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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
ISSUE 57 - 30 September 2005
On 4 August 2005, over 200 participants including government officials, parliamentarians and representatives of civil society and youth groups from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay attended a regional forum in Brasilia, Brazil, on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
The forum hosted by Brazil's Special Secretariat for Women's Affairs was held at the Brazilian Federal Senate facilities in preparation for the 2005 World Summit scheduled for 14-16 September at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The organizers included United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS),the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (IAPG), and the Brazilian Family Welfare Society (BEMFAM), with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil and the Brazilian Senate.
At the conclusion of the forum, the participants from the nine Latin American countries unanimously adopted the "Brasilia Declaration" which calls for the political commitment necessary to include sexual and reproductive health and rights in the outcome document of the 2005 World Summit, recognizing them as an essential element for achieving the MDGs.
The declaration also called for the support of recommendations made by the Millennium Project Task Forces, particularly the one regarding inclusion of the target of universal access to reproductive health by 2015 and the relevant indicators under goal number 5 of the MDGs.
Brasilia, 4 August 2005
The Millennium Development Goals
and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the 2005 World Summit
The Forum Millennium Development Goals, Proposals for the Summit, was held on August 4, 2005 in Brasilia, Brazil, with the aim of promoting dialogue among various actors, analyzing existing challenges to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), particularly those related to health, and agreeing on a common stance regarding these issues.
Ministers and governmental representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, parliamentarians from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay, youth and delegates of civil society organizations present at this Forum recognize that:
- The Millennium Development Goals and documents produced by the various international conferences held during the decade of the nineties, especially the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994) and the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), along with its five-year review processes, including the Puerto Rico Resolution (2004), the Mexico Consensus (2004) and the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (Durban, 2001) provide a consensual framework of broad and coherent action which should be employed by national governments, international agencies, civil society and other relevant actors as a key referent in the struggle against poverty;
- The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) covers a wide range of issues and actions important to the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals. Processes such as poverty reduction, protection of the environment and the expansion of access to education, as well as actions to improve living conditions of internal and international migrants and of the elderly, benefit from concrete actions to promote gender, race and ethnic equity, Within this broad field of interrelations, health and sexual and reproductive rights constitute particularly important areas of action;
- The lack of or limited access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, unequal relations between the sexes, unplanned pregnancies, complications related to pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium, abortions carried out under conditions of risk, sexually transmitted infections, gender-based violence and racism are situations that have a negative effect on poverty levels. Universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, public investment in these services, decent jobs, the eradication of gender-based violence and the expansion of opportunities for personal betterment for men and women are essential elements for breaking the cycle of poverty, promoting economic growth and reducing economic and social inequalities. Universal access to information and sexual and reproductive health services and public investment in these services represent an integral part of the efforts to halt the spread of sexually transmitted infections, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic, thus preventing people and families from falling into greater conditions of poverty and inequality;
- It is of crucial importance to invest in the formal and informal education of young people, including sexual education from a perspective of rights, taking into account diversities, their specificities and special conditions in the face of reproductive and sexual risks;
- Sexual and reproductive health programs should be based on human rights, particularly on the reproductive rights recognized and reaffirmed by the international community, and should place individuals, especially girls, adolescent girls and women at the core of provision of services, recognizing that access to sexual and reproductive health requires participatory approaches based on responsibility by both genders and on recognition and respect for diversities.
We confirm our commitment to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals and issue a call for other actors to join in the following actions:
- To work together to build the political commitment necessary to achieve the inclusion of health and sexual and reproductive rights in the Political Declaration produced by the 2005 World Summit, recognizing them as an essential element for achieving the MDGs;
- To support the recommendations on health and sexual and reproductive rights presented by the Millennium Project Task Forces, particularly the one regarding inclusion of the goal of universal access to reproductive health by the year 2015 and the relevant indicators under goal number 5 of the MDGs.
- To adopt the necessary measures to increase the decision-making power of women in all aspects of their lives, especially those related to their sexual and reproductive health; combat violence based on gender, race and ethnic group; and promote equity between the sexes;
- To prioritize investment in the area of sexual and reproductive health within programs of development, sectoral and national budgets with the goal of assuring access to basic services of holistic care in sexual and reproductive health, including services friendly to youth and other vulnerable social groups;
- To expand and link efforts in prevention, counseling, diagnosis, treatment and care for HIV/AIDS and STIs to sexual and reproductive health/rights, paying special attention to methods controlled by women, and the needs of sexual and reproductive health of persons who live with HIV/AIDS;
- To invest in health, education and holistic development of young people to guarantee their access to sexual and reproductive health services sensitive to issues of gender, race and ethnic group with a human rights focus, assuring their right to privacy, confidentiality and non-discrimination;
- To assure the fulfillment of the financial commitments adopted in the Programme of Action of the ICPD and promote an increase in official development assistance levels, especially that which is designated to support and promote human rights, gender, race and ethnic equality and sexual and reproductive health;
- To promote the breakdown of all MDG indicators by sex, race and ethnic group.
The men and women participants congratulate and thank the Special Secretariat for Women's Policies of the Government of Brazil, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR), the Family Welfare Civil Society of Brazil (BEMFAM) and the Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (IAGP), for organizing this important Forum.
All previous issues of the UNFPA Global Population Policy Update can now be found on UNFPA's website at: http://www.unfpa.org/parliamentarians/news/newsletters.htm.
This newsletter is issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in its capacity as secretariat for the biennual International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD). The first IPCI/ICPD was held in November 2002 in Ottawa, Canada and the second in October 2004 in Strasbourg, France. These dispatches are intended to highlight important developments taking place around the world so that parliamentarians can be kept informed of and learn from the successes, setbacks and challenges encountered by their fellow parliamentarians in other countries and regions in their efforts to promote the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (September 1994, Cairo, Egypt). It should be noted that UNFPA does not necessarily endorse all of the policies described in this newsletter.
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