A new High-Level Commission of advocates, experts and activists will be established today to help commitments to women’s health and rights made at the November 2019 Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 stay on track, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is blocking access to essential services, such as family planning and antenatal care.
By Michael Gwarisa
The Nairobi Summit secured billions of dollars in commitments from governments, the private sector, foundations and others. 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.
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 has grown steeper due to COVID-19,” says UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem.
“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.”
Like the delegates at the Nairobi Summit, the membership of the High-Level Commission is radically inclusive. Chaired by H.E. Mr. Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and H.E. Michaëlle Jean, 27th Governor General of Canada, its members range from former heads of state to grassroots activists and youth. (For a full list of its members, see below).