From research and guidelines to improving sexual and reproductive health and rights
The First global conference on contraception, reproductive and sexual health took place 22–25 May 2013 in Copenhagen. It united 1500 experts, policy makers, civil society representatives and health care providers from 92 countries.
In her opening speech HRH Princess Mary presented global data on adolescent pregnancies, unmet needs on family planning, unsafe abortion, HIV and curable sexually transmitted infections – all factors which are predominantly impacted by the lack of access to information and services. She emphasized that alarming numbers and many undisputable facts confirm that “sexual and reproductive health and rights must be part and parcel of the global development efforts in years to come and also beyond 2015”.
The primary purpose of the Conference was to improve all aspects of sexual and reproductive health including challenges of cultural differences and implementation of new technologies.
WHO had representation from headquarters, the European Regional Office as well as the members of the European Regional Advisory Panel on Research and Training in Reproductive Health. Besides the keynote session “International and national family planning guidelines” organized by WHO, WHO staff and WHO experts presented in many sessions, answering questions and discussing topical issues with national experts as well as partners such as European Society on Contraception and Reproductive Health , UNFPA, European Network of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, FIGO, FIAPAC and others. The WHO stand in the Conference exhibition was a success and confirmed that WHO guidelines, policy statements and other publications are much requested.
The sessions and posters of the Conference confirmed that the words of HRH Crown Princess Mary are very true : “Sexual and reproductive health and rights are the core of human life – whether rich or poor - whether, when and how many children to have is an essential choice for life. A lot has been done, but there still remains so much more to do. Modern women need and deserve high quality consultations with health professionals to educate them about the process of reproduction and how this relates to sexual health and quality of life. This is for the benefit for the individual, family and society” .
The First global conference on contraception, reproductive and sexual health in Copenhagen is over. Participants agreed that it was an excellent opportunity to improve knowledge and strengthen the network. Organizers as well as WHO believe it will help people all over the world to have better sexual and reproductive health.