Accelerating progress: Saving women's and children's lives in the coming decade

The conference Accelerating progress is held in Oslo 22 January 2013. The goal is to discuss how to save women's and children's lives in the coming decade.

Norway is deeply engaged in efforts to promote global health, including women’s and children’s health. Political commitment and action are crucial in order to reach the Millennium Development Goals in these areas.

The conference Accelerating progress: Saving women’s and children’s lives in the coming decade will bring together prominent politicians and experts to measure our progress so far, and see how we can build on the current momentum to set ambitious and achievable targets for global health in 2013 and beyond.


Report release

The Global Campaign for the Health MDGs was initiated in 2007. Since the launch an annual report has been published. Norway and Norad have played a vital part in this work.

The report of 2013: “Accelerating Progress in saving the Lives of Women and Children”  provides an update on the significant developments and new commitments since 2010, when the United Nations Secretary-General launched his Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.

It sets out how initiatives will be further developed in a coordinated and effective manner, with a view to accelerating the significant progress that is now being made in reducing maternal and child deaths.

The report will be released at Norads webpage at 09.00 am 22 January.

Norad responisble for the thematic sessions

Join the discussion on twitter:

Follow the launch of the report, the conference and share ideas using #GlobalHealth2013 

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) are responsible for three thematic sessions in the first part of the meeting.

Thematic session 1: New global burden of disease analysis 2010 – towards 2020

This thematic session will use the most updated disease trends and methods for prioritization to provide input to the post-2015 agenda. Chronic diseases led by heart conditions and stroke have significantly overtaken infections as the leading causes of death and disability everywhere in the world except in sub-Saharan Africa.


The trends identified in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study coordinated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, spark debate over the priorities of national health systems and the focus of international agencies, which allocates most funding to infectious disease.

Difficulties and debate on the Post-2015 agenda

As the 2015 target date for achieving the MDGs approaches, there is considerable debate on how health should be included in the Post-2015 agenda. Key discussion points in ongoing consultations are related to both the focus and scope of a new set of MDGs. An aspect that is very present in the debate is particularly related to the increased burden of chronic diseases and how this aspect should be incorporated into potential future goals. Other aspects are related to whether the future goals shall continue to be mainly poverty related or have broader targets with relevance also for the richer countries, such as sustainable development goals.

Thematic session 2: Post-2015 agenda for global health: Positioning health as an investment for development

The purpose of this session is to position health as an investment for economic and sustainable development.


As the 2015 target date for achieving the MDGs approaches, there is considerable debate on how health should be included in the Post-2015 agenda.

The rationale for and ways of positioning health as an investment for economic and sustainable development as well as poverty reduction is a central issue for the post-2015 work. Economic development and poverty reduction is also essential factors influencing countries and individuals possibilities to increase investments in health and ultimately live more healthy lives. There is mutually reinforcing win-win opportunity.

Thematic session 3: Commodities Supply and Distribution: How to get more health for the money

The purpose of this session is to define a clear path of action for applying the most appropriate market shaping mechanisms to achieve more health for the money in relation to commodity procurement, distribution and use.

The UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children was born out of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy, which aims to save 16 million lives by 2015, through increased access to essential medicines, medical devices and health supplies that effectively address the major preventable causes of death during pregnancy, childbirth and childhood.


  • Although tremendous progress has been made since 1990, with reductions in maternal and child mortality over 40%, still millions die of preventable causes.
  • The Commission estimated that an ambitious scaling up of 13 life-saving and essential commodities over five years would cumulatively save over 6 million lives.
  • The estimated costs per lives saved are low and represent excellent global development investments. For example, more than 1.5 million children could be saved in the next five years with two effective treatments, oral rehydration solution and zinc, costing less than US$ 0.50 per treatment.

In September theCommission’s report was delivered to the Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson, at the UN General Assembly. It includes ten time-bound actions to dramatically improve access to the commodities, including the following recommendations:

  1. Shaping global markets: By 2013, effective global mechanisms such as pooled procurement and aggregated demand are in place to increase the availability of quality, life-saving commodities at an optimal price and volume.
  2. Shaping local delivery markets: By 2014, local health providers and private sector actors in all EWEC countries are incentivized to increase production, distribution and appropriate promotion of the 13 commodities.
Published 15.01.2013
Last updated 16.02.2015