Earlier this week, I attended “Celebrating Cairo & Going Beyond”, a side event at the United Nations (U.N.) Commission on Population and Development (CPD). The event was organized by the High Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and co-hosted by several governments, including Argentina, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Liberia, Mexico, Mozambique, Slovenia and South Africa.
The event featured remarks from U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, and Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA. Navi Pillay asked the audience to envision a world where all women and girls have easy and equal access to health care, where women can choose when and how many children to have, and where every woman and girl can participate in decision-making processes for her country. To realize this world, we must fully realize the sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world.
At CPD this week, we are working with governments and civil society organizations to ensure that these rights are realized moving forward—both in the CPD outcome document and in the larger post-2015 development agenda. As Dr. Osotimehin said at the event, to go beyond Cairo, we have to be strong, courageous, and creative. We must be strong enough not to lose ground on the ICPD Programme of Action. We must be courageous by continuing to fight for important women’s health issues, such as safe and legal abortion. And we must think creatively to come up with innovative ways for women and girls to easily access life-saving reproductive health services.