Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Statement -- ICPD25 – High Level Meeting

New York, 17/07/2019 - 15:20, UNIQUE ID: 190717_18
Statements on behalf of the EU

16 July 2019, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States by Mr. Antonio Parenti, Minister Counsellor, EU Delegation to the UN, at the ICPD25 – High Level Meeting

Madam Chair,

I have the honour to address on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, Serbia, North Macedonia, and Albania[1] the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine and Georgia align themselves with this statement.

Twenty-five years ago the Programme of Action was adopted in Cairo and broke new ground in terms of the international community's efforts to advance key aspects of human development, including within its provisions the fields of empowerment of women and girls, education, infant, child and maternal mortality, and sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. For the first time in an international consensus document, states agreed that reproductive rights embrace certain human rights recognised at the national and international level.

The EU remains committed to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of all human rights and to the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Programme of Action of the ICPD and the outcomes of their review conferences and remains committed to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), in this context.

In the intervening years since 1994 there have been many advances to celebrate – but there also remain hurdles and challenges ahead. For example, every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. This is a particular tragedy since we know many of the services that could prevent maternal mortality are low-cost, cost-effective and feasible to integrate into the health system.

With the adoption by consensus of a political declaration during the last session of the Commission on Population and Development in April we collectively reaffirm the achievements secured 25 years ago, and their follow-up. Now the international community needs to further invigorate the implementation of Cairo. We are therefore looking forward to the ICPD Summit in Nairobi in November of this year to indeed provide such impetus.

The EU is committed to the full realisation of the Programme of Action within our own borders and to supporting others in their endeavours towards that goal. Much of the EU's development assistance and that of its Member States is addressing directly or indirectly priorities enshrined in Cairo.

Examples include: the delivery of 1.5 billion euro over the past 6 months to support bilateral health programmes in 17 countries; the fact that 30% of EU health aid is spent on sexual, reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health; the new flagship EU-UN "Spotlight" initiative which commits 500 million euro to the elimination of violence against women and girls.

The European Consensus for Development sets out a new framework for the delivery of development assistance by the EU and its member states, coherently aligned to the SDGs and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are anchored in the European Consensus as key drivers and preconditions for sustainable development.

The EU is determined to work for a world where the Cairo commitments have become a living reality for all, in partnership with others at the national, regional and international levels – including civil society, whose role is instrumental in this regard.

The EU is also committed to the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to the ICPD Programme of Action and the outcome of its global and regional reviews and conferences.

Madame Chair,

The EU and its Member States are strongly engaged in and supportive of the upcoming Nairobi Summit. The Summit provides an unique opportunity to mobilize the political and the financial commitments needed to complete the unfinished business of the ICPD. We must ensure its success.


Thank you.


[1] Turkey, Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.