The Civil Society Pledge
Ten years ago, the United Nations General Assembly passed the landmark resolution to build “A World Fit for Children.” That historic act has helped to save and enhance the lives of millions of children around the world. Today, we renew this promise to children.
Over the past two decades, technological advancements, increased political will, and social investments have contributed to a nearly 40% reduction in the global under-5 mortality rate. As civil society organizations working in over 150 countries, we have played a critical role in this progress by marshalling our expertise, reach, resources, and ambition. However, 7.6 million children continue to die each year, almost half in their first month of life, and most of these deaths can be prevented.
With less than three years left until the deadline for reaching the Millennium Development Goals, too many countries still lag far behind their targets for reducing newborn, child, and maternal deaths. To accelerate progress, we must intensify our efforts and sharpen our approaches.
Therefore, we, the undersigned representatives of civil society, reaffirm our commitment to the well-being of all children, and to their right to survival and development. Consistent with the Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed initiative, we pledge our support for ending preventable child deaths and call on all countries to reduce under-5 mortality to 20 or fewer under-five deaths per 1,000 live births, for every segment of society, by 2035.
We are a broad and diverse community. In line with our organizational missions, to achieve this goal, we will:
1) Contribute to reaching every child and empowering women, children and families
- We commit to helping to reach the most marginalized, so that a child’s sex, social, economic, or cultural status does not determine her or his chance of survival.
- We will do more to improve health systems, and to make them more sustainable, so that quality health care is within the reach of every child.
- We will empower and mobilize women, children, families, and their communities. We will continue to build their capacity to exercise their right to health, to engage in local and national decision-making, and to hold their governments accountable for providing effective and comprehensive health services in their communities.
2) Support and integrate research and innovation
- We will actively support innovative breakthroughs in scientific, therapeutic, and logistical research to improve current interventions and better meet people’s needs.
- We commit to developing and testing pioneering approaches to delivering essential services.
- We pledge, wherever possible, to fully integrate improved technology, resources, and best practices to ensure that our efforts are as efficient, effective, and long-lasting as possible.
3) Champion the A Promise Renewed initiative
- We will work with our governments at the national, subnational, and local levels to support the goal of “ending preventable child deaths” through continued dialogue with our leaders.
- We will work together to mobilize our citizens to call on our governments to increase investments in health and nutrition; to direct these resources to those in greatest need; and to support the goal of “ending preventable child deaths.” We will leverage our resources and expertise in social media, publications, and other communications channels in our outreach efforts.
4) Support mutual accountability including holding ourselves accountable
- Where governments have developed strong, ambitious, evidence-based plans for ending preventable child deaths, we will align and coordinate with those efforts and avoid unnecessary duplication.
- We will work more effectively across our separate global movements and sectors towards a shared goal of ending preventable child deaths.
- We will meet our own commitments, made through the Every Woman, Every Child effort, including our support for the continuum of care approach, recognizing access to integrated essential reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health interventions is critical for reducing child and maternal mortality and improving the health and nutrition of families.
- We commit to empowering citizens to participate in local level accountability efforts.
5) Call upon governments, donors, multilaterals and the private sector to:
- Recommit to child survival and renew the promise to give every child the best possible start in life by participating in A Promise Renewed.
- Set a national target for the under-5 mortality rate at or below 20 deaths per 1,000 for every segment of society.
- Sharpen, finance and implement national action plans for maternal and child survival, setting and monitoring five-year milestones using agreed, common indicators These efforts should begin with achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
- Deepen engagement with, and build the capacity of, civil society organizations as active partners in the planning, coordination, and decision-making process.
- Fulfill their financial and policy commitments.
This pledge was developed by a coalition of civil society organizations. For more information, contact email@example.com.