In 1994, at the International Conference on Population
and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt, the
world's governments and civil society committed
to an action plan to ensure universal access
to reproductive health information and services,
uphold fundamental human rights including sexual
and reproductive rights, alleviate poverty,
secure gender equality, and protect the environment.
Since 1994, both the public and private sectors
have made substantial efforts to transform
the ICPD's 20-year-plan into reality. Meaningful
gains have been made, but much remains to be
done. The largest generation of adolescents
in history - more than one billion young people
- are now entering adulthood in a rapidly changing
world. The exponential increases in HIV/AIDS,
persistently high levels of death and ill health
due to preventable complications from pregnancy
and childbirth, inadequate access to family
planning services, and weak public health systems
are still major challenges.
We are deeply concerned that the gap between
rich and poor is growing and that millions
of the world's people, but especially women
and young people, are highly vulnerable to
HIV/AIDS, sexual coercion and violence, discrimination,
and other violations of their human rights.
We call on leaders in every walk of life to join
us in reaffirming the ICPD's vision for human
development, social justice, economic progress
and environmental preservation. We call on
the international community, national governments
and private philanthropic organizations, to
prioritize and fund the ICPD Programme of Action.
By signing this leadership statement, we pledge
to do our part.
(Dan Maguire, President of The Religious
Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health
and Ethics, attended the summit in Cairo in
1994 and is one of the world leaders who signed
this Statement of Support.)