UK Govt: Family Planning will strengthen female leadership, globally

Justine Greening

Following the success of the London Summit on Family Planning, DG Tewodros Melesse, met with Justine Greening, UK Secretary of State for International Development.  The DG presented the Secretary of State with the London Declaration. It is a collection of signatures from 1,305 civil society groups, who IPPF brought together to pledge support for the Summit and its objectives to increase access to family planning information, services and supplies in the world’s poorest countries. There are 220 million women in the world with an unmet need for modern contraceptives and family planning. The goal of the Family Planning Summit was to provide contraceptives for an additional 120 million new users, with the help of governments, NGOs, private organizations and civil society. 

IPPF was appointed as convenor of civil society for the Summit, with Tewodros Melesse as Co-Vice Chair of the Stakeholder Group. To advance efforts made on the day a special task force, FP2020, has been launched to ensure commitments are on track. Building on the Summit partnerships FP2020 will sustain the momentum and support the goals announced at the Summit. The FP2020 reference group, of which DG Melesse is one of the 3 CSO members [link to the announcement] met for the first time in NY in December.

The 1,305 civil society organizations remain active and commited to family planning objectives, the key issue at the heart of the global development debate. Tewodros explained: "Over 80% of the 1,305 organizations that signed the London Declaration are small community groups.  They represent a big global society committed to no controversy when it comes to women and girls making their own decisions on sex and pregnancy.  Family planning is one of the most powerful and cost effective development intervention. It provides women with the means to plan their futures and to care for their families."

Family planning and sexual rights are intrinsic to the development framework. Secretary of State Justine Greening said, "The UK Government is working with partners to champion girls’ and women’s rights, including voluntary family planning.  Global efforts to implement the commitments made at the London Summit will have a transformational impact on the lives of girls and women in the poorest countries”.