This Committee is a critical intergovernmental space, with the full membership of the United Nations (UN), which agrees on normative standards and frameworks on human rights, gender and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
IPPF closely followed the negotiations on the situation of women and girls in rural areas, policies and programmes affecting youth, the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, the girl child, the implementation of the Fourth World Conference on Women and of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly. All resolutions were adopted by consensus, reaffirming strong cross regional support for critical issues related to women and girls, young people’s rights, gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
Significant advances were achieved in the resolution on improving the situation of rural women and girls regarding multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that women and girls face, including policies that exclude pregnant and married girls from schools and subsequently limit their future economic opportunities. It also calls on Governments to promote sustainable gender-responsive infrastructure, scaling up investment in health facilities and ensuring water and sanitation, including through provisions for menstrual hygiene management.
The resolution on policies and programmes affecting youth reiterates Governments' commitments to fulfill the human rights and the well-being of young people, including adolescents and young women, as well as the role that universal health coverage plays in ensuring the good health of young people. It also recognizes, for the first time in an intergovernmental space, that young women between the ages of 15 and 24 are most vulnerable to HIV.
On the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation resolution, important commitments were made to address menstruation stigma and stereotypes as well as to ensure water, sanitation and menstrual hygiene management, including in humanitarian crises, for all women and girls.
IPPF furthermore welcomes the adoption of the Human Rights Council Report reiterating the support of the General Assembly to the extension of the mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for three years.
Despite the attempts to disrupt the multilateral process and the introduction of hostile amendments to weaken and undermine previously agreed commitments, and thereby the values and principles of multilateralism, member states made new commitments to advance on key issues, including the rights of all women and girls. This represents a resounding victory for gender equality, the human rights of women, girls, young people and adolescents and for sexual and reproductive health and rights.