The Programme of Action adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994 reflected a strong consensus among Member States that reducing inequalities, including in access to sexual and reproductive health, and ensuring equal rights for women and girls, form the basis for individual well-being and sustainable development.
Two decades later, at a General Assembly Special Session in September 2014, Member States reconfirmed their commitment to placing the rights and well-being of individuals at the centre of efforts to promote social and economic development and to addressing the gaps identified during the ICPD Beyond 2014 review process – across multiple sectors and throughout the life course. Although significant improvements have been made, the ICPD Beyond 2014 review in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has also shown that progress is uneven and incomplete.
As the Millennium Development Goals are coming to an end, the ongoing negotiations on a new development framework are in their final stages and provide an opportunity to shape a forward-looking agenda comprising sustainable development goals and targets, implementation mechanisms and global partnerships, and monitoring and reporting mechanisms.
Against this background, UNFPA, in partnership with the Government of Bulgaria, is offering a platform for dialogue among ministers of health, parliamentarians, national and international experts, CSO representatives, regional partners and UN agencies on how to advance sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and reproductive rights in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The Regional Conference 'Promoting Health and Rights, Reducing Inequalities: Towards Better Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes in Eastern Europe and Central Asia' will build on the recommendations that emerged from the ICPD Beyond 2014 Regional Review Conference, held in Geneva in July 2013, and on the discussions related to the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The Regional Conference will take place on 27-29 May 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The event is jointly hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health of Bulgaria and the UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.