5th Women Leaders Forum: Connecting Women’s Health and Girl’s Education for Scalable and Sustainable Development

New York, September 23, 2014: The Global Partnerships Forum was honored to co-host the 5th Women Leaders Forum with the Advanced Development for Africa (ADA) Foundation and the Permanent Mission of Romania on Monday, September 22, 2014 at the United Nations Headquarters. This special event was developed in collaboration with ITU and UNAIDS, the Zero Mothers Die Initiative and the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media as an official side event of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

With a focus on how to connect women’s health and girl’s education in an effort to achieve scalable and sustainable development, this year’s Forum provided a platform for inspiring discussions on new avenues for youth participation, social impact investing and entrepreneurship.

The Forum was honoured to have Her Excellency Madam Ban Soon-taek, Spouse of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, give Special Opening Remarks.  She strongly supported and highlighted the importance of this annual event: “I am encouraged to see that the mission of the Women Leaders Forum is to share knowledge and form innovative alliances to address global challenges. I invite you to walk together to create a better world.“

GPF Ambassador Mrs. Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, stressed the need for concrete action to provide women with economic opportunities: "The value of giving women economic opportunities is not just something that benefits themselves, but investing in women will have positive benefits for their families, for their communities and for their economies."

In addition to meaningful discussion, the Forum also hosted the launch of Zero Mothers Die global campaign, a multi-partner initiative to eliminate maternal and child mortality, as well as the Global Sustainable Development Foundation, whose mission is to support the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the post-2015, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr. Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director, in the launching the ZMD campaign, stated,  "We have to revolutionize the HIV response and ensure that all women have access to the HIV services they need. It is a critical measure of progress made towards the UNAIDS vision of zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination. With your support and commitment we can ensure that zero mothers die."

The Honourable First Lady of Zambia, Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata, emphasised, "Every woman’s pregnancy must be considered special. We must invest in e-health and women for greater impact. No baby should die because the right information was not available."

Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union and Co-Founder of the United Nations Broadband Commission for Digital Development, reiterated ITU's commitment to maximise the use of new technologies, especially mobile technology, to provide mothers with access to information and healthcare data. 

Panel discussions focused on Using the Power of Youth to Create Transformational Impact, Investing for Impact and Moving the Needle from Talk to Action through Entrepreneurship. Distinguished speakers from a wide variety of disciplines, including First Ladies, UN officials, private sector and civil society members offered diverse perspectives and insight into matters regarding the empowerment and equality of women and the essential role of youth.  


Please follow the link to find the final programme. For a brief summary discussions, please click here. 


Should you require any additional information, please contact: 

Ms. Nora Westcott, Programme Officier, Global Partnerships Forum,

Ms. Jeannine Lemaire, Project Coordinator, Advanced Development for Africa,

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