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Meeting pushes mother and child health

Female speakers of parliament from around the world, gathering in the Swiss capital, Bern, have called for more action on mother and child health issues.

They have signed up to the Bern Initiative which urges parliaments to work on reducing mortality rates among children and on improving maternal health, the organisers said.

The move is a step towards reaching the United Nation’s Millennium Goals on these issues, which have a deadline of 2015.

“These two goals are those where there has been the least progress since the UN launched its development plan,” said Pascale Bruderer, speaker of Switzerland’s House of Representatives. The goals were set in 2000.

She added that these issues were the ones where the parliamentarians would have “opportunities to push things forward”.

Another aim is to close legal gaps so that everyone has access to health care, Bruderer said.

The two-day meeting, which finished on Saturday, brought together 24 speakers of parliament. Next week the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) will hold an international conference of parliamentary speakers at its headquarters in Geneva. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR