Child and Maternal Health
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Today the world leaders are discussing Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health respectively. Here at the 92Y for the UN Digital Media Forum we have just heard from Dr. Bremer from the United States State Department on these issues. She spoke of President Obama’s commitment to the MDGs and that these are now also the United States’ development goals. Dr. Bremer stressed the need to learn from past mistakes in the global development struggle and strive to improve.
She pointed to the campaign launched yesterday by the Irish and US governments working together in order to step up efforts to deal with child malnutrition. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed the Irish people’s “passion for fighting hunger” yesterday in New York, as she and Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin co-hosted an event to launch the 1,000 Days Challenge. The name of the campaign comes from the growing realisation that the 1,000-day period, beginning when a woman first becomes pregnant and ending when her child is two years old, is of vital importance. A growing body of research has shown that the effects of malnutrition during this period are irreversible. Minister Martin also increased Ireland’s commitment to this goal by noting that the Irish Government had made a commitment to devote 20pc of its overseas aid budget to hunger-reduction efforts.
The Irish and US governments called on all nations at the MDG summit to follow their lead and ensure that pregnant mothers and new born children do not suffer due to hunger.
Dr. Bremer also stressed the US commitment to the UN and working on a multilateral level to achieve the MDGs. The United Nations will continue to be the cornerstone of the US foreign policy agenda and through campaigns in partnership with other countries, as mentioned above the United States wants to ensure that the UN is the central system to address wide scale global issues.