London Summit Calls, Brussels Responds: Everyone Has the Right to Family Planning
In London on 11 July on the same day as World Population Day, the UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hosted the Family Planning Summit. They came together with the European Commission, European donors, developing country governments, UN agencies, the private sector, and civil society to raise funds for voluntary family planning.
There are hundreds of millions of women in developing countries who want to delay or avoid a pregnancy but are not using an effective method of family planning. The Summit aimed to provide an additional 120 million women in the world’s poorest countries with access lifesaving contraceptives, services and information by 2020. Increasing access to family planning information, services and supplies has dramatic health benefits for women and children, preventing up to a quarter of maternal deaths. It is also an extremely cost effective investment towards the achievement of the maternal and child health Millennium Development Goals and wider development outcomes. And yet, global attention and leadership on this issue has been lacking.
To mark the World Population Day and the Family Planning Summit, a debate was held on July 10th in Brussels, at the European Parliament. The event was hosted by Member of European Parliament, Antonyia Parvanova (ALDE Bulgaria), with the support of various organisations working on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Brussels and Belgium: IPPF EN, MSI, DSW, EPF, Sensoa, ICRH, RHSC, and UNFPA
Press coverage in media: Media Coverage of the Family Planning Summit in London and the Cocktail Reception in Brussels (updated July 13th 2012)
Speakers at the event were:
- Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary for the World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), Zimbabwe
- Kate Gilmore, Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director (Programme), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- Marleen Temmerman, Belgian Senator and future Director for the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organisation (WHO)
The debate was moderated by Goedele Liekens, Belgian media personality and UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador.