GE.14-17865 (E)


Human Rights Council Twenty-seventh session

Agenda item 3

Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,

political, economic, social and cultural rights,

including the right to development

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council


Preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights

The Human Rights Council,

Recalling its resolutions 11/8 of 17 June 2009, 15/17 of 30 September 2010, 18/2 of

28 September 2011 and 21/6 of 27 September 2012 on preventable maternal mortality and

morbidity and human rights,

Reaffirming the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Programme of

Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and its review

conferences, including the outcome document of the 15-year review of the Programme of

Action contained in Commission on Population and Development resolution 2009/1 of 3

April 2009, Commission on the Status of Women resolutions 54/5 of 12 March 2010 and

56/3 of 9 March 2012, and all relevant agreed conclusions of the sessions of the

Commission on the Status of Women, World Health Assembly resolution 67.15 of 24 May

2014, the targets and commitments regarding the reduction of maternal mortality and

universal access to reproductive health, including those contained in the 2000 Millennium

Declaration, the 2005 World Summit Outcome1 and the outcome document of the high-

level plenary meeting of the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly on the Millennium

Development Goals, and Commission on Population and Development resolution 2012/1 of

27 April 2012,

Deeply concerned that, despite the impressive reductions in maternal mortality rates

achieved since 1990, in 2013 there were an estimated 289,000 maternal deaths of women

and girls, which are largely preventable, and that millions more women and girls suffer

serious and sometimes lifelong injuries, which have severe consequences for their

enjoyment of their human rights and their overall well-being,

1 General Assembly resolution 60/1.

United Nations A/HRC/RES/27/11

General Assembly

Convinced that increased political will and commitment, cooperation and technical

assistance at all levels are urgently required to reduce the unacceptably high global rate of

preventable maternal mortality and morbidity, and that the integration of a human rights-

based approach can contribute positively to the common goal of reducing this rate,

Acknowledging that the failure to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity is one of

the most significant barriers to the empowerment of women and girls in all aspects of life,

the full enjoyment of their human rights, their ability to reach their full potential and to

sustainable development in general,

1. Urges all States to renew their political commitment to eliminate preventable

maternal mortality and morbidity at the local, national, regional and international levels due

to primary and secondary causes, and to strengthen their efforts to ensure the full and

effective implementation of their human rights obligations, as well as their commitments as

addressed in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Programme of Action of

the International Conference on Population and Development and its review processes,

including the commitments relating to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive

rights, the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals, in particular

the goals on improving maternal health and promoting gender equality and empowering

women, including through the allocation of necessary domestic resources to health systems

and the provision of the necessary information and health-care services in relation to the

right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, including the sexual

and reproductive health of women and girls;

2. Requests States and other relevant actors to give renewed emphasis to

maternal mortality and morbidity initiatives in their development partnerships and

cooperation arrangements, including by honouring existing commitments and considering

new ones, and the exchange of effective practices and technical assistance to strengthen

national capacities, and to integrate a human rights-based perspective into such initiatives,

addressing the impact that discrimination against women has on maternal mortality and


3. Urges States and other relevant stakeholders, including national human rights

institutions and non-governmental organizations, to take action at all levels, utilizing a

comprehensive human rights-based approach, to address the interlinked root causes of

maternal mortality and morbidity, such as gender inequalities, all forms of discrimination

and violence against women, early childbearing, early marriage, poverty, malnutrition,

harmful practices, lack of accessible and appropriate health-care services for all,

information and education, and to pay particular attention to eliminating all forms of

violence against women and girls, especially adolescent girls;

4. Takes note with interest of the report of the Office of the United Nations

High Commissioner for Human Rights on the application of the technical guidance on the

application of a human rights-based approach to the implementation of policies and

programmes to reduce preventable maternal mortality and morbidity,A/HRC/27/20. and calls upon States

and encourages stakeholders to consider the recommendations contained therein;

5. Calls upon all relevant actors, including Governments, regional

organizations, relevant United Nations agencies, national human rights institutions and civil

society organizations to continue to disseminate the technical guidance and to apply it, as

appropriate, when designing, implementing and reviewing policies and evaluating

programmes to reduce preventable maternal mortality and morbidity;

6. Calls upon all relevant United Nations agencies, programmes and funds,

within their respective mandates, to provide technical cooperation and assistance to States,

upon their request, to support the implementation of the technical guidance;

7. Encourages the High Commissioner to promote enhanced awareness and

utilization of the technical guidance, to bring the technical guidance to the attention of the

Secretary-General and all United Nations entities with mandates relevant to maternal

mortality and morbidity and human rights, and to continue dialogue on the issue of

preventable maternal mortality and morbidity with all relevant actors in order to accelerate

the realization of the rights of women and girls and the achievement of Millennium

Development Goal 5 by 2015;

8. Requests the High Commissioner to prepare, from within existing resources,

in consultation with States, United Nations agencies and all other relevant stakeholders, a

follow-up report on how the technical guidance has been applied by States and other

relevant actors, to be presented to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-third session;

9. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

39th meeting

25 September 2014

[Adopted without a vote.]