While in the United States last week, President Tarja Halonen, Co-Chair of the High-Level Task Force for the ICPD, established lines of exchange and communication with key officials who will help shape the post-2015 development agenda. She also was honored with the 2013 Fairness Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. for her work promoting the rights of minorities.
On October 7, President Halonen met with the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. John W. Ashe, and presented Task Force policy priorities, affirming sexual and reproductive rights as a human rights imperative, as well as a smart investment for poverty eradication and sustainable development, especially for women and young people. President Ashe welcomed the engagement of the Task Force in the High-Level Events on the Role of Women, Youth and Civil Society, and on Human Rights and the Rule of Law, planned for early next year as part of the General Assembly post-2015 discussions.
On October 8, President Halonen held a productive meeting with Gyan Chandra Acharya of Nepal, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, which also focused on opening lines of exchange and collaboration in the post-2015 agenda process.
The discussions centred on the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights for Least Developed Countries and the shared concerns of how to ensure services reach the poorest of the poor women and families as well as young people. These issues may expectedly form part of the dialogue at the Third Conference on Small Island Developing States, scheduled for September 2014.