By Nicai de Guzman, @NicaiDeGuzman
Delegates stand united in their call for “Accountability for Results” as they concluded the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (7APCRSHR).
The conference coincided with the 20th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and takes place a year before the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
With the theme “Examining achievements, good practices and challenges: Towards a strategic positioning of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all,” delegates examined the achievements of the countries all over Asia and Pacific since the ICPD.
The summary of the conference, as reported by 7APCRSHR convenor Eden Divinagracia, showed the inequality among SRHR services in the region and no consistent way of tracking progress where progress has been made.
“The lack of accountability mechanisms to track progress in preventing inequalities will result in its persistence,” Divinagracia said.
This call for accountability was resonated by the Manila Challenge, which select delegates read onstage during the closing ceremony of the conference.
In their two-page declaration, they challenged the government, media, the scholars and researchers, development partners, non-government organizations, and young people to all do their part in making sure that SRHR services reach those in need in the region.
“Missions of rescue, rehabilitation, and programs of development must address SRHR as core elements, without which all other investments are diminished,” they read.
They read aloud their vision of an Asia-Pacific region where:
- Countries have integrated SRHR in their development plans and investment programmes;
- Communities have access to SRHR information and services;
- All people exercise their reproductive and sexual health and rights; and
- Everyone lives a healthy life.
“For this reason, we challenge all governments, civil society organisations, and religious institutions to demonstrate respect for SRHR by acknowledging SRHR needs of all people in all contexts now and into the future.” #
What did you think of the Manila Challenge and the closing ceremony? Share your thoughts with us at contributions.APCRSHR7@gmail.com!