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IPS Examines Next Year’s UNGASS On MDGs, Improvements In Maternal Health

Inter Press Service reports that the September 2010 U.N. Generally Assembly meeting will feature a three-day special session (UNGASS) on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “The summit will specifically look at ways to remove existing obstacles to progress in the next five years when all or most of the MDGs are to be met. … The Millennium Campaign is calling for ‘a clear accountability and monitoring mechanism’ to be agreed at the 2010 Summit between all governments and their citizens and between developed and developing countries,” IPS writes.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has emphasized over the past few months that the maternal health MDG lags behind all others. “‘Every single minute, a woman dies of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. That is unacceptable,’ he admits. It is also unacceptable that 200 million women lack access to safe and effective contraception, that women are routinely victims of sexual violence, that girls are married off as child brides, that women are murdered for so-called ‘honour’ and that genital mutilation and other harmful ‘traditions’ still exist, Ban told a recent gathering at the University of Washington,” the news service reports. 

The article includes information on country-level efforts, including some supported by the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), that have improved maternal health in Africa, Asia and Latin America (Deen, 11/23).