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Global Public Health. 2014 Jun 3; 9(6):607–619.On the twentieth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), activists, governments and diplomats engaged in the fight for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are anxious to ensure that these issues are fully reflected in the development agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals after 2015. In inter-governmental negotiations since 1994 and particularly in the period 2012-2014, governments have shown that they have significantly expanded their understanding of a number of so-called ‘controversial’ issues in the ICPD agenda, whether safe abortion, adolescent sexual and reproductive health services, comprehensive sexuality education or sexual rights. As in the past and in spite of an increasingly complex and difficult multilateral environment, countering the highly organized conservative opposition to SRHR has required a well-planned and determined mobilization by progressive forces from North and South.
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2006. 88 p.The resource pack takes the form of brief "sheets" on a range of issues. The sheets are relatively independent of each other, but are organised into different sub-topics (as outlined in the Structure section on page 10). A user does not need to read through all the sheets at one sitting, but rather can use them as needed. Each topic contains references to further reading. In some cases, these are the main source for what is written in the resource pack; in other cases, they refer to related writing. The sheets also describe a range of experiences of using GRB in different countries to illustrate different aspects and tools. These examples include some in which gender was not incorporated, despite opportunities to do so. The resource pack builds on, rather than repeats, the existing general materials on GRB. In particular, it should be seen as a complement to the BRIDGE resource pack and to the Commonwealth Secretariat's publication, Engendering Budgets: A practitioner's guide to understanding and implementing gender-responsive budgets. (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2006 Dec.  p.A human rights-based approach to programming is a conceptual framework and methodological tool for ensuring that human rights principles are reflected in policies and national development frameworks. Human rights are the minimum standards that people require to live in freedom and dignity. They are based on the principles of universality, indivisibility, interdependence, equality and non-discrimination. Through the systematic use of human rights-based programming, UNFPA seeks to empower people to exercise their rights, especially their reproductive rights, and to live free from gender-based violence. It does this by supporting programmes aimed at giving women, men and young people ('rights holders') the information, life skills and education they need to claim their rights. It also contributes to capacity-building among public officials, teachers, health-care workers and others who have a responsibility to fulfill these rights ('duty bearers'). In addition, UNFPA strengthens civil society organizations, which often serve as intermediaries between governments and individuals, and promotes mechanisms by which duty bearers can be held accountable. (excerpt)
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. 2007 Jun; 97(3):227-228.The Alliance for Women's Health is a FIGO-based interagency consortium, comprising the World Health Organization, United Nations Population Fund, World Bank, UNICEF, International Planned Parenthood Federation, International Confederation of Midwives and International Pediatric Association. In conjunction with the XVIII World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Kuala Lumpur in November 2006, the Alliance held a precongress workshop examining access in five priority emerging issues: human papillomavirus vaccine/cervical cancer screening, emergency contraception, adolescent reproductive health, emergency obstetric care and sexually transmitted infections. Reports from the five working groups, published in this and subsequent issues of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, provide current evidence-based recommendations on improving access to sexual and reproductive health services supported by applicable rights. The World Bank presented a framework for the discussion during theopening plenary session. The importance of sexual and reproductive health services is well recognized and was articulated in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development which was held in Cairo in 1994. However, the inclusion of universal access to reproductive health as a target for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) only occurred in October 2006 after prolonged negotiations reflecting the reluctance, in circles of influence, to provide support where there are certain sociopolitical sensitivities. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2006 Dec 9; 368(9552):2095-2100.At the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, the international community agreed to make reproductive health care universally available no later than 2015. After a 5-year review of progress towards implementation of the Cairo programme of action, that commitment was extended to include sexual, as well as reproductive, health and rights. Although progress has been made towards this commitment, it has fallen a long way short of the original goal. We argue that sexual and reproductive health for all is an achievable goal--if cost-effective interventions are properly scaled up; political commitment is revitalised; and financial resources are mobilised, rationally allocated, and more effectively used. National action will need to be backed up by international action. Sustained effort is needed by governments in developing countries and in the donor community, by inter-governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations, civil society groups, the women's health movement, philanthropic foundations, the private for-profit sector, the health profession, and the research community. (author's)
Lancet. 2006 Nov 4; 368(9547):1552-1554.In September, 1994, thousands of policymakers, activists, health specialists, and members of the donor community gathered in Cairo, Egypt, for what turned out to be a unique UN International Conference of Population and Development (ICPD), a true turning point. The Cairo conference put the ideas of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights, choice, women's empowerment, a life-cycle approach, and gender equity at the centre of the international agenda, and signalled the end of the so-called population era. Instead of pursuing demographic targets via family-planning programmes, the goals of the ICPD Programme of Action (signed by 179 countries) were to achieve universal access to safe, affordable, and effective reproductive health care and services, including those for young people, and promoted a gender perspective. The package of services incorporated family planning information and contraceptives, skilled care at pregnancy and childbirth, safe abortion services where and when abortion is legal, and treatment and management of sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS. Governments set a realistic timeframe of 20 years, to accomplish the goals established in the Programme of Action. (excerpt)
Reproductive health of women in Thailand: progress and challenges towards attainment of international development goals.
Bangkok, Thailand, UNFPA, Country Technical Services Team for East and South-East Asia, 2005 Jul.  p.The report examines Thailand's progress in the area of women's reproductive health in the context of major international declarations and conventions including CEDAW (1979), ICPD in Cairo (1994), Beijing Declaration (1995), and MDGs (2001). The report is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 provides an overview of Thai women's status in the economic and political arenas. Chapter 2 deals with reproductive health concerns including maternal mortality STI/HIV/AIDS, adolescent reproductive health, reproductive malignancies, and older person's reproductive health. Primarily the discussion reveals a persistent gender gap in these concerns. Chapter 3 examines how larger issues concerning women's reproductive and sexual rights in the country are addressed. In addition, gender-based violence as a reproductive health and human rights issue is examined owing to the rise in the number of women who are victims of violence. The chapter 3 also details the reproductive health status of women from vulnerable groups such as the ethnic minorities and poor and rural women who engage in low-paid work, which increases their vulnerability to various health risks. The report concludes with chapter 4 that outlines a number of 'quick wins' for ensuring greater equality for women in their access to reproductive health care services in the future. (excerpt)
Reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals: arguments for investing in reproductive health and rights. Reference notes on population and poverty reduction.
New York, New York, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2005.  p.A bold and ambitious agenda was set forth in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to raise the quality of life for all individuals and promote human development. The goals represent our collective aspirations for a better life, and a minimum roadmap on how to get there. However, the MDGs can only be achieved if governments, civil society, and international agencies work together to address population issues as a development priority, in particular to secure the reproductive health and rights of people, especially the poor and women. Yet worldwide, illnesses and deaths from poor reproductive health account for one-fifth of the global burden of disease, and nearly one-third for all women. Consider the powerful impact stronger investments in quality reproductive health services could make anywhere, as worldwide each year, more than half a million women die during childbirth or due to pregnancy complications, and AIDS takes three million lives. This publication, which consists of two parts, is intended to advance the dialogue among decision makers in bridging the gap between hope and reality. The first part provides advocates and decision makers with a set of key arguments on the benefits to be reaped when governments make reproductive health a development priority. It takes as its starting point that health is a fundamental right valued in and of itself, and improved health, including reproductive health, strengthens individuals' capacities to live more productive lives and break out of poverty traps. It outlines key arguments for why the investments in reproductive health we make now pay off huge dividends in the future: healthier, more productive individuals and families contribute to stronger, wealthier nations. (excerpt)
New York, New York, UNFPA, 2005.  p.Promoting development and eradicating extreme poverty is an urgent global priority that demands bold action. This ambitious agenda, embodied in the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), requires governments, civil society, and international agencies to address population issues, in particular to secure people's right to sexual and reproductive health, as agreed by 179 countries at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, and its 5-year review. However, reproductive health and rights remain elusive for the vast majority of the world's people. Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are among the leading causes of death and illness for women in developing countries, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic takes approximately 3 million lives each year. This undermines development by diminishing the quality of people's lives, exacerbating poverty, and placing heavy burdens on individuals, families, communities, and nations. (excerpt)
Making it real. Universal access to reproductive health care is difficult to measure and even more difficult to achieve.
Countdown 2015: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All. 2004; (Spec No):92-95.The International Conference on Population and Development was, fundamentally, about making sure that everyone could get the reproductive health services they wanted or needed—“universal access”. This goal seems straightforward, if by no means easy to achieve—especially for the poor and those in isolated rural areas. But ensuring access is not only about mobilising the political will and financial resources to make services available. It is also about making sure people know what and where the services are; that they can physically get to them; and that they can afford to pay for them. Finally, it is about ensuring that people want to use the services—because their families and communities support their choices, and because they feel welcome and accepted at service sites. (excerpt)
Can this marriage work? Linking the response to AIDS with sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Countdown 2015: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All. 2004; (Spec No):58-63.For people involved in family planning, ICPD was a landmark event. Yet it is striking how few experts, activists and stakeholders involved in other SRHR issues, particularly HIV/AIDS, were centrally involved in Cairo. Cairo had no visible involvement of people living with HIV, and no HIV/AIDS-dedicated non-governmental organisation was amongst the many formal observing agencies. Even five years later, at the ICPD+5 meeting in New York where progress was reviewed and further targets established, only one HIV/AIDS NGO was formally present. In the years immediately following Cairo, many AIDS activists felt excluded and ignored by the SRHR community. This perception was worsened by a sense that the SRHR community was trying to “take over” AIDS, while simultaneously not taking AIDS seriously. One prominent SRHR expert repeatedly stated that “there should be no such thing as an HIV/AIDS programme”; he insisted these should be replaced with holistic sexual health strategies. The World Health Organization’s Global Programme on AIDS was abolished and replaced with what was initially a much smaller and more modestly-funded inter-agency body, UNAIDS. And by 1997 the majority of OECD donors had abolished their stand-alone global HIV/AIDS departments or budget lines and “integrated” these efforts within new or restructured SRHR funding. (excerpt)
Countdown 2015: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All. 2004; (Spec No):51.Ten years ago, my country joined with 178 other nations in the historic International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Together, we promised to make the world a better place by improving reproductive health and ensuring that women were at the centre of development efforts. We set ourselves a deadline of 2015 for achieving our goal and each country pledged to commit human and financial resources, confident that these investments would yield significant gains in terms of poverty alleviated and lives saved. In Africa, at the ten-year mark, we have some things to celebrate and much work to do. In some countries, including my own, we have made progress in making certain elements of reproductive and sexual health care more accessible. However, if we are to achieve the ICPD goal of making these services universally available by 2015, we must accelerate our efforts dramatically. And we must ensure that everyone— including young people—has access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services: not just a few methods of family planning, but sexuality education to help them make healthy, informed decisions; prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care to ensure that women go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and that they and their infants thrive; and information about and effective means to prevent sexually transmissible infections. (excerpt)
Protecting choice means making choices. Legislators worldwide must choose to preserve the Cairo consensus.
Countdown 2015: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All. 2004; (Spec No):48-50.At the ten year mark of the ICPD Programme of Action, never HAS a woman’s right to decide freely the number and spacing of her children been so widely recognised and exercised—yet paradoxically challenged. These challenges are both old and new, and they call upon us as European parliamentarians to make a number of fundamental policy, diplomatic and budgetary choices. In 1994, the adoption of the ICPD Programme of Action by 179 countries marked a major shift towards placing the individual at the centre of development and abandoning demographic targets. The Millennium Development Goals further enshrined women’s right to make their own decisions as a global development objective. Despite this explicit political will and the great strides forward of the past decade, trends have emerged that force us to reassess our long-held strategies. The first is the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In 2004, the worst-case scenarios of the early 1990s are becoming reality. The developed world watches as entire generations suffer in less developed countries from a disease that is both preventable and treatable—one that has been controlled in donor countries. Yet rather than coming together to fight a common enemy, the HIV/AIDS community and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocates have seemed to drift apart. (excerpt)
Beyond the averages. Meeting the ICPD and Millennium Development Goals for reproductive health might still fail to help the poor.
Countdown 2015: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All. 2004; (Spec No):35-37.Reproductive health services are centrally important for women, especially for poor women. While we know that these services often fail to reach the women most in need, the data sometimes imply that all is going well. This is because averaging data over large populations—regions, countries, or even sub-national populations, in some cases—masks often dramatic differences between sub-groups of those populations. Take, for example, the information in table 1. It shows the situation in six countries, measuring the use of two common reproductive health services according to wealth. In most of the countries shown, as in most of the 50 or so others with data available, the wealthiest 20 percent of women are at least twice as likely— sometimes more than ten times as likely—to use modern contraception or to give birth with a qualified medical attendant as the poorest 20 percent of women. The limited information we have indicates that the picture is similar if we look at population groups broken down by other characteristics, such as race, education or language. (excerpt)
Studies in Family Planning. 2005 Mar; 36(1):71-79.This report was commissioned by the Population Program of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in December 2004. The author was charged with analyzing the United Nations’ deliberations that led to the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to answer the question of why there is no specific reproductive health goal. This coverage of the MDG process will be complemented by a special section of Studies in the June 2005 issue on reproductive health and the MDGs. The section will include excerpts about reproductive health from the final report of the Millennium Development Project entitled “Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals,” which was submitted to Secretary General Kofi Annan in January 2005, as well as commentaries by leading scholars and policymakers in the fields of population and reproductive health. (author's)
Investing in people: national progress in implementing the ICPD Programme of Action, 1994-2004. International Conference on Population and Development.
New York, New York, UNFPA, 2004.  p.The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) articulated a bold new vision about the relationships between population, development and individual well-being. At the ICPD, 179 countries adopted a 20-year forward-looking Programme of Action (ICPD PoA), which built on the success of population, maternal health and family planning programmes of the previous decades while addressing, with a new perspective, the needs of the early years of the twenty-first century. As the ICPD is reaching its mid-point in 2004, it is fitting that countries take stock of progress that has been made so far in achieving the Cairo goals. UNFPA is mandated to assist countries in their review of operational experiences in implementing the ICPD PoA, and to that end, conducted a Global Survey in 2003 to appraise national experiences ten years after Cairo. An overall response rate of 92 per cent was achieved for developing and countries in transition. For donor countries, the response rate was 82 per cent. The objectives of this report are to: (a) describe, from an operational perspective, the progress that has been made, and the constraints that have been encountered, by countries in their efforts to implement specific actions of the ICPD PoA and the MDGs; (b) present measures taken with some regional highlights; and (c) summarize the major conclusions arising from the 2003 Global Survey and assess the way forward. The various chapters of the report present the findings and conclusions emanating from the analysis of the Survey. (excerpt)
In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 47-80.This chapter explains the various mechanisms for fostering compliance with different rights relating to reproductive and sexual health, and explores programming options for fostering such compliance. The chapter is not exhaustive, but exploratory; recognizing that much more discussion is needed to address this issue adequately. (excerpt)
In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 24-46.The solemn commitment that was made in Cairo in 1994 to make reproductive health care universally available was a culmination of efforts made by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and all those concerned about a people-centred and human rights approach to population issues. The commitment posed important challenges to national governments and the international community, to policy makers, programme planners and service providers, and to the civil society at large. The role of UNFPA in building up the consensus for the reproductive health approach before Cairo had to continue after Cairo if the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) were to be achieved. UNFPA continues to be needed to strengthen the commitment, maintain the momentum, mobilize the required resources, and help national governments and the international community move from word to action, and from rhetoric to reality. Reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health, is now one of three major programme areas for UNFPA. During 1997, reproductive health accounted for over 60 per cent of total programme allocations by the Fund. (excerpt)