UN’s High Level Political Forum is a window of opportunity

Author: Pamela Martín García, Grupo Fusa

I participated in the UN’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York, representing La Fundación para la Salud de Adolescente, the IPPF member association in Argentina. The HLPF is an opportunity to speak with high-level officials about the 2030 Agenda, also known as and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the important role that our issues – health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender equality – have in achieving the SDGs.

As abstract as it sounds, the HLPF is simply a global opportunity for feminist partners to come together from each continent to push to bring attention to the importance of our issues because we can’t think about achieving the SDGs without also thinking about how we can improve the global position of women.

Women are half of the population and global poverty has the face of a woman. We are discriminated against; we suffer different types of violence; we are kept from exercising our human rights; we are not free to make our own decisions.

In this global space, 44 countries presented their Voluntary National Reviews, a report by governments on the progress and challenges in implementing the SDGs, which then serve as tools for advocates to hold the government accountable.

Though the SDGs offer a frame for advocates, they are limited in their specificity for each government or region; therefore, regional agreements like the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) agreement, Montevideo Consensus, offer more substance and meat that gives advocates more space to push more strongly for our goals.

I am proud of the Montevideo Consensus because it is a result of the hard work our team of feminists and partners from LAC put in. It prioritizes issues like sexual and reproductive rights, gender equality, empowerment, access to abortion, and sexual orientation and gender identity.

The creation of the Montevideo Consensus is a great step forward but civil society still has our work cut out for us. Our region is very diverse and in order to achieve our goals, we will need to be smart, creative, and determined to see real results.

Therefore, this is a call to action! Together, feminists, youth, governments, and anyone else who wants to work toward a better life to women and girls with equality, liberty and without violence must work together to achieve the goals we’ve set ourselves.