Day One: ICM Stakeholder Engagement Meeting in The Hague
Day one of a two-day ICM Stakeholder Engagement Meeting in The Hague came to a close after a highly successful and inspiring day.
One of the five ICM Strategic Directions 2014-2017 is to pursue strategic collaborations and network, exactly the heart of this high level Engagement meeting. Its main purpose is to bring together 28 existing and potential partners of ICM, including among others, the WHO, UNFPA, White Ribbon Alliance, Sanofi Foundation, Laerdal, J&J, FIGO but also Wateraid, Save the Children, the Wellbeing Foundation and Direct Relief, that share the main goal to improve the health and wellbeing of women to initiate and strengthen partnership to reduce the maternal and neonatal mortality and increase the quality of midwifery health care in the world.
The first words from Frances Day Stirk, ICM President, welcoming the participants, addressed the need to give midwives but also women, as their main partner, visibility and emphasise the value of the work of midwives, especially because they are the most appropriate caregivers in pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period.
ICM Global Goodwill Ambassador H.E. Toyin Saraki chaired the session, emphasising the importance of raising the voices and visibility of women and midwives. ICM described its vision and mission, envisioning every childbearing women to have access to qualified, well-educated midwives no matter where they live in the world.
After presenting the achievements of ICM between 2011 and 2014, partners discussed the importance of partnership and its impact on the current state of midwifery in the world. ‘The world is a map of linkages and puzzles’, Michaela Michel-Schultz (UNFPA) said, ‘it is up to us to clearly see this map and check where we can collaborate to increase the impact of our work’. H.E. Toyin Saraki, concluded the morning session the same way it started, emphasizing the urgent need to bring back the value and voice of midwives.
ICM President launched the afternoon session by outlining the linkage between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the ICM Strategic Directions (SD) and emphasizing that strengthening midwifery globally will contribute to put an end to preventable deaths and ensure health and well-being of women and newborn.
After a presentation on ICM projects and programmes by the ICM Staff, an open discussion on the opportunities for collaboration in the post-2015 era was launched among the participants. When the first day came to an end, the participants embarked on their first adventure together, on a ‘tram restaurant’ for a dinner around The Hague!