International Planned Parenthood Federation
On behalf of IPPF, we would like to welcome the draft political declaration of the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on Universal Health Coverage. Overall, it represents a good starting point and we are pleased that the draft contains a dedicated section on ‘Mainstreaming Gender, Equity and human rights’, in particular the call to achieve gender equality, fulfill sexual and reproductive health, reproductive rights, and the right of women to control their sexuality.
Nevertheless, the draft fails to recognize the need to fulfill SRHR, without which, each year 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, 214 million women wanting to avoid pregnancy lack access to modern contraception methods; 25 million unsafe abortion take place; over 350 million women and men need treatment for curable sexually transmittable infections; there are nearly 2 million new HIV infections; and approximately 266,000 women die from cervical cancer. It is imperative to include SRHR in UHC in order to address these challenges.
Furthermore, gender and human rights cannot be reduced to one section. Gender must be mainstreamed throughout the document, and it must include a strong call for Governments to reaffirm the principle of non-discrimination and a human rights-based approach when developing their national action plans to achieve UHC, so as to ensure that no one is left behind
The follow-up mechanism section also needs to be strengthened to ensure that CSOs, both at the national and global level, are meaningfully engaged in the accountability mechanism to be established.