FOREWORD FROM
THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL

I launched the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health in September 2010 because I believed the global community could and should do more to save the lives and improve the well-being of women and children. I have been greatly encouraged by the response, including the powerful multi-stakeholder Every Woman Every Child movement. A surge of new commitments and advocacy has helped to significantly advance the health-related Millennium Development Goals. With the publication of this updated Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, and with agreement by Member States on an ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is time to build on the momentum achieved over the past five years.

To ensure health and well-being for every woman, child and adolescent, we must build on what has worked in the past and use what we have learned to overcome existing and emerging challenges. Fulfilling the Global Strategy and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require new evidence-based approaches backed by innovative and sustainable financing mechanisms, such as the Global Financing Facility in support of Every Woman Every Child.

The updated Global Strategy includes adolescents because they are central to everything we want to achieve, and to the overall success of the 2030 Agenda. By helping adolescents to realize their rights to health, well-being, education and full and equal participation in society, we are equipping them to attain their full potential as adults.

The three overarching objectives of the updated Global Strategy are Survive, Thrive and Transform. With its full implementation—supporting country priorities and plans and building the momentum of Every Woman Every Child—no woman, child or adolescent should face a greater risk of preventable death because of where they live or who they are. But ending preventable death is just the beginning. By helping to create an enabling environment for health, the Global Strategy aims to transform societies so that women, children and adolescents everywhere can realize their rights to the highest attainable standards of health and well-being. This, in turn, will deliver enormous social, demographic and economic benefits.

It is a grand vision. But it is achievable. By implementing the Global Strategy we can deliver a historic transformation that will improve the lives of generations to come. To that end, I will continue to mobilize ambitious action from global leaders and promote the engagement of all sectors of society. Together, we can end the preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents everywhere and create a world in which, for the first time in history, all can thrive and reach their full potential.

Ban Ki-moon