The Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda has placed the empowerment of girls and women high on the agenda. The panel has also highlighted the importance of ensuring healthy lives, including the target of ensuring universal sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Norway agrees with their conclusions. Everyone is entitled to full and equal enjoyment of all human rights, including the right to the highest attainable standard of health. Investment in sexual and reproductive health and rights has a range of complementary effects for women, men and their families. It is also an essential part of efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development.
We thank UNFPA for their continual efforts to ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights. The annual report shows that although improvements still need to be made, the steps UNFPA are taking to become a more focused, effective and results-oriented organisation are bearing fruits.
Norway greatly appreciates UNFPA’s leadership in the global arena in stimulating progress and agreement on sexual and reproductive health and rights. UNFPA’s leadership in the process of implementing the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, up to and beyond 2014, is invaluable. In addition, UNFPA is playing a crucial role in Family Planning 2020 and in the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children.
The latest outcome of the work of the Commission on the Status of Women, the Human Rights Council’s resolution on maternal health and the UN resolution against female genital mutilation are also important results that demonstrate the important contribution of UNFPA in global advocacy work.
Norway supports UNFPA’s draft strategic plan, including further concentration on sexual and reproductive health and rights, women and young people. We also agree with the proposals to adjust the engagement according to country settings, and to revise financing and allocating mechanisms to align them with the strategic plan.
Furthermore, Norway is pleased with the work UNFPA has done to improve the correlation between the strategy and the results framework and looks forward to receiving a clear “theory of change” for each outcome, including a risk analysis and an analysis of the value added of different types of partnerships.
Norway gives high priority to promoting and protecting sexual and reproductive health and rights. This is a question of ending unnecessary suffering, promoting social justice and freedom, and doing what is right. Being able to choose whether, with whom and when to have children is an essential right. Being able to avoid health problems and even death due to unplanned pregnancies has enormous implications for women. These issues are important in themselves for the wellbeing, rights and dignity of women and girls. And they are also vital for sustainable development and economic growth.
UNFPA is Norway’s most important partner in efforts to secure sexual and reproductive health and rights for everyone. Norway believes that the new strategic plan will further enhance work in this area. Norway therefore remains committed to UNFPA and the full implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, up to and beyond 2014.