Delegate Name: Kate Risley
The World Health Organization defines maternal health as the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and during the postpartum period. Hundreds of women around the world die due to maternal health complications every day. Approximately 99% of these deaths occur in developing nations. The vast majority of these deaths are preventable by increasing access to healthcare in these nations. The delegation of Canada recognizes the need for this increased access to healthcare and is willing to help provide resources to developing nations with the goal of decreasing the global maternal mortality rate.
According to the CDC, the main reasons women are often unable to receive needed healthcare to save their lives during maternal health complications are poverty, distance to facilities, lack of information, and inadequate and poor quality services. Canada has taken action to combat these issues in previous policies, such as supporting the world health organization’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and adolescent’s health which aims to minimize the amount of maternal deaths by 2030 and ensure women around the world have access to reproductive healthcare. Canada also supports the UN’s International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights which recognizes the right to the highest attainable standard of health. Additionally, Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy guaranteed an investment of 3.5 billion dollars from 2015-2020 to assist with bettering the health of women in developing nations–650 million of that specifically going towards reproductive health matters. Canada has also been a big supporter of efforts such as family planning 2020 and the Ouagadougou Partnership, which help with family planning in developing countries, mainly in Africa. Also, Canada ensures access to safe and legal abortion for all its citizens, and encourages other countries to do the same to reduce the amount unsafe abortions, which lead to maternal deaths.
In this conference, Canada would like to find more ways to decrease maternal mortality rates worldwide, specifically in developing countries. Canada’s ideal resolution would address the factors that the CDC states contribute most highly to preventable deaths relating to maternal health complications, some of these being poverty, distance, to facilities, and lack of information. Canada is willing to negotiate with countries that share the goal of reducing maternal mortality rates, such as Sweden and Denmark. These two countries have kept their maternal mortality rate very low at about 4 deaths/100,000 births. Canada is also willing to negotiate with countries in need of increased access to healthcare in order to deal with their high maternal mortality rates, such as South Sudan and many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Canada has already made efforts to work to improve public health in these countries in need through its dedication to the Global Care alliance.