Family planning leaders discussed the role of key global initiatives and the importance of country ownership to accelerate progress toward the FP2020 goal
Nusa Dua, Indonesia (28 January 2016)—The fourth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP), organized around the theme “Global Commitments, Local Actions,” closed today with high-level leaders calling for action from country governments, donors, civil society and other partners to expand contraceptive access and options, one of the most cost-effective and beneficial health interventions. Speakers emphasized the importance of family planning to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals and as the key to addressing an array of development challenges around health, education, poverty and the environment.
During the morning plenary, FP2020, a global partnership dedicated to providing access to contraceptives for an additional 120 million women by 2020, invited representatives from the governments of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia and the Philippines to discuss challenges and opportunities on the road to fulfilling their FP2020 commitments and pledges. The plenary also featured a spirited dialogue among partners representing civil society and multilateral institutions who shared their unique perspectives on how to drive innovation, and overcome barriers to ensure that women and girls everywhere have access to the contraceptive information and services they need.
"It is a sad thing that governments publicly advocate, deliver speeches, deliver promises to eradicate poverty, [but not all] are committed to eliminating poverty with family planning… Family planning is not just a right… It’s all about a better quality of life that each human being and each family deserves,” said Hon. Janette Loreto-Garin, Secretary of the Department of Health, Philippines.
“We are strengthened by the lessons learned from pushing for reproductive health for all… Let us leave Bali with actions delivered because at the end… our future generations will always remember us [for our] legacy of commitment, obligation and responsibility for a better life for women, our children, and families as a whole,” Loreto-Garin continued.
Since the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning – where the FP2020 goal was first agreed upon by global leaders – 37 countries have made commitments to reach this goal. In the past year, FP2020 has seen a wave of new commitments.
“This past year has seen the largest wave of new commitments to FP2020 since the London Summit, and existing partners are stepping up with new and increased pledges. More exciting commitment announcements are expected imminently – a testament not only to the compelling power of the FP2020 vision, but to the growing value of this platform as a catalyst for change,” said Beth Schlachter, Executive Director of FP2020.
In parallel with the morning plenary, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) announced that they are expanding their commitment to bring family planning services to women with an unmet need for modern contraception; IPPF is now aiming to reach 60 million new users of family planning by 2020. IPPF has already reached 15 million new users and increased their total family planning clients by 40% since 2012. This new commitment represents the organization’s most ambitious pledge ever and will allow millions more women to freely choose the size their families.
“We are delighted by what we have achieved and that we can make an even more significant contribution through our increased pledge to reach 60 million new users of family planning,” said Tewodros Melesse, IPPF’s Director General. “The recent FP2020 performance report highlighted that more action is urgently needed and that millions of women are missing out. Donors need to increase their commitments to family planning and we hope our ambitious pledge today will encourage others to act."
Later in the day, the winners of the 2016 Excellence in Leadership for Family Planning (EXCELL) Awards were announced by the conference co-hosts, the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Indonesia’s National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN). The EXCELL awards recognize contributions to increase access to and use of voluntary family planning information and services. The award is granted at the country, organization/facility and individual/team levels. The 2016 winners are:
o Hon. Janette Loreto-Garin, Secretary of the Department of Health, Philippines
o Hon. Edcel C. Lagman, Representative, 1st District of Albay, Philippines
"Every two years we gather at the ICFP to learn from one another and map out strategies to accelerate progress. Our goals are bold but, according to the latest FP2020 progress report, we risk falling short of the promises we've made to the millions of women that want contraception if we don't step up,” said Jose “Oying” Rimon II, Chair of the ICFP International Steering Committee and Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.
“Investing in family planning is key to driving positive health outcomes, economic growth and global development progress – and we already have the tools we need to achieve our goals. I've been inspired this week by all of the creative strategies and innovations our partners are testing and implementing in the field. On the closing day of the ICFP, I would like to challenge all of our partners to take the things learned here back home, begin testing new solutions quickly, and transform our global commitments into local action,” said Rimon at the close of the conference.
More than 3,000 people attended and participated in the fourth International Conference on Family Planning, one of the largest ICFP’s in history. This gathering strengthened the global commitment to achieving the FP2020 goals and rededicated the family planning community’s efforts to ensure all women and girls are able to access affordable, effective and life-saving contraceptives.
ABOUT THE ICFP: Held biennially since 2009, the ICFP serves as a strategic inflection point for the family planning community worldwide. It provides an opportunity for scientists, researchers, policymakers and advocates to disseminate knowledge, celebrate successes and identify next steps toward reaching the goal of enabling an additional 120 million women to access voluntary, quality contraception by 2020.
The 2016 ICFP is co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the National Population and Family Planning Board of Indonesia (BKKBN). The conference is made possible through the ICFP Core Group—the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, UNFPA, USAID, FP2020, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Marie Stopes International (MSI) and the UN Foundation—as well as the International Steering Committee and National Steering Committee of the ICFP.
LIVE STREAM: All of the main plenaries at the ICFP can be watched live here and can be played back on demand here.
Global Health Strategies (GHS_ICFP@globalhealthstrategies.com)