with the Family Planning 2020 Agenda, FP2020. They will also discuss commitments to expand and support access to modern forms of contraception to reach additional 120 million women in the 69 lowest income countries with special focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized.
The one-day summit was organized under the theme “Her Future” and coincides with World Population Day, celebrated annually on July 11, to focus attention on population issues including the fact that sustainable development cannot ignore one essential ingredient: voluntary family planning.
Family planning saves lives and strengthens economies. It enables couples to choose whether and when to have children. It preserves women’s and girls’ health, and empowers them to pursue education and work. It boosts their ability to save, contribute to the economy and invest in the health and education of their children. The UNFPA estimates that there are about 214 million women in developing countries who have an unmet need for modern contraceptives.
Five years ago, at the 2012 London Summit on family planning, leaders affirmed the importance of family planning to women’s empowerment and global prosperity. More than 20 governments, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) committed to addressing contraceptive needs with a vision of reaching women with modern contraceptives by 2020.
On the five-year anniversary of the initial London summit, the 2017 follow-up summit provides an opportunity to assess progress, review how family planning can contribute to new and critical global development goals such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development SDGs, and recommit to enabling every woman to realize her right to choose whether and when to have children. According to the summit’s official website, it aims to “sharpen our focus on lessons learned and proven solutions, while broadening and deepening our network of partners to bring local actions and solutions to scale—particularly for populations that have traditionally been left behind, such as adolescents and youth, and women and girls in humanitarian situations.”
The event focuses on four key issues: innovative financing models for procuring and delivering high-quality contraceptives; strengthening supply chains and expanding the range of contraceptives available to women; empowering youth with access to family planning information; and reaching the hardest to reach, such as women in humanitarian crises or facing cultural barriers.
The Executive Director of FP2020, Beth Schlachter, said, "We are guided by the urgency of knowing that our work affects the lives and futures of women every day. The Summit is a chance to evaluate our progress on family planning, and re-dedicate ourselves to bringing this life-saving intervention to all that need and want it," according to the summit’s official website.
Dr. Natalia Kanem, Acting Executive Director of the UNFPA, said, “Together we must keep our promise to leave no woman behind. Even though family planning is one of the best investments for development and women’s empowerment, 214 million women in developing countries who want family planning still lack access to modern contraception. As we strive to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, we are committed to getting to zero unmet need for family planning by 2030 to ensure a better future for all.”
Between plenary sessions, participants will have the option to attend a variety of spotlight sessions that will offer deeper insights into the technical content of family planning work, including family planning in humanitarian settings. In addition to the formal Summit’s program, the ‘Family Planning Inspiration Hub’ will be announced and introduced. This hub displays six innovations that have potential to accelerate progress in Family Planning around the world.
The Family Planning Summit is co-hosted by the UK’s Department for International Development (UK DFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with Family Planning 2020 and in close partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Global Affairs Canada.
Around the world, local initiatives will take place to complement the global event in London whether in advance of the Summit, simultaneously on July 11, or in the days that follow. These events will celebrate the progress towards expanding access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services over the past five years, encourage action from national governments, and create a drumbeat of support from a strong community of partners to support women’s access to modern contraceptives.
Family planning 2020 agenda: The FP2020 is a global partnership that supports the rights of women to decide freely and for themselves whether, when and how many children they want to have. FP2020 works with governments, civil society, multilateral organizations, donors, the private sector and the research and development community to enable 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020. FP2020 is in support of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.
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