UNFPA Patron Promotes Safe Motherhood and Joins High-level Task Force on ICPD

2 October 2012
Author: UNFPA
H.R.H. Princess Mary was briefed by UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin prior to the meeting of the high-level task force.

UNITED NATIONS --- Every maternal death is a tragedy that leads to tremendous negative consequences for children, families and societies. That’s why we need to ensure that each and every woman has access to well performing health systems and good reproductive health services, said H.R.H. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

Speaking at the launch of a new media project at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in late September, the Crown Princess, who serves as a UNFPA Patron, highlighted the shocking numbers of maternal deaths around the world, “especially when you consider that most maternal deaths can be avoided.” Those deaths, she added, “can be prevented relatively easily and at a relatively low cost with simple and effective interventions. It has been calculated that for just $25, a mother can have a safe birth.”

“I am the mother of four beautiful and healthy children,” said the Crown Princess. “I know that I was fortunate to give birth in a developed country with good maternal care. I hope for a day where maternal health is equally distributed and women no longer risk life, to give life.”

The media project, entitled “Why Poverty,” consists of eight documentaries that will be broadcast to more than 500 million people all over the world. The launching ceremony was attended by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. Jan Eliasson; actor, director and political activist Danny Glover; the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, Amina Mohammed; the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Zambia, Robert Sichinga: and Danish Minister of Development Cooperation, Christian Friis Bach. The event was moderated by BBC journalist Fergal Keane.

The Crown Princess addresses the high-level task force meeting.

Representing Denmark on the High-level Task Force for the ICPD

While in New York, the Crown Princess also represented Denmark on the High-Level Task Force for the ICPD. In advance of the task force meeting, UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin had the opportunity to provide background on the ICPD and its future.

The task force was formed to bolster efforts in support of the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) that was held in Cairo in 1994, and to ensure that they get attention in the post-2015 international development framework.

Co-chaired by former Presidents Tarja Halonen of Finland and Joaquim Chissano, the task force is comprised of 26 members with rich experience and long service in promoting sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, including former heads of state, ministers, parliamentarians, civil society leaders, philanthropists and others.

The launch, held at the Ford Foundation on 2 October, was attended by distinguished guests and representatives from ministries, United Nations Missions, the UN System and leaders of civil society. The event was co-hosted by the United Nations Missions of Denmark, Finland and Mozambique, and  the Ford Foundation. Speakers at the launch included the Co-Chairs, Ethiopian Minister of Health Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ford Foundation President Luis Ubiñas an Indian youth leader and UNFPA former Executive Director, Dr. Nafis Sadik, as well as the Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

Population : 5.8 mil
Fertility rate
Maternal Mortality Ratio
Contraceptives prevalence rate
Population aged 10-24
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 88%
Girls 92%