CPD2012: This Session is Ours!

Stefanie Suclupe & Juliana Cantini, Guest Contributors

At the 45th Session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD)—the main theme of which is “Adolescents and Youth”—there is an active participation of civil society groups and a special opportunity to take a look at the current status of young people in Latin America.

What are Latin American government officials saying about the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and youth? Speeches in different sessions have shown countries’ favorable positions on access to sexual and reproductive health services. However, some of the government delegations have questioned the need to provide contraceptives to adolescents.

It is the responsibility of governments to reduce teenage pregnancy rates, maternal mortality, and the transmission of STIs, including HIV, among adolescents. These problems have a significant impact on young people in Latin America. Our government must allow us to exercise our right to access health services and make informed decisions about when, how, and how many children to have. They must provide information that is clear, youth-friendly, and objective. Implementing comprehensive sexuality education enables teenagers to have the information they need to make autonomous, responsible decisions. Making healthier decisions in turn reduces gaps and inequities, especially among economically disadvantaged populations.

What are adolescents and young people doing at this year's CPD? Ensuring meaningful youth participation means exercising our rights, as defined in the Cairo Programme of Action in 1994. The voice of young people should be considered in the final resolution of the session. To ensure that the theme has a real focus on adolescents and youth, it is essential to know what we think, experience, and want from our governments.

We, the adolescents and young people of Latin America, will remain active and vigilant on the commitments obtained at the end of this CPD session. We will continue to monitor national and international policies and ensure our ability to fully exercise of our sexual and reproductive rights.

See you in Latin America!

Stefanie Suclupe is a member of the Board of Directors at INPPARES, our Member Association in Peru, and Juliana Cantini is the Secretary Director of BEMFAM, our Member Association in Brazil.



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