Commitment statement by UN Women at the ICPD@25 Nairobi Summit (12-14 November 2019)

Date: Thursday, November 14, 2019

UN Women fully supports the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in putting “the rights, needs and aspirations of individual human beings at the centre of sustainable development”, noting the close alignment with the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. Women and girls must have full control over their bodies.

In line with its Strategic Plan 2018-2021, UN Women’s work to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment takes the premise that progress in one area of equality leverages achievements in another. Conversely, attempts to roll back or deny such rights constitute an attack on women’s rights more broadly. Universal access to women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights is therefore integral to the achievement of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and especially Goal 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The human rights of women include their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality and individual agency, including sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.

The interconnectedness of our work with partners within the United Nations System and with a wide range of stakeholders mean that partnerships are essential. These include efforts with the H6 [1] to repeal discriminatory legislation and norms that impede women’s access to sexual and reproductive health services; to prevent and mitigate the impact of HIV on women and girls within our co-sponsorship of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and co-leadership of the Global Partnership for Action on HIV-related Stigma and Discrimination; with the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Wellbeing for All; and our global work that addresses barriers that prevent women, children and adolescents from demanding and realizing their rights to health services. It is critical that together we ensure that rights-based normative frameworks and policies are established, civil registration of women and children’s identity, births, deaths, marriages is increased; transformation of discriminatory norms and gender stereotypes, attitudes and practices on women’s rights are promoted, and women, children and adolescents are empowered to exercise their rights and seek services.

UN Women supports the Nairobi Statement on ICPD25: Accelerating the Promise, and recommits to supporting the full achievement of ICPD goals within the next decade.

We further commit to:

  • Take forward the spirit and intent of ICPD25 into the global mobilization for the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and our Generation Equality campaign, and the advancement of the gender equality and women’s empowerment agenda, including efforts to sustain the human rights of women, including their sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights;
  • Build momentum towards all women and girls living a life free from all forms of violence, having supported 44 countries by 2021 to adopt or strengthen best-practice, budgeted legislation that addresses violence against women and girls in private and public spaces, with an oversight mechanism for monitoring.
  • Drive critical partnerships such as with civil society, including religious leaders, which promote sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in a comprehensive manner;
  • Ensure more national and local plans and budgets are gender-responsive, with 26 national AIDS coordinating bodies and/or relevant sectoral ministries having strengthened capacity to integrate gender-responsive actions into national HIV strategies by 2021;
  • Provide a platform for youth, and especially young women, to advocate for their right to sexual and reproductive health and gender equality more broadly;
  • Increase the number of justice institutions that are accessible to and that deliver for women and girls, building the capacity of personnel in both formal and informal justice institutions to 27,000 by 2021;
  • Accelerate and sharpen our focus on empowering communities – particularly women and girls – as agents of change and leaders in determining priorities and needs with regards to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, and to cultivate and enhance the power of activism and feminist solidarity;
  • Increase the number of countries with National Action Plans and Strategies to end violence against women that have a component that addresses social norms, attitudes, and behaviour transformation to 128 by 2021;
  • Foster access to reproductive health care as an essential foundation for women’s and girls’ ability to exercise voice and agency in decisions about family life and their ability to be socially, politically, and economically active.

Notes

[1] WHO, UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank and UN Women.