|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General, at Event on Population and Development, Says Ending
Extreme Poverty, Delivering Equality Should Be among Core Objectives
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message for the high-level event “Celebrating Cairo, Going Beyond”, on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) High-Level Event, in New York today:
Your Excellency Joaquim Chissano, Co-Chair of the High-Level Task Force for the ICPD, excellencies, distinguished panellists and members of the Task Force, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, ladies and gentlemen,
It has been almost 20 years since Governments, UN agencies, NGOs [non-governmental organizations], and the media gathered in Cairo for the International Conference on Population and Development. We will mark this anniversary with a special session of the General Assembly in September.
The ICPD Programme of Action was a milestone. It affirmed that health, including sexual and reproductive health, is a fundamental human right. It emphasized the special importance of investing in women and girls. When women and girls are able to obtain the education they deserve, societies are more productive. When their human rights are protected, societies are more just. And when they are empowered to make decisions affecting their own future, societies become stronger.
Twenty years later, we are still guided by this wisdom. Today we face two overarching challenges: intensifying efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 deadline; and defining a compelling post-2015 development agenda. Our core objective should be to eradicate extreme poverty, achieve sustainable development and deliver equal rights and opportunities for all. The further implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action can help us build a secure, prosperous and sustainable future and live up to the aspirations of people everywhere.
I thank Co-chairs President Joaquim Chissano and President Tarja Halonen and all the members of the Task Force for their hard work, and I look forward to working with you in this hugely important endeavour.
Thank you for your engagement and support.
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