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Women Deliver Conference to Feature United Nations Leaders

LONDON, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The landmark Women Deliver conference will bring some of the United Nations' most high-powered leaders to London in October to further the Millennium Development Goals of curbing preventable pregnancy-related deaths of mothers and newborns.

Honorary co-chairs of London's ExCel Centre conference 18-20 October are Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania, the UN's first woman to serve as Deputy Secretary-General; and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, now president of Realizing Rights. Featured speakers include:

-- Thoraya Obaid, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund;

-- Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organisation;

-- Assane Diop, Executive Director of the International Labour Organization;

-- Dr. Peter Piot, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNAIDS; and

-- Nafis Sadik of Pakistan, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General for HIV/AIDS.

These powerful leaders will be among more than 1,500 world decision-makers and delegates from 75 countries expected at the global conference, which will focus on strengthening health systems and creating political will to save the lives and improve the health of women, mothers and newborn babies around the world.

MDGs 4 and 5 call for reducing child mortality and improving maternal health by 2015. At the moment, ten million women die in every generation from pregnancy-related causes that are mostly preventable, and four million newborns also die needlessly every year. Twenty years of research and experience have demonstrated proven ways to save most of these lives, but maternal and newborn health still receives inadequate attention and funding. Conference speakers will highlight the theme: Invest in Women, It Pays. Workshops will demonstrate the need for government and donor investment in key areas that will make pregnancy safer, reduce maternal deaths and enable women to reach their fullest potential:

-- Access to comprehensive reproductive health services;

-- Education that informs women and girls about their bodies and gives them options in life beyond childbearing; and

-- Skilled care by nurses, midwives or doctors during pregnancy and childbirth, including emergency services, as well as care for mothers and newborns after delivery.

"Investment targeted to these areas will enable all women to deliver - not just the next generation but everything development communities work to achieve: economic progress, rising rates of literacy and productivity, better health and well being for families, communities and nations," said Jill Sheffield, president of Family Care International, the Women Deliver conference organizing partner.

For additional information about Women Deliver, including background materials, press kits and registration guidelines, go to

SOURCE Women Deliver
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