Mrs. Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF talking about A Promise Renewed for the Americas at Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference 2015

(…)”The Secretary-General’s updated Global Strategy for Every Woman Every Child lays out a roadmap that spans the full spectrum of maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health. Strong and healthy lives begin when we safeguard a mother during pregnancy and as she gives birth. When we protect an infant in the first days and months of her life. And when we give young girls and boys all they need to thrive through adolescence and beyond.

To do this, we need to take a very broad view of health…working across our individual areas…breaking down the silos that divide our efforts…incorporating a focus on the social and economic determinants of health, and dissolving the arbitrary distinction between humanitarian and development settings.

Governments are already seeing the benefits of this type of integrated approach. Some of the most exciting examples are here in this region, in Latin America and the Caribbean. Under the banner of A Promise Renewed, governments from across the region came together in 2013 to rally public, private, and civil society sectors around a collective effort to reduce inequities across the spectrum of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health.

Over the next few days, we’ll have the opportunity to learn together about the region’s experiences. The lessons learned from this region and others will help us move forward in implementing the Global Strategy.

But’s let’s remember that strategies and plans don’t save lives. Political will, partnerships and people do. People like you. So let’s harness the renewed energy around the Sustainable Development Goals, and let’s demand action and results. Results that will strengthen the most precious bond of all – the bond between a mother and her baby. Results that will prevent mothers like Bhagirathi from dying from sorrow.”