Midwives Leading the Way at the 73rd UNGA

31 October 2018

One of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) most strategically important events each year is the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which takes place in New York City, USA. ICM sent a UNGA delegation which included ICM President Franka Cadée and ICM Chief Executive Sally Pairman.

Alongside attending an impressive agenda of General Assembly side events, ICM representatives met global leaders currently shaping the debate around Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) including the ICM Global Goodwill Ambassador and Founder of The Wellbeing Foundation Africa, HE Toyin Ojora-Saraki and former Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. ICM also had high-level discussions with a broad array of strategic partners, among others, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Health Organization (WHO), Women Deliver, Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), What Women Want, Every Woman, Every Child (EWEC), Jhpiego, and a panoply of NGOs, education providers, companies and other stakeholders invested in sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health care.

By far, the highlights of the UNGA were ICM’s side events, the ‘Midwifery Champions’ Cocktail Reception and ICM’s Roundtable Stakeholder Meeting. The Stakeholders Meeting brought together key ICM maternal and reproductive health stakeholders for a discussion about the work of ICM and our strategic vision moving forward. ICM gratefully acknowledges the contributions of Ms. Joy Marini (Johnson and Johnson) and Ms. Geeta Lal (UNFPA) for facilitating the interactive sessions; Mr. Tore Laerdal (Laerdal Global Health) for speaking about working with ICM; Secretary General and UNFPA Deputy Executive Director Mr. Dereje Wordofa (UNFPA) for his short address; and HE Toyin Ojora-Saraki for summarising the session. We very much appreciate everyone’s contributions.

The Cocktail Reception brought together and showcased the work of midwifery leaders as well as national and global influencers from government, civil society and international development agencies who demonstrated commitment to ending preventable maternal and new born morbidity and mortality through investment in or delivery of midwife-led, maternity care. Highlighted speakers included Lauren Moore, Vice President of Johnson & Johnson; Dr Edna Adan, Director and Founder of the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital, Somaliland; Christy Turlington, CEO and Founder of Every Mother Counts; and HE Toyin Saraki. The Reception was standing room only and featured a welcome speech by Franka Cadée and a closing speech by ICM CEO Sally Pairman.