From April 23 to April 27, 2012, the 45th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) met at the United Nations in New York City. The CPD is an annual week-long meeting at the UN where advocates and members states gather to create a resolution document that upholds the Programme of Action created at the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) in 1994. Since the theme of this year’s CPD was Adolescents and Youth, a main focus of the negotiations was ensuring the sexual and reproductive rights and health (SRRH) for young people. Prior to the CPD, IWHC held an intensive multi-day Advocacy in Practice (AiP) workshop to help support participants advocating for SRRH at the national and international levels (pictured left).
IWHC and our advocate colleagues, including members of RESURJ, are very excited that late Friday, UN member states issued a bold resolution in support of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and human rights. This victory is a result of a week of very long days: hard work and strategic advocacy was put forth by an amazing group of advocates, who camped out at the UN here in New York for many long hours, going over language, making suggestions, and working with country delegates to make much-needed changes in the resolution.
Key points of the final resolution include:
- The right of young people to decide on all matters related to their sexuality
- Access to sexual and reproductive health services, including safe abortion where legal, that respect confidentiality and do not discriminate
- The right of youth to comprehensive sexuality education
- Protection and promotion of young people’s right to control their sexuality free from violence, discrimination and coercion
“At this time of global uncertainty, there is no more important investment to be made,” said South African youth delegate Kgomotso Papo during the closing plenary. “Only healthy young people whose human rights are protected can be fully productive workers and effective participants in their country’s political processes. Only when young people are healthy and empowered can they contribute to building strong communities and vibrant nations.”