UNFPA regional conference on promoting health and rights, reducing inequalities


The Sofia Declaration of Commitment was agreed at the regional conference "Promoting Health and Rights, Reducing Inequalities: Towards Better Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes in eastern Europe and central Asia". The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in partnership with the Government of Bulgaria, hosted the conference from 27–29 May 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

This platform for dialogue among high-level policy-makers; representatives of health ministries, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, WHO, other United Nation agencies, and other aid development partners; and national and international experts elaborated on how to advance sexual and reproductive health in eastern Europe and central Asia. The content was built on recommendations from the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014 meeting outcomes and on discussions related to the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Discussion on the life-course approach in improving health has been initiated and hopefully will continue at the WHO European Ministerial Conference on the Life-course Approach in the Context of Health 2020 in October 2015 in Belarus.

"A person-centred approach to the world's development agenda is simply essential," said Kate Gilmore, UNFPA Deputy Executive Director in the opening session. She added, "Without putting people at the centre – enabled and supported through the realization of their rights to, for example, health and education – they will not realize their full potential. Without their fuller potential realized, their capacity to be productive, engaged and constructive contributors to the sustainability and resilience of their communities and economies is undermined."