Reaching the MDGs: Why population, reproductive health and gender matter.
The 2005 World Summit was an important event for those of us working to realize commitments made at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo over ten years ago to improve the lives of poor women and men in the developing world. At the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the largest ever gathering of world leaders in history convened in September 2005 resolved to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015, promote gender equality and end discrimination against women - the pillars of the ICPD Programme of Action. The World Summit's success does not mean the challenges to achieve the goals contained in the ICPD Programme of Action have ended. Ideological and conservative opposition remains. In some countries where the right policies and effective models are in place, resource and capacity constraints make it difficult to scale-up, monitor and coordinate development programmes. In addition, in places where development programmes have shown demonstrable results, the development community has had limited success in reaching and transforming the lives and futures of the poorest and most disadvantaged. (excerpt)