The UN’s Commission On Population and Development ended its 47th session in New York last week with the recommendation that the promotion of gender equality, reproductive health and rights are key priorities for sustainable development. The weeklong Commission was convened at the UN headquarters in New York to assess 20 years of progress since the ground-breaking agreements made at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994.
IPPF Director General Tewodros Melesse said “At this critical juncture in the post-2015 process, governments have renewed the commitments made in Cairo in 1994 and since. The right to control one’s fertility and sexuality is fundamental to social and sustainable development and governments have agreed it should be a core part of the next development agenda. Now we need strong leadership from governments to lead us into the next fifteen years.”. The Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015, and the Commission hopes that by integrating these key areas into development policy, that they will keep the human rights of women and girls at the top of the agenda.
Fifty-nine of the represented countries called for action to end discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and many expressed strong support for advancing sexual rights; however a small, yet vocal group of countries blocked language on sexual rights from the final agreement.
Governments will reconvene in September at the UN General Assembly to renew political support for the actions required to achieve the goals of the ICPD program of action.