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Women Deliver Conference Launches New Commitments
Date:10/20/2007

LONDON, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Strong new pledges of commitment to invest in women's health came from donors, government officials, corporations, foundations and non-governmental organizations today at closing sessions of the landmark Women Deliver conference, which sought to mobilize political will and investment to reduce pregnancy-related deaths and disabilities worldwide.

More than 1,800 participants from 109 countries cheered a final statement from the 70 cabinet ministers and parliamentarians present, who pledged to make achievement of Millennium Development Goal #5 (improve maternal health) "a high priority on the national, regional and international health agenda."

The ministers and parliamentarians also pledged to be advocates in their home countries for "increased commitment of financial and human resources" against maternal mortality and to accelerate the expansion of services for maternal and newborn health.

"We are making a promise to the women of the world," said Ann Starrs, executive vice president of Family Care International, (http://www.familycareintl.org), the conference organizing partner, at the closing plenary session. "We recognize your contributions and value your lives. We will not allow this injustice and waste to continue. We will deliver."

Echoing that sentiment was Rep. Lois Capps, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from California and head of the five-member U.S. congressional delegation. "We may have dragged our feet a bit in the U.S., but we are going to hold hearings and we're going to create a workable strategy on behalf of women," she said. "We're going to make sure that the U.S. participates in a global effort to deliver for women around the world."

The three-day conference included a grant announcement of more than US$200 million from the United Kingdom to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, to advance women'
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SOURCE Women Deliver
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