During their annual meeting held July 7-9 in Hokkaido, Japan, the heads of state of the Group of Eight (G-8) major industrialized countries for the first time focused on maternal health. Read below about related advocacy efforts, news articles, and blogs from the Summit.
In a television program broadcast on Japanese National TV during the G-8 Summit, representatives from the 15% Now Campaign and activist/musician Bono called for the Abuja 15% Pledge to be met by African governments alongside the G8 meeting’s global commitments to health. A key highlight of the program was making the case to the World Bank President that expenditure ceilings imposed by International Financial Institutions should be lifted to enable African countries to scale up health financing. This is a significant development for national campaigns on HIV, TB, Malaria, and maternal and child Health. For more information, click here.
The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health has issued a global call to world leaders to fund basic health services for women, mothers, and children. This "Global Call to Leaders" has been developed by the Partnership in collaboration with its 250 member organizations around the world. To find out more about the call, visit the Global Campaign web site.
In an open letter to the G-8 first ladies (and one first man), thirty female celebrities from nine nations urge action to ensure that maternal health is at the top of the political agenda at the annual G-8 meeting. Some of these inspirational women demanding political action and fighting to reduce maternal mortality include: musicians Sarah McLachlan (Canada) and Angelique (USA), actresses Dane Judi Dench (UK) and Gwyneth Paltrow (USA), singers Misia (Japan) and Fiorella Mannoia (Italy), CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour (USA), Chief Strategist for Myspace Wendi Murdoch (China), supermodel and actress Claudia Schiffer (Germany), CARE Ambassador and supermodel Christy Turlington (USA), and many more. Click here to see the ad.
Thirty-six women members of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote to President Bush June 24 urging him to “do all in your power to focus attention, action and resources” at the G-8 meeting toward worldwide reductions in maternal mortality. To read the letter to President Bush, click here.
Leaders of 205 African and global networks and organizations called for full funding of the African Union Health Strategy, which is designed to reduce maternal and infant mortality on the continent, as well as combating malaria and HIV/AIDS. For more information, click here.
During the fourth G-8 International Parliamentarians’ Conference on Global Health, Climate Change and Food Security in Tokyo, Japan from July 2-3, more than 50 parliamentarians from G-8 countries met with counterparts from Africa and Asia to discuss the links between sexual and reproductive health, global health, climate change, economic development and food security, and to appeal to the G-8 leaders to act. Organized by the Asian Population and Development Association, and hosted by Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population, participants issued a declaration on key global issues that G-8 leaders are to address at their Summit from July 7-9. For more information, click here.
An ad hoc coalition of advocates, the Global Civil Society Concerning Global Health, led by Japan, petitioned the G-8 leaders in June to make health a permanent agenda item and monitor progress, to strengthen health systems and raise the number of health workers worldwide, and to increase their worldwide health investments by US$10.2 billion per year. To read the final statement, click here.
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, urged the G-8 to consider seriously the effects on global population when it deliberates policy on food security, climate change and maternal health.
For more information, click here.