The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) have entered into a strategic partnership that will provide a solid basis for long-term co-operation on reproductive health, HIV and gender equality, IPPF said today.
On 9th December, His Excellency ACP Secretary General Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni and Mr Tewodros Melesse, IPPF Director General, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the side of the ACP Council of Ministers in Brussels.
IPPF, a global federation of autonomous, locally owned organisations, will be a key partner to the ACP Secretariat in terms of providing expertise in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), as the ACP Secretariat works in five of IPPF’s regions.
African, Caribbean and Pacific countries are facing numerous challenges which have an impact not only on economic development, but above all on the human and social development and SRHR.
The 2010 Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the ACP States and the European Union highlighted the need to address family planning, reproductive health and women’s rights as priorities for achieving sustainable development and poverty reduction.
This MOU complements those memoranda that IPPF has already established with the African Union - where IPPF played a key role in the creation of a continental framework for sexual and reproductive health and rights as part of the Maputo Plan of Action - and with UN agencies such as UNFPA and UNAIDS and the WHO (IPPF is the only NGO on the board of the WHO Reproductive Health and Research Policy and Coordination Committee); the Council of Europe (IPPF has Consultative Status with the Council of Europe and sits on the Parliamentary Assembly) and the Africa Union where IPPF has extensive links with parliamentarians’ groups in donor and recipient countries enabling it to inform parliamentary dialogue.
Uniquely among international NGOs, IPPF was invited by the UN Secretary General to join the group convened to draft what became the UN’s Global Strategy for Women and Children’s Health.
IPPF Director General, Tewodros Melesse said:
"This is the outcome of a long-standing relationship and the result of the combined efforts of IPPF’s Central Office, Africa Regional Office and European Network. As partners we can help guide development in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, and play a pivotal part in ensuring that sexual and reproductive health and rights - including family planning - are at the heart of the development agenda as talks on the next generation of Millennium Development Goals continue.
“IPPF was established 60 years ago. Today we work in more than 170 countries including the 80 ACP countries and we work at a grassroots level. We want to reduce maternal mortality, infant death as well as to contribute to economic wellbeing.
“We are the voice of the voiceless in each of your (ACP) communities and we want to work with the ACP to put women and young people at the heart of the development agenda.”
Secretary General of ACP, Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni on signing the MOU said: “The ACP’s agenda is to combat poverty and promote sustainable development. IPPF has demonstrated strength in areas such as tackling maternal mortality, infant health and HIV. The MOU will act as framework bringing IPPF and the ACP together as partners - this is a momentous occasion for us.”