On the final day of the CPD, the Chair of the Commission, Ambassador Ion Jinga of Romania, presented a carefully crafted text which nearly all member states were willing to accept. However, the United States refused to join the consensus reflecting their hardening views on sexual and reproductive health and rights under the current administration.
Strong statements by youth advocates
The CPD week had proceeded well and given great hopes to delegations and civil society that an outcome could be reached. Strong statements were delivered in the plenary session, including by the Dutch Youth Ambassador on SRHR on behalf of the Netherlands and by Anna Devereux on behalf of Right Here Right Now. Right Here Right Now advocates from Kenya, Pakistan and Surinam, as well as many other (youth) advocates from around the world worked closely with their delegations.
Broad cross-regional support
In the negotiation room, the skilful facilitation by Zandile Bhengu from South Africa moved delegations closer to each other – even on the most contentious topics. In that light, it is even more unfortunate that due to one delegation’s regressive views, we had to return home without a resolution. The CPD then closed with a strong statement by Tunisia on behalf of 35 countries, showing broad cross-regional support for human rights, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive rights.
Despite the disappointment, Rutgers believes that the CPD remains one of the critical places for countries and civil society to discuss and progress their commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights – which are also part of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development (SDG 3.7 and 5.6). Next year will be particularly important, as the ICPD Programme of Action will celebrate its 25th birthday.