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Statement for the International Day of the Midwife

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international-day-of-2015-midwifreyThe International Day of the Midwife – marked on 5 May.Statement by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund

Today, on the International Day of the Midwife, we stand in solidarity with midwives worldwide and thank them for the life-saving work they do.

There is no stronger testament to their care and commitment than baby Obada, the 3,000th baby delivered safely at the women's clinic in the Za'atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Since the clinic started providing normal delivery services in June 2013, all babies have been born healthy and the infant and maternal death rate is zero.

As we approach the deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we are proud of the progress made for Goal 5, to improve maternal health. Maternal deaths have dropped by nearly 50 per cent, down from an estimated 523,000 in 1990 to some 289,000 at latest count.

But while this progress is welcome, it is not enough. Today, nearly 800 women continue to die every day from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

We must do more. And we must start with training and providing more midwives.

Evidence shows that midwives who are educated and regulated to international standards can provide 87 per cent of the essential care needed by women and their newborns.

Today, we call for greater investments to increase the number of midwives and enhance the quality and reach of their services. Strong political commitment and investment in midwives is needed to save millions of lives every year.

Today and every day, we need to close the gaps in providing universal sexual and reproductive, maternal and newborn health care. These gaps are documented in in The State of Midwifery 2014 report, which points the way forward.

The need for strong health systems and sufficient health workers was recently highlighted by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, where pregnant women struggled to find available health services to ensure safe delivery. In response, UNFPA is expanding midwifery services to support resilient health systems in the affected countries.

UNFPA will continue to support midwifery and sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for all women. Today, UNFPA funds more than 250 midwifery schools with books, training equipment and trained faculty, and has helped train over 15,000 midwives globally.

UNFPA supports midwifery in more than 70 countries worldwide, and in 2014 helped launch Bachelor's degree programmes in midwifery in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Somalia and Zambia.

In the past four years, more than 35 countries have made national pledges to strengthen midwifery. For instance, Ethiopia had pledged to quadruple the number of midwives from 2,050 to 8,635, and will achieve this target ahead of time. Bangladesh pledged to train an additional 3,000 midwives, and some 2,000 midwives are already undergoing training at 31 training centres. Haiti dispatched the first group of midwives last year from its new midwifery school built after the 2010 earthquake. And Afghanistan revived and strengthened community midwifery, which has helped reduce maternal death ratios by more than 80 per cent since 2002.

This year, as we prepare for the post-2015 international development agenda, the future we want is one where midwives play their full role in ensuring safe deliveries, promoting healthy birth spacing, and protecting the health and rights of women and girls.

This year and beyond, all of us at UNFPA will continue to support midwives globally as we strive for a healthy future for present and for generations to come.

In Viet Nam, midwifery and midwifery practice play a crucial role in Viet Nam's maternal and newborn health care system. A skilled midwifery workforce with high competencies, motivated and supported by the health care system, is key to successfully reducing maternal and newborn mortality and contributes to achieving MDGs 4, 5 and 6.

This following clip was produced by AI Jazeera, with support from UNFPA in Viet Nam about mountain midwives in Ha Giang province, Viet Nam.



Statement for the International Day of the Midwife 




1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.


Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


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However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.

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