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 Monday, January 31, 2011
New high-level UN Commission charged with tracking tangible improvements in women's and children's health

ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré took part in a new high-level UN Commission charged with tracking tangible improvements in women's and children' health, which held its first meeting in Geneva on January 26.

One of the key pillars of UN Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon's new Global Strategy for Women's and Children's health, the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health represents an important step forwards in improving accountability in health care projects worldwide.

The Commission is Co-Chaired by Canadian Prime Minister Mr Stephen Harper and Tanzanian President Mr Jakaya Kikwete, with Dr Touré and WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan serving as co-Vice Chairs. Its outcome, delivered at the second and final meeting in May 2011, will serve as an important stepping stone towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

ITU is contributing its expertise in the field of information and communication technologies (ICTs), which can serve as powerful tools in advancing information exchange and improving healthcare. "Technologies already at our disposal, such as ordinary mobile phones, can play an increasingly vital role in health care, as vehicles both for data collection and analysis, and for delivery of basic health services to communities," said Dr Touré.

Commissioners comprise 26 experts from developed and developing countries in the fields of academia, civil society and the private sector.

For quotes from the UN Secretary-General and the Commission's Co- and Vice Chairs, listen to the WHO podcast: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/multimedia/podcasts/2011/acc_20110202/en/index.html