Secretary of State Clinton to Deliver Major Speech Renewing U.S. Support For Universal Access to Reproductive Health Worldwide

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver a major speech Monday, December 21, 2009 to mark the 15th year of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Secretary Clinton will announce the U.S. Government’s renewed support for and dedication to reaching the ICPD goals and other related UN agreements, including the Millennium Development Goals, by 2015.

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Washington -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver a major speech Monday, December 21, 2009 to mark the 15th year of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Secretary Clinton will announce the U.S. Government’s renewed support for and dedication to reaching the ICPD goals and other related UN agreements, including the Millennium Development Goals, by 2015.

The speech will be live streamed on http://www.icpd2015.org starting at approximately 3:00 pm. A transcript and video of of the speech will be posted on this site following the event.

At the 1994 ICPD held in Cairo, Egypt, 179 nations reached consensus on actions needed to achieve universal access to education, especially for girls; reductions in infant, child and maternal mortality, and universal access to reproductive health over the next 20 years.

Many United Nations conferences and international meetings have reaffirmed the ICPD "Cairo Consensus", including the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, that established the Beijing Platform for Action, and the 2000 Millennium Summit, that established the Millennium Development Goals. These mutually reinforcing commitments are the cornerstones of population and development policies for the international community.

Recent polls show that a majority of Americans across the ideological spectrum strongly support the principles in the worldwide consensus reached at the ICPD, including providing voluntary family planning and reproductive health services.

Millions of lives have been improved and saved through effective and affordable reproductive health programs, which have proven to prevent the deaths of women and children, reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, grow economies and preserve natural resources.

United Nations and non-governmental leaders agree that though successful programs exist, far more progress needs to be made, including a a sustained, long-term commitment by both the public and private sectors. Tamara Kreinin, Executive Director of Women and Population at the United Nations Foundation, said “UNFPA, NGOs, bilateral donors, and developing country governments have all contributed significantly to implementing the ICPD agenda to help women and girls around the world over the past fifteen years."

Ms. Kreinin added, "Each of these sectors knows exactly what interventions save women’s lives and build healthy families and communities. The key is for the commitment and partnership among them, particularly that of our own government, to remain focused and consistent. It is indeed exciting to hear Secretary Clinton reaffirm the U.S.’s commitment.”

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