Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived in Switzerland on Jan. 25 to meet with members of a United Nations commission that monitors how the USD40 billion pledged for maternal and child health initiatives in last year’s Millennium Development Goals summit is being spent. Harper, along with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, leads the panel.
>> MDG Summit Culminates With USD40B Global Health Roadmap
Harper’s involvement signals his commitment to improving maternal and child health in the developing world, according to Fen Hampson, professor of international affairs at Carleton University.
“I think that there was a lot of cynicism around the G8 summit: Why did [Harper] suddenly seize on maternal health? I think this shows he really believes it. And it underscores that he wasn’t just looking for an announcement (at the summit) but is also very intent on follow through,” Hampson was quoted by Post Media News as saying.
Last year, the Harper administration hosted a G-8 meeting that concluded with a USD5 billion maternal and child health initiative.
>> G8 Launches Maternal and Child Health Initiative