FREE OF RIGHTS VIDEOS: 1 B-roll + 5 edited versions (English, Spanish, French, Arabic and International)
Twenty-five years ago, at the ICPD, the world agreed, by consensus, that sexual and reproductive health is a human right. The world agreed that no mother should die while giving life. The world agreed that women are the equal of men, and that gender-based violence and discrimination have no place in the modern world.
Yet today, when we take stock of the progress made, we see that the world has failed to deliver on the promise of that consensus.
Every day, more than 800 women die in pregnancy or childbirth. Every day, an average of 33,000 girls are forced into child marriage. Every year, 4 million girls could have their genitals mutilated without medical justification. Today, over 232 million women want to avoid pregnancy, but their choices and futures are imperilled because they are not using modern contraception.
And those who suffer do so needlessly -- and often unequally. The world has long known how to prevent maternal deaths, and has long embraced gender equality as a bedrock value. But progress has been unacceptably slow, and the burdens of death and violence are disproportionately borne by the most marginalized.
And that is why the Summit matters.
With 10 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we are entering a decade of delivery. There is unprecedented global momentum directed towards securing this agenda, but we know: there can be no SDGs without the ICPD.
And we know it is possible--and within reach. The Nairobi Summit will advance new research showing exactly what it will cost to achieve the three zeros: zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning, and zero gender-based violence. All participants are being asked to state their own commitments to clear and concrete actions to achieve these three zeros in their own countries and communities. Whether a commitment is to a policy, to funding or to create change within a community, it matters
Already, more than 100 commitments have been received from governments and organizations, pledging a wide range of efforts, from strengthening health systems and implementing programmes to furnishing financial resources and generating research.
As the Summit approaches, we expect hundreds more to announce their commitments, and we expect the world to hold them -- and us -- accountable. Summit participants will also be invited to endorse the Nairobi Statement, a transformative, non-binding framework of action developed through a lengthy consultation with thousands of people and organizations around the world.
The Nairobi Statement recommits to the original ICPD Programme of Action while also addressing modern realities, including the groundswell around the issues of universal health coverage and equality.
The Nairobi Summit is a radically inclusive forum, bringing together a chorus of voices from countries and communities around the world. It will include heads of state, faith leaders, businesses, community organizations, advocates and everyone in between.
Thousands of activists, government officials, thought-leaders, religious leaders, philanthropists business leaders and community organizers are coming to Nairobi to be part of this historic event because they understand this is our final opportunity to make good on the promises the world made to women and girls 25 years ago.
Together, we have the power to realize the world we had once only imagined -- a world where every woman everywhere can decide whether or when to become pregnant, where no woman or girl dies from preventable causes during pregnancy or childbirth, where no one is the victim of violence because of their gender, where all girls can grow up without harm.
This is why the Nairobi Summit matters. Because girls and women matter.