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High Level Forum on HIV/AIDS: Protection and Prevention Saves Lives

Over 120 ambassadors, ministers, parliamentarians, advocates, youth and media gathered today at the International Peace Institute (IPI) for a high-level policy forum, Prevention and Protection Save Lives: Girls, Women and HIV, co-hosted by Women Deliver, IPI, the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations and Family Care International. This week’s High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS at the UN marks 30 years of global efforts to stop the AIDS epidemic, and today’s forum was an innovative and energizing discussion on how far we have come, what challenges lay before us and what the road forward will look like. The UN Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child effort was particularly highlighted as a critical step forward in ensuring quality care for all girls and women, as well as collaborative efforts across sectors and throughout the world. Read more...

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Ending HIV Starts With Women

By: Serra Sippel, President of the Center for Health and Gender Equity in Washington, D.C.; originally posted on the Huffington Post

We can end HIV/AIDS right now if we want to. We already know how. We know how it is transmitted; we know how to prevent and treat it. We are just not doing what it takes to end it.

The United States and other countries represented at the United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, which starts today, can change that. Unfortunately, there are already signs that we are going to stay the same failed course. Some country delegations, led by the Holy See (note: a non-member state with no epidemic that is neither a donor or aid recipient country), are working to block all references in the final outcome document to womens rights and access to sexual and reproductive health services. Despite the fact that sexual transmission is the number one way HIV is spread, despite the fact that women account for half of all people globally living with HIV, some countries would rather pursue a moralistic agenda around sex and women than put an end to AIDS.

High Level Meeting On HIV/AIDS: Prevention and Protection Save Lives

Today Women Deliver, the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations, the International Peace Institute and Family Care International are co-hosting a high-level policy forum, Prevention and Protection Save Lives: Girls, Women and HIV, which will bring together some of the key players in the global fight against AIDS as they gather this week at the UN to look at lessons learned, current challenges, and the path forward.

Women Deliver Statement on Misoprostol and the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines

Statement to Stakeholders from Jill Sheffield, President of Women

This week marks an important step in our efforts to reduce maternal mortality worldwide. Misoprostol, a low-cost and life-saving drug, has just been added to the WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines (EML) for the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage. This is vital because postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal mortality, accounting for nearly one quarter of all maternal deaths worldwide, reaching as high as 60% in some countries. Read more...

New UN Report Says Invest in Youth, Women, Reproductive Health to Reduce Poverty

Investments in young people, women’s empowerment and reproductive health, including family planning, are critical to boosting least developed countries’ productive capacity and speeding their escape from poverty, according to a new report by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. The report, “Population Dynamics and Poverty in the LDCs: Challenges and Opportunities for Development and Poverty Reduction”, says that the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs) have a large and rapidly growing youth population, with some 60 per cent of their population under the age of 25. Read more...

Human Rights Upheld at the United Nations 44th Commission on Population and Development

The outcome document of the 44th annual session of the Commission on Population and Development which concluded last week reaffirms the landmark International Conference on Population and Development Program of Action and brings the international community one step closer to ensuring that all people have access to necessary reproductive health services. Read more...

Statement by Advocates for Youth at the Commission on Population and Development

Women Deliver participated in the "Youth Caucus" organized by Advocates for Youth, the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, YouAct, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, and Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS. This caucus worked together to produce a statement that represented the perspectives of many different young people from around the world.

"I am presenting this statement, on behalf of youth led NGOs and young people from around the world. We are firmly in support and call for the realization of all young people's human rights which include sexual and reproductive rights, that must be respected regardless of our age. With this year being the UN International Year of Youth, and as outlined in international commitments, the human rights of all young people should be the priority for the governments, international agencies, policy makers and communities. That's why we are here to share with you our collective voice and message: Youth Demand Change." Read more...

Statement by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin at the Commission on Population and Development

Statement by: Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund at the United Nations Commission on Population and Development 2011

Mister Chairman, Members of the Commission, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

If you were born before 1967, you’ve seen world population double. As our population approaches 7 billion, every person particularly adolescents and young people should be able to enjoy human rights and human dignity. Every person should have the opportunity to make the most of his or her potential. Read more...

Goals for the Commission on Population and Development (CPD)

The 44th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) begins today, Monday April 11th , and lasts through the week.  Ambassador Brian Bowler of Malawi will chair the session, which will cover the theme of “Fertility, reproductive health and development”.  This year’s CPD is particularly significant, and Women Deliver is grateful for the opportunity to participate.  As part of our advocacy efforts, we have joined together with other organizations committed to furthering the International Conference on Population and Development’s (ICPD) goals, including sexual and reproductive health and protection of human rights. Read more...

Experts Seek WHO Nod for Postpartum Haemorrhage Drug

DAKAR, 16 March 2011 (IRIN) - A drug many health experts say can drastically cut postpartum haemorrhage - the leading cause of maternal deaths in the developing world - will be in the spotlight this month during the World Health Organization's (WHO) biennial review of its model list of essential medicinesRead more...

UN Women Celebrates Launch

bacheletunwomen.jpgOn 24 February 2011, the United Nations’ celebrated the historic launch of UN Women, its newest organization, with a full evening of remarks, music, and film in the United Nations General Assembly Hall. UN Women, formally known as the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, builds on a strong foundation by merging four previous UN agencies and offices: the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW). Read more...

As Population Hits 7 Billion, UNFPA Focuses on Youth

By: Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund

EDBabatunde.jpgThis year, world population will hit 7 billion. With this major milestone occurring in my first year as Executive Director of UNFPA, I have an interesting and unique opportunity in leading the organization’s priorities.

One major focus will be today’s large generation of young people. There are an estimated 1.8 billion adolescents and youth aged 10 to 24, accounting for nearly a quarter of the planet's population. Just below 90 per cent of them live in developing countries and that proportion will increase during the next 20 years. They want freedom, participation and dignity and their decisions will define the future. Read more...

Artists Voice Their Support to Improve Maternal Health in Tanzania

art_and_advocacy.JPGUNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, along with MDGFive.com, a network of global artists, have brought together a group of renowned American and Tanzanian artists to use music and songs in raising awareness of the maternal health situation in Tanzania. Linked to the lively Sauti za Busara Music Festival in Zanzibar, the creative collaboration has just concluded a three-day music workshop with the production of a song calling for increased attention to maternal health in the country. Read more...

TIME Magazine Article: To Fight Poverty, Invest in Girls

TIME Magazine has recently published a great article addressing the need to focus more development aid on girls and recognizing those who are empowering teen girls to give back to the global community. Nancy Gibbs, the author of the piece, highlights the sad fact that "the leading cause of death for girls 15 to 19 worldwide is not accident or violence or disease; it is complications from pregnancy. Girls under 15 are up to five times as likely to die while having children than are women in their 20s, and their babies are more likely to die as well." It's this tragedy that Women Deliver is working so hard to change. Read more...

The Importance of Accountability in Saving Girls’ and Womens’ Lives

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver

Jill_WDConference.jpgI was honored to attend the first meeting of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Womens and Childrens Health that was held in Geneva at WHO Headquarters on Wednesday, 26 January 2011. President Kikwete of Tanzania and Prime Minister Harper of Canada co-chair the Commission, with the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union, Hamadoun Toure, and the Director General of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, as vice chairs. The 30 members of the Commission (“Commissioners”) were chosen from a wide range of stakeholder groups including governments, international organizations, civil society, the private sector, foundations and academia, and Women Deliver is proud to be one of the civil society representatives. The time-line of the Commission is expected to be both brief and intense, and the action plan has ambitious goals to focus on results and resources. Read more...

Giving UN Women a Chance: The Need for Full Funding

Yesterday, Madeleine Bunting, a columnist for the Guardian who writes on a wide range of subjects including women's issues and social change, wrote about the UN's new agency for women, UN Women. In her blog for the Poverty Matters Blog, she mentions that although world leaders have been vocal about the importance of women's empowerment, they need to demonstrate their commitment by agreeing to properly fund UN Women, which before it's official start is already likely to be under-funded and under-resourced. Read more...

First meeting of Accountability Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health

Originally posted by The Partnership for Newborn, Maternal, and Child Health

High-level Chairs and Commissioners of the new Information and Accountability Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health have convened for their first meeting at WHO. The Commission’s two eminent chairs each led sessions: President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete headed the session on accounting for results with Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper leading the session on accountability for resources. Vice-chairs, Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the ITU, and Margaret Chan, Director-General WHO supported discussions focused on papers from the two expert technical Working Groups with 30 high-level commissioners from government, civil society, academia, and multi-lateral agencies. Read more...

Upcoming Publication: The State of the World’s Midwifery

The role of skilled birth attendants, in particular midwives and others with midwifery competencies, is widely acknowledged as being crucial to addressing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity, and to promoting women’s and children’s health. An upcoming publication entitled The State of the World’s Midwifery, from UNFPA and a coalition of partners, will take stock of recent analyses showing that both midwifery personnel and services are unequally distributed - both between and within countries.

UN Extends ICPD Programme of Action Beyond 2014

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on the Follow up to the ICPD Beyond 2014, entitled, “Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields”. The resolution, introduced by Yemen, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, extends the ICPD Programme of Action and the Key Actions for the Further Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action beyond 2014, when the Programme was technically to come to an end. Read more...

Jill Sheffield Joins High-Level UN Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health

Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver, is joining a new UN high-level commission charged with developing an accountability framework that will link resources committed to women's and children's health with the results they are intended to achieve.

"Strengthening accountability is critical if we are to save the lives of more women and children," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "We must ensure that partners deliver on their promises but, in turn, it is crucial that they know whether investments are leading to sustainable progress.” Read more...

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