Reproductive Health, Family Planning Have Central Role In Comprehensive Rio+20 Strategy

“As members of the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, we call on the negotiators at the Rio+20 conference to ensure that reproductive health and voluntary family planning have a central role in any comprehensive strategy for sustainable development,” Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil; Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and president of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice; Joy Phumaphi, former minister of health for Botswana and former vice-president of human development at the World Bank; Gro Harlem Brundtland, former prime minister of Norway and former director-general of the WHO; Fred Sai, former president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation and former director of population at the World Bank; Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, former deputy president of South Africa; and Jenny Shipley, former prime minister of New Zealand and vice-president of the Club of Madrid, write in a letter published in the Guardian on Friday.

“The language must be reflected in the first two sections of the negotiating document, demonstrating that the words have meaning and will be followed by action,” they write, concluding, “Reproductive health is an essential investment in the future we want — of healthy families and communities, stable societies, and abundant natural resources” (6/15).