Girls and women have the right to access quality sexual and reproductive healthcare no matter where in the world they live or what their economic status is.
This was the key message during the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 (International Conference on Population and Development), hosted this week in Kenya’s capital city.
The summit brought together more than 9,500 delegates from over 170 countries to track progress on commitments made 25 years ago at the historic 1994 ICPD summit in Cairo, Egypt — when sexual and reproductive health access and rights were first globally recognised as human rights.
The Nairobi Summit, which was co-convened by the governments of Kenya and Denmark with UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, mobilized more than 1,200 commitments from around the world by governments, the private sector and civil society.
Baroness Sugg on behalf of the UK Government committed a groundbreaking commitment of £425 million across five years to UNFPA Supplies. Over 200,000 Global Citizens took action, including sending tweets and personal messages directed at the UK.
Chief of UNFPA Supplies, Dr. Gifty Addico, shared a personal thank you live from the Nairobi Summit to Global Citizens.
Dr. @AddicoG, Chief of @UNFPA_Supplies, has a special message of thanks for Global Citizens for the work you've done to ensure countries like the UK step up for gender equality by supporting access to family planning. #NairobiSummitpic.twitter.com/zpXptjMlRL— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) November 13, 2019
Meanwhile, the Children’s Investment Fund (CIF), the Ford Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Philips, World Vision, and others announced they will mobilize some $8 billion in combined new pledges, according to the UN’s Population Fund (UNFPA).
In addition, UNAIDS committed to driving political will on HIV prevention and young women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, by supporting countries to eliminate social practices that result in young women being vulnerable to HIV infection in Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia. UNAIDS will also work with the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis to help further the goal of combating HIV/AIDS.
Further pledges were made by youth groups, faith-based organizations, academia, civil society, and many more.
The commitments made at the summit this week will help reach the goal of ensuring that every girl and woman has access to contraception and quality maternal and reproductive health care — while also ensuring that every girl and woman is protected from harmful practices such as child marriage by 2030.
Dr. Josephine Kibaru-Mbae, the Director-General of the Kenyan National Council for Population and Development, said: “We leave Nairobi with a clear roadmap of actions we must all take to advance the ICPD agenda and transform the world for women and girls."
The reproductive rights of women & girls are not up for negotiation. We shall protect & uphold them.— Dr. Natalia Kanem (@Atayeshe) November 12, 2019
Reproductive rights are human rights & we will not back down.#NairobiSummit#ICPD25pic.twitter.com/0I04HoAPcD
#IMarchFor the rights of women & girls.— Phumzile Mlambo (@phumzileunwomen) November 12, 2019
As I join many others who do the same at the #NairobiSummit, I look forward to seeing how we can build better access to sexual and reproductive health education & services for women and girls everywhere. #ICPD25pic.twitter.com/Kxpdm16Ajx
Importantly — in a critical step forward to reach the 232 million women and adolescent girls in the poorest countries who want to avoid or delay pregnancy but are still not using a modern contraceptive method — UNFPA’s flagship thematic fund UNFPA Supplies launched its new strategy for the next decade.
“Now is the moment for UNFPA Supplies — along with its donors and partners — to redouble efforts, to be braver and bolder, and ensure country leaders have the resources they need to get contraceptives to the women and girls who need them most,” said UNFPA Supplies in a statement.
It added that, since 2012, more than 61 million unintended pregnancies have been averted through a cumulative investment of close to US$1.1 billion.
We stand in solidarity with the women who die giving life, with girls forced into child marriage, with girls whose genitals are cut & with the nearly 1 in 5 women/girls who are assaulted/lose their lives at the hands of a partner/family member each year. #ICPD25#KeepThePromisepic.twitter.com/lhIpnwsd2L— Amina J Mohammed (@AminaJMohammed) November 12, 2019
“To build on the momentum and drive progress on UNFPA’s key agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, UNFPA Supplies aims to secure US$2.5 billion between 2021 and 2030," it added. “With this investment, UNFPA Supplies will help avert 141 million unintended pregnancies, 2.1 million child deaths and save US $8 billion in health care costs.”
Denmark’s Special Envoy for ICPD25, Ambassador Ib Petersen, meanwhile, said: “There will be no ICPD50. Women and girls around the world have waited long enough to have rights and choices.”
He added: “Looking towards 2030, we now enter a decade of delivery during which we will walk the talk and hold all of us to account for the commitments we made in Nairobi.”