Representatives from 75 leading sexual and reproductive health and rights organizations convened at the DSW-hosted EuroNGOs conference in Berlin, which focused on advancing their priorities in the post-2015 development agenda.
Entitled “Next Steps: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights on the Post-2015 Agenda,” the conference called for a forward-looking development framework that promotes sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, and the empowerment of women, adolescents and youth. The conference took place on October 24, just a month after the 68th UN General Assembly’s MDG Special Event, where Member States came together to agree on a roadmap for a post-2015 agenda.
All speakers emphasized that the fulfillment of sexual and reproductive rights is key towards achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, especially for those living in the world’s poorest countries.
Renate Bähr, Executive Director, DSW and a Member of the High-Level Task Force for the ICPD, delivered opening remarks at the EuroNGOs conference, attended by 75 leaders in the field of sexual and reproductive health.
“When I think about rising inequalities across the world, the significant global unmet need for modern contraception, and the global estimates of 287,000 annual maternal deaths, 85 per cent which occur in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, the inclusion of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the next development agenda is both urgent and paramount,” said Renate Bähr, Executive Director, DSW and a Member of the High-Level Task Force for the ICPD. “I am heartened by today’s events and positive that a coordinated approach can be found.”
Three other Task Force members attended the conference, including Maria Antonieta Alcalde, Lambert Grijns and Sandeep Prasad. Mr. Prasad represented the Task Force in a session with experts from three other organizations, engaging with the audience on advocacy strategies and discussing priority goals and targets. “Sexual and reproductive rights are fundamental human rights and freedoms. We need to make sure they are reflected across the sustainable development agenda with explicit and appropriate targets.”
Sandeep Prasad represented the Task Force in a session with experts from three other organizations, engaging with the audience on advocacy strategies and discussing priority goals and targets related to sexual and reproductive rights.
The conference drew a host of international speakers including Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA, and representatives from major European donor countries.
In the words of Serge Rabier, Chair, EuroNGOs, during his closing reflections, “The next 24 months presents us with an historic opportunity to embrace the transformative shifts needed to finish the work started with the MDGs and achieve real sustainable development and poverty reduction. However, for the next agenda to take root, we need to keep women and girls at the heart of development and promote access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.”