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In Toronto, Ban says ensuring health of women, children ‘best investment we can make’

June 4, 2014

UN News Centre – Despite major global progress in improving the health of children and their mothers, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged participants at a summit in Toronto to show the leadership, build the key partnerships, generate the financing and devise the creative solutions needed to deliver a world of health, safety and possibility for every woman and every child.

“Let no mother have to grieve a lost child. Let every boy and every girl have the opportunity to know and enjoy their sisters and brothers. That world is possible. Now,” declared Mr. Ban in opening remarks to a summit on maternal, newborn and child health, “Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arms Reach.”

The UN chief delivered his call to action following a personal revelation that improving the health and well-being of women and children was an issue close to his heart because, when he was a boy, rather than being the eldest child in his family – as he is known – he was, in reality, the third child; his parents had lost another son and a daughter before he was born.

“When I was a boy, I remember it was considered ‘normal’ to see women and children die in my village. People accepted this as a fact of life,” he said, explaining, that food was not always sufficient. Women feared giving birth. “What should have been the most joyful day was often the scariest or the saddest day instead.”

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