From October 22-23, CAPPD was pleased to host to the 7th International Parliamentarian Conference on the Implementation of ICPD (IPCI) alongside the Government of Canada, the Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, the United Nations Population Fund, the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development, and CAPPD Secretariat, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights.
Thank you to CAPPD Chair, the Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, for her tireless work to ensure the success of the conference, and to CAPPD Vice-Chairs Senator Marilou McPhedran and MP Irene Mathyssen for their many contributions.
The Conference brought together more than 100 parliamentarians from around the world to discuss sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and renew their commitment to the landmark1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Taking place in the lead-up to the 25th anniversary of the ICPD, the conference aimed to address the urgent need for implementation of theICPD Programme of Action alongside the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, in welcoming delegates to the Ottawa Conference, emphasized Canada’s continued commitment to defending gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women. She also encouraged delegates to take leadership at home, stating, “Because we now face resistance to hard-won advances, parliamentary commitment is more important than ever to dismantle barriers and create an enabling environment for gender equality and SRHR.”
During the two-day conference, policymakers – joined by civil society and subject matter experts – took part in dialogues addressing key issues and challenges to gender equality and SRHR. Parliamentarians shared experiences and best practices from their respective country contexts and tackled topics including the needs of women and girls in humanitarian settings and resource mobilization.
The conference culminated in the adoption of the Ottawa Statement of Commitment, a bold and action-oriented declaration that builds upon the six previous IPCI commitments. The 2018 statement advances language on universal health coverage that is inclusive of quality sexual and reproductive health services, the removal of legal barriers preventing women and adolescent girls from accessing safe abortion, and the need for strong, disaggregated, and publicly accessible data. 25 years after the adoption of the ICPD Programme of Action, the Ottawa Statement of Commitment provides clear direction on how to implement ICPD’s visionary agenda and further realize sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world.