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Prime Minister Harper addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly


Prime Minister Stephen Harper today addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, where he focused on Canada’s global leadership to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children within a generation.

In his address to the General Assembly, Prime Minister Harper noted the tremendous progress that the world has made to save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable mothers, newborns and children; efforts galvanized by the significant financial commitments and strategic partnerships generated by the Canadian-led 2010 Muskoka Initiative of world leaders, and re-energized at the 2014 Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm's Reach Summit in Toronto.

Prime Minister Harper called on all partners to sustain the momentum generated by the Toronto Summit to ensure that ending preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children under the age of five within a generation is a central priority of the post-2015 development agenda.

Prior to his remarks, the Prime Minister joined co-founders of the platform Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, and Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator, in announcing the “Global Financing Facility For Every Woman Every Child.” The Facility is an important global resource to finance health services for women and children in developing countries and will help ensure that maternal, newborn and child health remains a top priority in the post-2015 agenda.

Also at this event, the Prime Minister, along with Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, emphasized that improving civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems across the developing world is key to ensuring the health and survival of women and children. The Global Financing Facility will also include specific support for CRVS systems in developing countries.

Quick Facts

• In June 2010, under Prime Minister Harper’s leadership, world leaders launched the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. The Initiative focused on saving the lives of mothers, newborns and children under five in developing countries.
• From May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, the Prime Minister hosted the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit. At the Summit, Canada committed to support MNCH between 2015-2020 and renewed global momentum to advance MNCH as a global priority beyond 2015.
• The September 2014 high-level Every Woman Every Child event, hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, seeks to ensure that maternal, newborn and child health will feature prominently in the post-2015 development agenda, through the support of a strong coalition of global partners.
• Worldwide, more than 100 developing countries lack well-functioning CRVS systems, despite their importance. As a result, many births and deaths are unregistered.
• This Global Financing Facility is a concrete step to provide the financial infrastructure and capital necessary to secure maternal, newborn and child health on the international agenda.
• In addition to his primary objective at this year’s United Nations General Assembly – advancing international cooperation on maternal, newborn and child health – the Prime Minister also addressed a range of pressing international issues, including Iraq, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the situation in Ukraine, and climate change.


“Ending preventable maternal and child deaths within a generation is possible, but not without greater political and financial commitments. Canada will continue to champion these issues on the world stage to ensure that they remain at the forefront of the global agenda now and beyond 2015. We call on all partners to increase their efforts to achieve this goal.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

“Civil Registration and Vital Statistics are the bedrock of accountability for women’s and children’s health. I am pleased to announce Canada’s support for the Global Financing Facility for Every Woman Every Child. This Facility is a concrete step in providing the financial infrastructure and capital that are required for developing countries to strengthen their health systems and to record and track essential data.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Related Products

• Global Financing Facility for Every Woman Every Child
• Canada Leading the Global Effort to Improve the Lives of Women and Children in the Developing World

Associated Links

• Canada’s Forward Strategy Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach
• Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
• Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit

PMO Press Office    9/25/2014


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