United States Speaks Out in Support Of Reproductive Health at Major UN Conference
Written By: Kelly Castagnaro March 31, 2009
Today at the United Nations, the United States expressed its renewed and deep commitment to the goals and aspirations included in the International Conference on Population Program of Action and Development (ICPD) and the Key Actions of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):
“Ladies and Gentlemen, our common task this week is vital. Five years remain in both the ICPD and the MDG mandates. We can, this week, commit to stronger actions to reach our common goals. We must do much more to provide comprehensive, accurate information and education on sexuality, sexual and reproductive health for women, men, girls, and boys as they age and their needs evolve. We must, as well, foster equal partnerships and sharing of responsibilities in all areas of family life, including in sexual and reproductive life, and promote frank discourse on sexuality, including in relation to sexual health and reproduction. We must also acknowledge the direct link between population rates, fertility, and the ability to reach development outcomes.“We need to prioritize comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, as defined in the Programme of Action and the Key Actions for its further implementation, in our work to strengthen health systems. The cluster of services agreed in the Program of Action is all essential to save women’s lives and protect their health as well as protect their reproductive rights.”
World governments meet this week to consider and come to agreement on committing the resources and political will to protect and promote health and rights in the remaining five years of the ICPD. The United States statement today is part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to work with other nations to both promote its security interests and meet the global challenges of the 21st century.
“It is our hope that the courage of the United States on behalf of the rights and health of the world’s women will influence our governments to act equally strongly,” said Nirvana Gonzalez of the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network. “The position of the United States is a clear demonstration of the separation of church and state and for our region in particular, this is substantial in supporting the right of all of our people to exercise their citizenship. Now we wait to see their commitment translate into actions.”