President Jonathan to play active UNICEF role


President Goodluck Jonathan and the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, are to serve as founding co-chairs of the Commission on Life-saving Commodities for Women and Children.

UNICEF and UNEPA stated this in a joint statement made available to the UN Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in New York.

Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the UN Millennium Development Goals Summit in September 2010, ‘Every Woman Every Child’ aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. It described the commission as an “unprecedented global movement that mobilises and intensifies international and national action by governments, multi laterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children around the world.”

The statement named UNICEF’s Executive Director, Anthony Lake and UNFPA’s Executive Director, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, as vice-chairs of the commission. “I am honoured to serve as the Co-Chair of this critical UN Commission because I recognise that the health of women and children are at the heart of development in our society. “There is no doubt that lives can be saved by increasing access to affordable and effective medicines and health supplies. We must all make a difference and the time is now,” the statement quoted President Jonathan as saying.

It also quoted Stoltenberg as saying that “the day of birth is the most dangerous day in the life of a woman and her child. “The fact that women do not get the care they need during childbirth is the most brutal expression of discrimination against women.”

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