Former Presidents Halonen of Finland and Chissano of Mozambique to co-chair the High-Level Task Force for Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Tarja Halonen, Source: WikipediaFormer Presidents Tarja Halonen, of Finland, and Joaquim Chissano, of Mozambique, will co-chair a new High-Level Task Force for promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) worldwide.

At the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994, 179 governments agreed on an ambitious Programme of Action (POA) to advance sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment. Despite the progress has been made in many areas, the world is still far short of meeting the ICPD goals.

The 2014 United Nations review of ICPD implementation (ICPD +20) and the 2015 assessment of progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) present exceptional opportunities to accelerate progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The High Level Task Force will work to encourage stronger political will from governments and the full engagement of civil society so that everyone—especially women and girls in low- and middle-income countries— has access to sexual and reproductive health services and protection of their sexual and reproductive rights.Joaquim Chissano, Source: Wikipedia

The co-chairs will soon finalize selection of 25 members for the Task Force, including government and civil society that represent a range of countries and constituencies. Task Force members will produce one or more position papers based on worldwide consultations, attend the regional ICPD+20 negotiations in 2013, work with governments and civil society in countries, and participate in relevant meetings as they arise.  The first meeting of the Task Force is planned to take place during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20 (20.-22.6.2012), in Brazil.

The High-Level Task Force is an independent body, likely to be financed by governments and private foundations. It will coordinate with other key stakeholders including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR) office in New York City will host the Secretariat.

Members of a working group that is helping plan the task force include the Permanent Representative to the UN from Denmark Ambassador Carsten Staur, Dr. Steven W. Sinding, Adrienne Germain and Dr. Carmen Barroso.  Working group members may advise the task force, but will not be members.

The press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland can be found here.


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Reader Comments (1)

It is great to hear that a review of commitments by global decision makers is in the limelight but there is need to fast track translation of policy documents into practise.Hopefully these commitments to support young people go beyond conferences!

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmmanuel Lubaale
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