Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to congratulate you, Mr Secretary-General. The initiative you launched a year ago here in New York has become a great success.
“Every Woman, Every Child” has rallied world leaders, civil society and private actors in a concerted effort to reduce maternal and child mortality.
Each one of us has made an explicit commitment.
The 50 countries with the highest disease burden and lowest incomes have a special focus.
The leaders in these countries must show the way.
We are making progress.
Our common effort is paying off.
The new figures released today give us hope.
For saving the lives of thousands of mothers and children.
For improving social conditions and stimulating economic growth.
And for reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals on health.
Maternal mortality is down from 343 000 to 273 000 in only one year.
70 000 more mothers survived the most dangerous day in a woman’s life.
Child mortality is down from 7.8 million to 7.2 million.
600 000 more children will have the opportunity to grow up and go to school.
This demonstrates that our concerted effort is making a difference.
But the job is yet not done.
Too many mothers and children are still dying of easily preventable causes.
A further reduction in maternal and child mortality requires our continued and relentless attention.
I have good news to report from the pledging conference for the vaccine alliance GAVI in London in June this year:
Prime Minister Cameron and Bill Gates did an outstanding job in mobilising support.
The target was to raise 3.7 billion US dollars.
We exceeded the target and raised 4.3 billion.
Norway pledged to double its annual contribution reaching a total of 650 million UD dollars for the years 2011 to 2015.
The vaccine-producing companies contributed by reducing vaccine prices.
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I commend President Kikwete and Prime Minister Harper for the very effective work of the Commission of Information and Accountability.
We need to measure results and account for the resources used.
We must ensure that our investments have the maximum effect.
And we must justify our investments to the general public in our countries.
Norway is committed to supporting the implementation of the recommendations put forward by President Kikwete and Prime Minister Harper.
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The private sector has a role to play in improving women’s and children’s health.
Through innovation, risk taking and capital investments.
Mobile phones and broadband Internet access for new health care services are excellent examples.
Two out of every three new mobile subscribers are women.
Mobile phones provide access to health services.
They are a means of information sharing.
And they empower women in general.
Norway will continue our strong support to “Every Woman, Every Child”.
There is nothing more important, nothing more worthy than saving the lives of millions of mothers and children.