Hon. Dr. Hedy Fry looks ahead to ICPI
On behalf of Canadian Parliamentarians, CAPPD, I’m looking forward to welcoming you to the 2018 International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Program of Action (IPCI).
We will gather in Ottawa, at a pivotal moment, to tackle global issues on population and development. As parliamentarians, this is an opportunity for us to collaborate, advance an international dialogue and take action on the sexual reproductive and human rights of women and girls.
This conference is an historic one, marking the 24th anniversary of the ICPD. Despite the passage of time, the Cairo Program of Action, developed by world leaders in 1994, remains relevant.
After more than two decades of sporadic progress, in protecting the world’s poorest, weakest and most vulnerable people,we all bring a substantial amount of knowledge and experience to this conference. We also have a responsibility, not only,to monitor the progress of the international community in realizing the commitments made in the ICPD Programme of Action, but also to look at ways to address the new challenges women and girls face in a world where conflict and migration has placed them at even greater risk.
In Canada, we have taken a significant leadership role to promote global SRHR, through the Feminist International Assistance Policy. Building on Canada’s commitment to maternal, newborn and child health through the 2010 Muskoka Initiative, we now are working to close the gaps in sexual and reproductive health and rights through our developmental assistance.
However, there are still too many women around the world dying from childbirth without access to birth control methods and the full range of sexual and reproductive health services. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth each day. What’s more, is that 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries.
Challenges ahead are significant, and require political and financial commitment. IPCI 2018 will be our chance to, once again, join forces and find common ground and creative solutions to address these issues and advance SRHR at home and worldwide. It’s time to move the ICPD agenda forward in concrete and impactful ways, to consider indigenous knowledge, cultural sensitivities and to include our youth in forging their own futures.
From the iconic Rideau Canal to our picturesque Parliament buildings and our many national museums devoted to the preservation of Canadian heritage that is closely linked to our indigenous peoples, Ottawa is a spectacular city.
I look forward to welcoming you all to our Nation’s capital.
Hon. Dr. Hedy Fry, PC MP
Chair, Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (CAPPD)