The keynote speeches were kicked off by Tewodros Melesse, IPPF’s Director General. He introduced the day with IPPF’s response to the challenges and opportunities of sexual and reproductive health rights, encapsulated within Vision 2020. Promising a closer working relationship with parliamentarians, SRHR will be at the centre of the post 2015 development agenda, he confirmed. Paying homage to our founders, 8 brave and angry women, and to the entire IPPF family, he said “ Your legacy has been seen around the world. The flame which was given to us 60 years ago is still burning. The anger is still there, but we keep the flame of anger and the light of hope.”
A commemoration of past achievements, the 60th Anniversary event was also about continuing our global success into the future. As Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation America confirmed, “There is no organisation that has done more for women’s lives than IPPF. We are so proud to partner with IPPF as we build a new generation.” Echoing this strong sentiment, President Obama acknowledged the global impact of the IPPF Federation, by extending thanks to PPFA for its commitment to women’s health within the USA. A promising stance as we face 2015 and beyond he stated, “protecting women’s health is a mission that stands above politics”.
In closing, HE Mr Yutaka Yoshizawa, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of South Africa, proudly recounted IPPF’s longstanding partnership with Japan. Many key developments and achievements were highlighted. In looking ahead to our future partnership, he said, “The challenges ahead are still imposing, but with our collective efforts we can make universal access to reproductive health a reality.”