UNITED NATIONS, New York — The World’s Heads of State and Government adopted, ‘The Future We Want’, a common global vision that reaffirmed commitments their nations made in the Programme of Action of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The leaders also called for its full implementation as key strategies for reaching effective sustainable development.
'The Future We Want’ was adopted by consensus today by all countries in the United Nations at the closing session of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, from 20 to 22 June.
"UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, welcomes the recognition by world leaders of the importance of sexual and reproductive health and the need for integrating the theme as a priority in national strategies and programmes,” said UNFPA’s Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin.
“Health and rights are vital to and at the core of sustainability,” Dr. Osotimehin continued. “We cannot promote sustainable development without promoting the health—especially reproductive health—and rights of women and girls, as well as the youth.”
The common global vision also committed to reducing maternal and child death and to improving the health of women, youth and children. As stated in ‘The Future We Want’, the leaders reaffirmed their “commitment to gender equality and to protect the rights of women, men and youth to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including access to sexual and reproductive health, free from coercion, discrimination and violence.”
World leaders further committed to working “actively to ensure that health systems provide the necessary information and services addressing the sexual and reproductive health of women, including working towards universal access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable modern methods of family planning, as essential conditions for women’s health and for advancing gender equality.”
In their common vision, they also resolved to unlock women’s potential as drivers of sustainable development through empowerment of women and the repeal of discriminatory laws and harmful practices that act as barriers to gender equality. They committed to promoting equal access of women and girls to education and to creating an enabling environment to improve their living standards everywhere, including with gender-sensitive indicators and sex-disaggregated data in planning and policymaking.
‘The Future We Want’ recognized the importance of inclusive and human centered sustainable development that benefits youth, addressing health, participation and employment, stressing that younger generations are the custodians of the future and highlighting the importance of education in this regard.
The common vision noted the linkages between projected global population and the need to increase efforts to achieve sustainable development. Governments committed to systematically consider population trends projections in national, rural and urban development strategies and policies, noting that, through forward-looking planning, they can seize opportunities and address challenges linked to demographic change, including migration.
The Summiteers also recognized the need for integrated planning and management approaches to promote more sustainable cities and human settlements.
Excerpts from The Future We Want related to UNFPA's mandate:
Population, Reproductive health
“We commit to systematically consider population trends and projections in our national, rural and urban development strategies and policies. Through forward-looking planning, we can seize the opportunities and address the challenges associated with demographic change, including migration.”
“We call for the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, and the outcomes of their review conferences, including the commitments leading to sexual and reproductive health and the promotion and protection of all human rights in this context. We emphasize the need for the provision of universal access to reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health, and the integration of reproductive health in national strategies and programmes.”
“We commit to reduce maternal and child mortality and to improve the health of women, youth and children. We reaffirm our commitment to gender equality and to protect the rights of women, men and youth to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including access to sexual and reproductive health, free from coercion, discrimination and violence. We will work actively to ensure that health systems provide the necessary information and health services addressing the sexual and reproductive health of women, including working towards universal access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable modern methods of family planning, as this is essential for women’s health and advancing gender equality.”
Gender equality and the empowerment of women
“We reaffirm the vital role of women and the need for their full and equal participation and leadership in all areas of sustainable development, and decide to accelerate the implementation of our respective commitments in this regard as contained in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, as well as Agenda 21, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the United Nations Millennium Declaration.”
“We support prioritizing measures to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women in all spheres of our societies, including the removal of barriers to their full and equal participation in decision-making and management at all levels, and we emphasize the impact of setting specific targets and implementing temporary measures, as appropriate, for substantially increasing the number of women in leadership positions, with the aim of achieving gender parity.”
“We resolve to unlock the potential of women as drivers of sustainable development, including through the repeal of discriminatory laws and the removal of formal barriers, ensuring equal access to justice and legal support, the reform of institutions to ensure competence and capacity for gender mainstreaming and the development and adoption of innovative and special approaches to address informal, harmful practices that act as barriers to gender equality. In this regard, we commit to creating an enabling environment for improving the situation of women and girls everywhere, particularly in rural areas and local communities and among indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities.”
“We commit to actively promote the collection, analysis and use of gender-sensitive indicators and sex-disaggregated data in policy, programme design and monitoring frameworks, in accordance with national circumstances and capacities, in order to deliver on the promise of sustainable development for all.”
“We are committed to equal rights and opportunities for women in political and economic decision-making and resource allocation and to removing any barriers that prevent women from being full participants in the economy. We resolve to undertake legislative and administrative reforms to give women equal rights with men to economic resources, including access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, credit, inheritance, natural resources and appropriate new technology.”
“We are committed to promote the equal access of women and girls to education, basic services, economic opportunities and health-care services, including addressing women’s sexual and reproductive health, and ensuring universal access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable modern methods of family planning. In this regard, we reaffirm our commitment to implement the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the key actions for the further implementation of that Programme of Action.”
“We recognize that gender equality and the effective participation of women are important for effective action on all aspects of sustainable development.”