UNFPA Applauds the Adoption of a Landmark Resolution on Maternal Health

  • 17 June 2009

GENEVA—The Human Rights Council today adopted the resolution on ‘Preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights’. With this resolution, over 70 UN Member States acknowledge that the issue of maternal health must be recognized as a human right challenge and that efforts to curb the unacceptably high global rates of preventable maternal mortality and morbidity must be urgently intensified and broadened.

“I applaud this resolution as another step toward galvanizing the political will to reduce maternal death, said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya A. Obaid. “Too many women are denied their most fundamental human rights.”

Globally, maternal mortality is the leading cause of death among women and of girls of reproductive age in the developing world. More than 1400 women and girls die every day from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, which adds up to some 536,000 annually.

Ms. Obaid noted that the resolution comes at a critical time. The global community is recognizing the fact that progress towards improving maternal health is lagging behind other development issues. “Adoption of this resolution is an important step,” she added, “but how much impact it will have depends on whether the international community—donors, governments and civil society—join efforts to improve the human rights of women and girls all over the world."

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