2009 marks the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), a landmark conference held in Cairo, Egypt, in 1994 that put the need for universal access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at the heart of sustainable development. This is an opportunity to review progress, celebrate achievements and plan for the future challenges. Civil Society actors all over the world have played an important role in the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.
Global Partners in Action: NGO Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Development aims to strengthen NGOs working in partnership to advance Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for sustainable development in an uncertain and interdependent world. Global Partners in Action is led by NGOs and is for NGOs. The Forum will be a highly interactive working meeting, where participants will be able to contribute to breakout sessions, as participants, facilitators, resource persons or rapporteurs and share their work and experiences. Plenary sessions featuring high level speakers will also inspire Global Partners in Action.
The outcomes from discussions in the various sessions will feed into the Berlin Call to Action and the Strategic Options for NGOs. The Berlin Call to Action is envisioned as an advocacy tool for NGOs to share with governments, parliamentarians and other stakeholders to make their voices heard. The Strategic Options for NGOs is foreseen as a medium term road map to ensure that this Forum charts a way forward for enhanced efforts towards the achievement of the ICPD Programme of Action in synergy with the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and beyond.
There will be 400 participants at Global Partners in Action representing NGOs working in different fields of health and development from as many countries, regions and networks as possible along with other stakeholders. Youth participation is also a priority and a commitment has been made to have at least 25 percent of participants under the age of 30.