On July 11, policymakers, donors, and advocates from around the world gathered at the Family Planning Summit in London, UK, to discuss efforts to reach our Family Planning 2020 goals and ensure that more women and girls around the world are able to plan their families and their futures.
Family planning is a best-buy in global development. When women and girls have access to family planning, they are able to complete their education, create or seize better economic opportunities, and fulfill their full potential—in short, entire families, communities and nations benefit.
Voluntary family planning saves lives and has the power to boost the development of entire countries. It empowers women and girls to complete their education, create or seize better economic opportunities and to fulfil their potential. Enabling women to make decisions about their health and future is not only the right thing to do, it is one of the best buys in international development, creating more stable and more prosperous societies around the world.
Today, there are approximately 225 million women in developing countries who want to time, space or prevent a pregnancy but are not using modern contraception. Fulfilling their unmet need for contraception would save lives, reducing maternal death by a quarter. It would avert 52 million unintended pregnancies around the world, which in turn would prevent the deaths of some 70,000 women from related complications.
The 2012 London Summit on Family Planning built on existing initiatives to put family planning higher on the global agenda and established the Family Planning 2020 partnership. It reinforced a movement that is saving women’s lives – more than 100,000 last year alone – and transforming communities. Countries have led the way, and for the first time in history, 300 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries are choosing to use modern contraception. However, to reach our shared goal of empowering 120 million additional women and girls to use modern contraception by 2020, we must accelerate progress.
This year – just past the halfway mark to 2020 – is an ideal opportunity to reenergise global commitment to rights-based family planning. It is the moment to commit to more urgent and intensified action to accelerate progress to the Family Planning 2020 goal and our shared vision of universal access to sexual and reproductive health, including family planning, as laid out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Reaching our 2020 goals will mean a better chance of enabling every woman to fulfil her right to decide freely and for herself whether to become pregnant, when to become pregnant and how many children to have.
On 11 July 2017, the UK Secretary of State for International Development, The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, will co-host an international summit on family planning in London with Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This landmark event will bring together governments, the United Nations, foundations, the private sector and civil society to galvanize progress to 2020 and strengthen the foundations for universal access to sexual and reproductive health, including family planning, by 2030, a vision set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Family planning progress is happening thanks to the leadership of governments, civil society, the private sector and a growing network of partners around the world. This summit aims to support the action and leadership by countries and their efforts to ensure that women and girls are empowered to thrive. The event will complement the aims of the She Decides initiative launched by European partners earlier this year and the African Union’s Year of the Demographic Dividend, which emphasizes access to modern contraception as one of Africa’s development objectives.
We’ve learned a lot from the progress we’ve made about what it takes to reach women and girls with what they want and need. At the summit and beyond, we’re going to hone in on these proven solutions, broadening and deepening our network of partners – including the private sector – to deliver progress and bring these solutions to scale. By doing this we will continue to transform the lives of women and girls, their families and communities, in the poorest countries.Together with country partners, we will focus on four areas:
Everyone has a role to play. The 2012 summit established a platform for global collaboration where partners can share experiences of impact and innovation and solve problems together. At the 2017 summit, we’re going to work side-by-side with country partners to build on these lessons and further sharpen our approach to reach women and girls with what they urgently want and need. Only by working together more closely than ever can we deliver what is required to transform the lives of women and girls and contribute to a healthier, more stable and more prosperous future for all.
Various events took place both at the Summit and around the world to highlight progress toward expanding access to family planning and chart a path forward for accelerating progress.
Satellite events are in-country events, officially connected to the Summit. These events celebrate and raise the profile of family planning commitments and those working hard to achieve these goals.
Green event: All event materials are only available in digital form
The Family Planning Summit will take place on 11 July 2017, the five-year anniversary of the inaugural London Summit on Family Planning. Co-hosted by the UK Government, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in close partnership with the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) Secretariat, the international event aims to boost progress on one of the best investments governments can make: rights-based family planning programmes.
At the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, world leaders set a goal to empower 120 million additional women and girls in the 69 lowest-income countries to use modern contraception by 2020. The FP2020 platform was created to facilitate global collaboration, track progress and allow partners to share experiences of impact and innovation. Since then, 30 million additional women and girls have begun using modern contraceptives – bringing the total to a record 300 million users in the FP2020 focus countries. As a result, last year more than 82 million pregnancies, 25 million unsafe abortions and 125,000 maternal deaths were averted.1
At the 2017 Summit, partners from around the world will reconvene to evaluate lessons learned, invest in proven solutions and take collective action to accelerate progress towards the FP2020 goal. These efforts will help further the goal of universal access to sexual and reproductive health, as set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Global family planning programmes help countries break the cycle of poverty, make families healthier and empower people to shape their own lives. However, preventing unintended pregnancies remains challenging for too many people. Millions of women and girls still don’t have access to contraceptives, can’t afford them or don’t know how they work.
By working together more closely than ever, partners hope to ensure the world’s poorest countries can grow safer, healthier and more resilient. Specific areas of focus for the Summit will include: family planning for adolescents, sexual and reproductive health services in humanitarian settings, strengthening contraceptive supply chains, expanding the range of contraceptives available to women and girls and establishing a new financing solution for commodities.
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Co-hosted by the UK Government, UNFPA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in close partnership with FP2020, the event will bring together governments, the United Nations, foundations, the private sector, civil society and youth advocates from around the world. Featured speakers will be announced soon.
To learn more, please visit www.familyplanning2020.org/summit2017
While media passes for the Summit are strictly limited, the Summit will be streamed live online. For Summit news and media opportunities, email FPSummit@globalhealthstrategies.com.1http://progress.familyplanning2020.org/page/measurement/the-impact-of-modern-contraceptive-use-indicators-5-8