Phl Hosts ASEAN Human Rights Meeting on Promoting Maternal Health

The Philippines will host the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Human Rights Conference on Promoting Maternal Health: Responding to the United Nations Millennium Development Goal 5 on October 14 to 15 2011 at the Hyatt Hotel in Manila.

The two-day Conference is being organized by the Department of Foreign Affairs, in partnership with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the Department of Health (DOH), EnGendeRights, Inc., and the Likhaan Center for Women’s Health.

Attending the Conference are Representatives of ASEAN Member States to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), experts on maternal health from ASEAN Member States, experts from the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and Asia-Pacific experts on maternal health.

Ambassador Rosario G. Manalo is the Philippine Representative to the AICHR.

The two-day Conference aims to start the development of ASEAN best practices and regional approaches on reducing maternal mortality and morbidity, and ensuring maternal health for the ASEAN region.

It will also highlight current initiatives and best practices being implemented in several ASEAN Member States and in other regions to promote the need for concrete strategies in advancing this goal in the ASEAN region.

The Conference will tackle the growing challenges on maternal health confronting various stakeholders in the ASEAN region, including government health care officials, relevant government officials, policymakers and lawmakers, and international, regional and national non-government organizations.

The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are targets set by the UN to address eight global development challenges by 2015.

The MDGs include: (1) eradicate extreme hunger and poverty; (2) achieve universal primary education; (3) promote gender equality and empower women; (4) reduce child mortality; (5) improve maternal health; (6) combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; (7) ensure environmental sustainability, and (8) develop a global partnership for development.

Among these goals is the improvement of maternal health, which underscores the significance of the provision of quality reproductive health care services to help reduce the maternal mortality rate.