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Item 13.2D: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Chair,

I speak on behalf of Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Luxemburg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom and .....

This year celebrates the 20 year anniversary of the adoption of the Cairo Program of Action from the Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Ten years ago the World Health Assembly endorsed the Reproductive Health Strategy to accelerate progress towards the attainment of international development goals and targets to reproductive health. Today we still face great challenges in meeting MDG 5, and the Strategy is as crucial as ever before. 

MDG 5 cannot be attained if sexual and reproductive health and rights are not fully addressed. Only then can we fulfill the right to physical integrity of all women and men; enable them to protect themselves from sexually-transmitted infections including HIV; provide them with the full opportunity to decide upon whether they want to get married, as well as the number and spacing of their children; and ensure that they have comprehensive information about, and access to, a choice of the widest possible range of safe, effective, affordable and acceptable modern methods of family planning.  

The reproductive health strategy stresses the importance of a human rights based approach as necessary to ensure freedom from abuse, coercion, stigma, discrimination and violence, including sexual violence. It also stresses the importance of reproductive and sexual health services, strengthening health systems capacity, sustainable financing mechanisms, human resources, improving information for priority setting, mobilizing political will, creating supportive legislative and regulatory frameworks and strengthening monitoring, evaluation and accountability.

We know what is needed and we need to ensure that implementation is both a global, regional and national priority.

Promoting, investing in and fulfilling the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all are essential for the eradication of poverty and the achievement of sustainable development. It is also a key component in the achievement of universal health coverage. Comprehensive sexuality education at an early stage and access to youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services are critical for the empowerment of girls and young people. We must enable everyone to make informed choices about all aspects of health and wellbeing and build effective health care systems that respect these choices. We also stress the critical importance of men in sexual and reproductive health.

We commend WHO for its key role in realizing the ICPD Programme of Action [with special focus on gender equality and the right of women, men, girls and boys to have control over, and decide freely and responsibly, on matters related to their sexual and reproductive health and rights,]through the Reproductive Health Strategy (Leave out brackets if time is running out)

We pledge [to continue working towards accelerating the attainment of international development goals and targets to reproductive health. Furthermore, we pledge] to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights will continue to be a global, regional and national priority in the future development agenda. (Leave out brackets if time is really, really running out)

Thank you.