With the support of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and Rym al Falasi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the UAE engaged in a critical discussion on women’s and children’s health in humanitarian settings at a high-level briefing at the United Nations.
This briefing served to launch the 5-year strategy of the Every Woman Every Child Everywhere platform (Everywhere). The UAE is a key supporter of the Everywhere platform, which aims to end preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents by 2030. Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations was joined by the Assistant Secretary-General, Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs, and Her Royal Highness Princess Sarah Zeid, Co-Chair of the Every Woman Every Child Everywhere platform.
In her welcoming remarks, Ambassador Nusseibeh highlighted the UAE’s leadership in advancing this agenda, saying, “The UAE is committed to advancing the Every Woman Every Child Everywhere platform. Last year, spearheaded by our first lady, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the UAE hosted a meeting of development and humanitarian experts in maternal and child health in Abu Dhabi to engage the Everywhere global movement.”
Ambassador Nusseibeh again noted H.H. Sheikha Fatima’s leadership of this platform in hosting a second meeting of experts in Abu Dhabi in April 2016, which produced a 5-year implementation plan for the Everywhere platform, focusing on reaching all women, children and adolescents, especially in humanitarian settings.
She continued by underlining the critical role that women play as leaders in humanitarian settings. “Women and young people are often both the first responders to crises and the leading innovators of sustainable solutions in crises.”
Ambassador Nusseibeh concluded her remarks by calling for investment in the health and wellbeing of women and children in humanitarian settings. “The data shows that empowering women unlocks untapped potential and spurs growth that will benefit all members of society.”
Assistant Secretary-General Kyung-wha Kang emphasised the importance of focusing on women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health in fragile and humanitarian settings, noting that this is an area that is often overlooked. She lauded the Everywhere platform, thanking the UAE and its partners for its support and for their forward-looking understanding of how the Everywhere platform can work across sectors to end preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents in all settings.
“This initiative is making an ‘invisible’ problem visible; it will enhance access to health care services; and it will also form a strategic platform to achieve the Secretary-General’s ‘Agenda for humanity’ at the World Humanitarian Summit and beyond, as well as the goals outlined in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda,” she said.
H.R.H. Princess Sarah Zeid highlighted the tremendous leadership of the UAE, particularly for the partronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak and the support and partnership of Her Excellency Rym Al Falasi for advocating for and promoting the health and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents, in all settings.
“This is a UAE initiative. The UAE has encouraged and promoted the work, creating the space for us to pursue our mission to convene and challenge, motivate and enable humanitarian and development actors together to provide the best possible outcomes for women, children and adolescents even in the worst possible circumstances,” she said.
She went on to highlight the key outcomes of the 5-year implementation strategy for the Everywhere work stream, which was developed at the 2nd Consultative Meeting of Experts in Abu Dhabi in April 2016.
Ambassador May-Elin Stener of Norway further focused on the need to work across sectors to achieve the goals of the Everywhere platform, and to work with all of those affected. “Working with women and children in humanitarian action needs to be part of how we think and part of how we plan our response.”
Ambassador Stener encouraged all humanitarian and development actors to integrate education into the multi-sectoral Everywhere platform, in order to address all needs of women, children and adolescents.
The UAE will continue to advocate for the Every Woman Every Child Everywhere platform in Istanbul on the sidelines of the World Humanitarian Summit on 24th May at a meeting hosted by the UAE Head of Delegation, Dr. Maitha al Shamsi, Minister of State. This meeting will convene ministers and executives in order to review the 5-year strategy and launch an annual review process of the Everywhere platform.