NGOs Declaration on ECLAC meeting on Population and Development

Statement by feminist women's and youth organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean, presented at the Open-ended Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the ECLAC Sessional Ad Hoc Committee on Population and Development. Santiago, Chile, 11 March 2004

Ten years after the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) convened an Open-ended Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the ECLAC Sessional Ad Hoc Committee on Population and Development.

An NGO statement was read at that meeting, drafted by a commission of feminist women's and youth organizations from Latin American and Caribbean, gathered for the second meeting of regional Networks and Campaigns, which work to promote and defend women's human rights, focusing on Sexual and Reproductive Health.

The Statement

Executive Secretary of ECLAC
Ladies and Gentlemen Delegates
Ladies and Gentlemen of Civil Society


We, the feminist women's and youth organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean, gathered for the second meeting of regional Networks and Campaigns, working to promote and defend the human rights of women, in particular in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health, have come here to declare that:

Ten years ago, for the first time ever, 179 countries agreed on a programme of action on population and development, in the framework of human rights. THIS IS A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION.

Ten years ago, the people, their environment, their affective relationships and their productive capacities, were acknowledged for the first time as the unavoidable focal point for the formulation of population and development policies. THIS IS A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION.

Ten years ago, once again the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean joined forces, ideas, creativity and political decisions to build a tool that would serve the cause of economic justice, democracy, equity, citizenship. THIS IS A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION.

IT WAS A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION that ten years ago the feminist movement and the women's movement were recognized by the United Nations' system as crucial protagonists in the construction of a truly human development.

But in a world with enough money to verify that there is water in Mars, while millions of human beings are denied access to drinking water, IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO CELEBRATE.

In a world where fundamentalism is a fanatical advocator of violence; where new fundamentalists make "preventive wars" under the pretext of peace; in a world where old fundamentalists (those who took 500 years to "forgive" Galileo) want to put an end to secularity in our States, IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO CELEBRATE..

If the countless plans, projects and policies implemented in these past ten years do not reach Betania in the 'favela' and Xiomara in the 'maquila', if they do not reach the 225 million people living in poverty, then IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO CELEBRATE.

If we do not increase and give priority to the resources to achieve universal education also at the secondary level; to prevent AIDS with effective and realistic methods, to respect the rights of women and avoid deaths from unsafe and clandestine abortions; to integrate the millions of migrants, displaced and marginalized peoples and populations who are denied all their rights, in a region where interest payments increase debt, then IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO CELEBRATE.

If ensuring the exercise of sexual rights and reproductive rights only means guaranteeing these for one type of family, without recognizing that these rights are part of the human rights of all people without distinction of age, sexual preferences, culture, and ethnic origin, then IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO CELEBRATE.

If in a region that purports to be modern and democratic, young people are allowed to choose their government leaders but have no say over their bodies, and Carmen and María's love is worth less than Rita and Roberto's, then IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO CELEBRATE.

That is why, 10 years after Cairo, Latin America and the Caribbean, their nations, their governments, YOU, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, DELEGATES, we, feminists, young women and men, civil society, must NOT ONLY reaffirm the programme of action of the conference and all the achievements made to date: we must also summon ONCE AGAIN those ideas, those values, that ethical commitment, so that with the necessary political will, we may be able to generate the resources and mechanisms required to make it possible to CELEBRATE again.

TO CELEBRATE is to invite joy, to applaud the creativity and responsibility of peoples, their governments and the national and international bodies they are part of, CELEBRATING means sharing with those who resemble you and those who are different, it means summoning citizen participation.

It means working to implement the millennium goals and all the commitments under this programme. So that when we meet again, we may have even more reasons to CELEBRATE and we can INVITE EVERY MAN AND EVERY WOMAN ... TO REJOICE.

Santiago, Chile, 11 March 2004

Adhering organizations:

Red de Salud de las Mujeres de América Latina y el Caribe
Articulación Feminista MARCOSUR, AFM
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission IGLHRC
Asociación Venezolana para una Educación Sexual Alternativa, AVESA
Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action, CAFRA
Campaña 28 de Septiembre
Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir
Centro de la Mujer Peruana "Flora Tristán"
Centro de Información y Desarrollo de la Mujer, CIDEM
Cotidiano Mujer
Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida, A.C., GIRE
Movimiento Manuela Ramos
Mujeres y Salud en Uruguay, MYSU
Red Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Jóvenes por los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos, REDLAC
Red de Educación Popular Entre Mujeres de América Latina y el Caribe,
Servicio a la Acción Popular, SEAP
Youth Coalition
Asociación de Mujeres en Salud, AMES
Asociación Chilena de Protección de la Familia, APROFA
Comité Latinoamericano para la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer, CLADEM
Asociación Ciudadana por los Derechos Humanos/Instituto Social y Político de la Mujer
Asociación de Mujeres en Salud
Asociación Demográfica Costarricense
Centro para la Investigación y Promoción de la Salud y la Sexualidad, CIPRESS
Corporación de Salud y Políticas Sociales, CORSAPS
Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era, DAWN
Educación Popular en Salud, EPES
Family Care International
Feministas en Acción
Foro Red de Salud y Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos
Grupo Internacional de Mujeres y SIDA
Isis Internacional
Milenio Feminista
Mujeres por la Dignidad y la Vida, Las Dignas
Population Action International, PAI
Pro Health
Red de Mujeres Rurales de Latinoamérica y el Caribe, REDELAC
Red Nacional de Jóvenes en Prevención de VIH/SIDA y Promoción de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos
Rede Feminista de Saúde e Direitos Sexuais e Direitos Reprodutivos
Salud y Género, A.C.
Servicios Integrales para la Mujer, Si Mujer

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