I thought I might stir in another prompt by sending you all a release
from IWHC last night, which includes remarks made on the floor of the
UN by the US at the Commission on Population and Development:
Today, at the United Nations the United States expressed its renewed
and deep commitment to the goals and aspirations included in the International Conference on Population Program of Action and Development (ICPD) and the Key Actions of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):
"Ladies and Gentlemen, our common task this week is vital. Five years
remain in both the ICPD and the MDG mandates. We can, this week,
commit to stronger actions to reach our common goals. We
must do much more to provide comprehensive, accurate information and
education on sexuality, sexual and reproductive health for women, men,
girls, and boys as they age and their needs evolve. We must, as
well, foster equal partnerships and sharing of responsibilities in all
areas of family life, including in sexual and reproductive life, and
promote frank discourse on sexuality, including in relation to sexual
health and reproduction. We must also acknowledge the direct link
between population rates, fertility, and the ability to reach
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"We need to prioritize comprehensive sexual and reproductive health
services, as defined in the Programme of Action and the Key Actions for
its further implementation, in our work to strengthen health systems.
The cluster of services agreed in the Program of Action is all
essential to save women’s lives and protect their health as well as
protect their reproductive rights."
World governments meet this week to consider and come to agreement
on committing the resources and political will to protect and promote
health and rights in the remaining five years of the ICPD. The United
States statement today is part of the Obama Administration’s commitment
to work with other nations to both promote its security interests and
meet the global challenges of the 21st century.
"It is our hope that the courage of the United States on behalf of the
rights and health of the world’s women will influence our governments
to act equally strongly," said Nirvana Gonzalez of the Latin American
and Caribbean Women’s Health Network. "The position of the United
States is a clear demonstration of the separation of church and state
and for our region in particular, this is substantial in supporting the
right of all of our people to exercise their citizenship. Now we wait
to see their commitment translate into actions."
Reactions to this? A stronger statement than we expected?