World leaders gathered in New York this week for the so-called September Summit to beat the drums for the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations, one of which is slashing the rate of maternal mortality in the developing world.
The official name of the meeting is "The High-Level Plenary Session of the General Assembly." This year, the spotlight is on the MDG. Only five years remain until the 2015 deadline for meeting the eight goals; however, only a couple of them are likely to be met by then.
Barring a breakthrough, Goal 5, reducing maternal deaths by 75 percent, will not be one of the successes.
While 10 of the 87 countries targeted in the program have brought down their rates of maternal mortality by 5.5 percent, 30 other countries have made little or no progress.
Ninety-nine percent of maternal deaths in 2008 occurred in the developing world.