United States Renews Commitment to Achieving Global Development Goals
This afternoon, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton commemorated the 15th anniversary of a major international agreement on health and human rights, stating a renewed U.S. commitment to making access to reproductive health care a “basic right.”
“If we believe that human rights are women’s rights,” said Secretary Clinton “then we cannot accept the marginalization of half the world’s population.” “Women’s health is essential to the prosperity and health of all people,” said Secretary Clinton. “Investing in the health of women, adolescents and girls is not just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do.”
At the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, 179 governments agreed to a 20-year action plan that made the health and rights of women and young people central to the global struggle to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development. Since the ICPD, the United Nations, civil society, and governments have been working to make protection of human rights and access to reproductive health global realities.
However, concrete action is still needed to realize the ICPD goals—advancing gender equality; ensuring access to education; and providing universal access to reproductive health care including voluntary contraception, safe abortion services where legal, maternity care and sex education programs that prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS—by 2015.
Specifically, the U.S. Administration can:
Involve women and young people, the primary beneficiaries of foreign assistance, at every level of program planning and implementation, and ensure that a human rights framework is a formalized part of foreign policy.
Work with the U. S. Congress to fund comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services to reverse a decade of inadequate funding. These commitments should include $1 billion for international family planning programs, and additional funding for comprehensive sexuality education, testing and treatment for reproductive cancers and prevention, maternity care and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS.
Work to eliminate punitive restrictions that stand in the way of an effective public health approach to U.S. reproductive health assistance, including those that prevent U.S. assistance for safe, legal abortion care.
We applaud today’s step forward in realizing the Administration’s commitment to promoting and protecting sexual and reproductive rights and health. This commitment now needs to be realized through program implementation, funding and diplomatic endeavors that ensure the right of all people to make decisions about their own sexuality and provide access to services that help make that right a reality.
For more information and to view or read Secretary Clinton’s speech, go to www.ICPD2015.org.
# # #Contact:Advocates for Youth Contact: Marcela Howell, 202-419-3420, email@example.comCenter for Reproductive Rights Contact: Dionne Scott, 917- 637-3649, firstname.lastname@example.orgChoice USA Contact: Alex Smith, 202-965-7700, email@example.com International Women’s Health CoalitionContact: Kelly Castagnaro, 646-707-1004; firstname.lastname@example.org Ipas Contact: Kirsten Sherk, 919- 960-5612, email@example.comNational Asian Pacific American Women’s ForumContact: Priscilla Huang, 202-470-3170 x. 10, firstname.lastname@example.orgNational Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Contact: Samantha Harper, 212-422-2553, email@example.comPathfinder International Contact: Cara Hesse, 617-924-7200 x. 216, firstname.lastname@example.org
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