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High level commission established for women’s rights

UNFPA Executive Director Dr Natalia Kanem

Sept. 19, 2020 2 min read

A NEW high-level commission of advocates, experts and activists has been established to help commitments to women’s health and rights made at the November 2019 Nairobi Summit on ICPD25.

According to a statement released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), this is happening even during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is blocking access to essential services, such as family planning and antenatal care.
The statement shows that the Nairobi Summit secured billions of dollars in commitments from governments, the private sector, foundations and other associations.

It rallied support to achieve “three zeros” zero unmet need for family planning, zero preventable maternal deaths, zero gender-based violence and harmful practices in 10 years, says the release.
The UNFPA, the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency, and the governments of Denmark and Kenya convened the summit 25 years after the landmark International Conference on Population and Development, which culminated in a global agreement that sexual and reproductive health and rights are a necessity for growth and prosperity. But progress in securing these rights has stalled.
“Since the Nairobi Summit, the road to 2030 and the achievement of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all have grown steeper due to COVID-19.

The 27th Governor General of Canada Michaëlle Jean


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Jakaya Kikwete, former president of the United Republic of Tanzania

“Yet we continue to forge ahead, to back up words with deeds and action on the ground. The new high-level commission will help all of us who made commitments in Nairobi keep those promises,” says UNFPA Executive Director Dr Natalia Kanem.

Like the delegates at the Nairobi Summit, the membership of the High-Level Commission is radically inclusive.

Chaired by Jakaya Kikwete, former president of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Michaëlle Jean, the 27th Governor General of Canada, its members range from former heads of state to grassroots activists and youth.
The commission will monitor and report on progress towards fulfilling the 1 250 commitments made at the Nairobi Summit, and in particular the 12 global commitments contained in the Nairobi Statement on ICPD25, and make recommendations for removing bottlenecks so that the sexual and reproductive health and rights community maintains its momentum towards a world of rights and choices for all.

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