership and unwavering commitment to improving the lives of women, children and adolescents around the world.
Today marks the 10-year anniversary of Every Woman, Every Child. We have heard of the successes since its launch: steep declines in global maternal and child mortality, 1 billion children vaccinated and millions of child marriages prevented. These could not have been achieved without this global partnership.
But, our gains have proven fragile, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, deadly conflicts and the existential threat of the climate crisis. Leaders everywhere are focused on fighting the pandemic while trying to keep societies strong and resilient. As we search for solutions, we must take a broad view.
We know that women and children are the foundation of our communities and of our future. Plans to respond to and recover from COVID-19 must prioritize their rights, and ensure continued access to services that support health, access to clean water, nutrition and education.
While much is still unknown and uncertain, our collective goal endures: for women, children and adolescents everywhere to survive and thrive, and for their lives to be transformed. Today, I call on each of you to join the Secretary‑General in refocusing our efforts to usher in a decade of ambitious action to protect progress for every woman, child and adolescent, everywhere.
Women and children are the face of the Decade of Action ahead. In 2030, we will judge our success in delivering the [Sustainable Development Goals] by the lives we have saved and transformed. The need to harness the positive power of multilateralism and partnership, with a common vision for change, has never been more urgent.
To keep momentum for maternal and child health, and recover strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must achieve universal health coverage, strengthen accountability, and invest wisely. The return on this investment, and its positive ripple effect, will be transformational for families, communities and societies at large.
There is no time to lose. Let us commit to the challenge of protecting our progress, to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and to refocusing our efforts to prioritize the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents everywhere.
For information media. Not an official record.