126th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly

31 MARCH -5 APRIL 2012 | KAMPALA, Uganda

Parliamentarians consider landmark Resolution on maternal and child health

IPU, Kampala and PMNCH logos

Some 1500 Parliamentarians from across the globe are focusing on women’s and children’s health at the 126th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union this week in Kampala. The IPU Assembly is considering women’s and children’s health in its Plenary Session, as well as debating a Resolution to the IPU Third Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights: “Access to health as a basic right: The role of Parliaments in addressing key challenges to securing the health of women and children. “ PMNCH and Countdown to 2015 have been close partners of the IPU since 2008, supporting its member-states with evidence and information on women’s and children’s health around the world".

This is the first time that the Inter-Parliamentary Union has debated a resolution on the issue of maternal, newborn and child. In September 2011, the IPU, led by Canada, India and Uganda drafted a report entitled ‘Access to Health as a Basic Right: the Role of Parliaments in Addressing Key Challenges to Securing the Health of Women and Children’ and these countries have been the primary drafters of this resolution.

01 APRIL 2012 – PMNCH and UNFPA co-hosted a luncheon with parliamentarians from Canada, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Pakistan, India, South Africa, Belgium, and Zimbabwe to welcome the draft resolution on MNCH. Prior to the lunch, Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Executive Director, addressed the IPU plenary about the importance of women’s and children’s health, focusing on the role parliamentarians can play in improving RMNCH (Please, find link to Dr Osotimehin's speech on the right). Mr Anthony Lake, Executive Director UNICEF also made gave a speech in plenary during which he highlighted the importance of good nutrition as a critical element of children’s health.

Dr Osotimehin mentioned the importance of availability and accessibility of supplies, and the recent launch of Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children’s health, for which Mr Lake and he are co-vice-chairs. “In this context, I would like to recognize the significance of the Assembly’s discussion on women and children’s health and the importance of the draft resolution on the role of parliaments in securing the health of women and children to be tabled this week,” said Dr Osotimehin.

02 APRIL 2012 - On Monday 2 April, Dr Pius Okong, representing FIGO and the PMNCH Board, made an intervention to the Third Committee. Dr Okong noted the need for Parliaments to put in place national monitoring and accountability mechanism to track the country commitments to the Global Strategy for Women's and Children’s Health.

The full IPU Plenary will vote on the Resolution later in the week. Presentations and Speaking Notes are posted on the right, when available.