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In 1994, at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, 179 countries adopted a landmark 20-year Programme of Action - a bold vision that placed women’s empowerment and gender equality and their reproductive rights at the center of population and sustainable development.
Since the adoption of the ICPD Programme of Action, subsequent inter-governmental agreements have reaffirmed and furthered commitments on sexual and reproductive health and rights, including the Key Actions agreed at its five-year review in 1999, among others. In 2010, a UN General Assembly resolution importantly called for an open-ended extension of the Programme of Action and a review of progress by the General Assembly in 2014.
As we approach the 20-year benchmark for the ICPD, millions of people, especially women and adolescent girls living in poverty, do not have their sexual and reproductive health and rights fulfilled. The work of the High-Level Task Force is to advocate for the world’s leaders to follow through with their pledges, and encourage an affirmative and forward-looking review of the ICPD that addresses critical gaps and emerging issues, and renews and expands nations’ commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, beyond 2014.