Young People Ask World Leaders to Fulfill ICPD Promises
Today the President of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Dr. Jacqueline Sharpe, presented the Count Me In: Sexual Rights for All Petition to the Office of President of the United Nations General Assembly, at the United Nations during the Fifty-Fourth Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Working through 152 Member Associations in 174 countries, IPPF is a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals.
Dr. Sharpe delivered the petition to Mr. Jamal Benomar, Chef de Cabinet at the Office of President of the General Assembly on behalf of its 179,619 signatories from 190 countries—the vast majority of whom are young people. The petition asks governments around the world to prioritize young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, including comprehensive sexuality education and information and youth friendly health services.
“It is my great pleasure and honor to present the petition on behalf of IPPF to the UN and to the president of the General Assembly and to ask him specifically to urge all of the Member Countries to fulfill the promises that they made in 1994 because they were worthwhile and will make a big difference for the state of the world’s development,” Dr. Sharpe remarked earlier today during the brief ceremony held at UN Headquarters in New York.
In 2009, IPPF conducted a global initiative, 15 and Counting, to raise awareness of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and the Programme of Action that, in 1994, 179 governments signed, agreeing to deliver improved sexual and reproductive health worldwide. As 2009 marked the 15th anniversary of this commitment IPPF sought to engage young people to persuade these governments to promote, protect, and fulfill the promises they made 15 years ago. The Count Me In: Sexual Rights for All Petition was a key component of 15 and Counting.
Given that nearly half of the world's population is currently under the age of twenty-five, the majority of whom live in developing countries, there is an urgent need to ensure that young people have access to sexual and reproductive health information and services.
IPPF believes sexual and reproductive health and rights are central to equitable and sustainable development and for addressing obstacles to women’s empowerment worldwide. To that end, IPPF is committed to implementing the ICPD Programme of Action, the Beijing Platform for Action, and the Millennium Development Goals.
This year, the Commission on the Status of Women commemorates the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action and representatives of Member States have gathered to evaluate progress and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and the advancement of women worldwide. This marks a momentous occasion for the delivery of Count Me In: Sexual Rights for All.
While accepting the petition and thanking IPPF, Mr. Benomar commented that “Raising consciousness about these issues, particularly when it comes to young people, is something that we very highly value.”