It is vital that actions that link the global agenda with national and local agendas are coordinated to achieve reproductive health and family planning services for all – concluded the participants of the public discussion on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and family planning in the Agenda 2030 at the Catalonian Parliament on May 6, 2016.
The event, hosted by the parliamentary intergroup on Population, Development and Reproductive Health and supported by Countdown 2015 Europe partner FPFE (Spain), presented a unique opportunity to share synergies and proposals between the major social organizations working for sexual and reproductive health and rights in Catalonia, public bodies responsible for policies and budgets and parliamentarians who are defending these issues with legislative actions.
As one of the main outcomes of the meeting a call for the coordination of actions to link the global agenda with national and local agendas was underlined. The participants highlighted the importance of projects such as the one supported by Barcelona City Council and the Catalonian Agency for Development Cooperation and developed by three major CSOs working on sexual and reproductive health and rights, which has allowed a local appropriation of the Agenda 2030 through training of social, political and technical agents. The representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) at the event pointed out that a special attention should be paid to take the good practices at local level to the global scenarios.
It was also concluded that the role of Parliaments in the implementation of the Agenda 2030 must be strengthened so that the Agenda does not suffer fragmentation at national level and the population and development related issues, including SRHR and more specifically access to information and services, are not regarded as being of secondary importance. In this sense, Parliaments should promote public spaces for dialogue with civil society and governments, as is already being done in some countries.
The event emphasized the need to influence public policies to guarantee integrated sexual and reproductive health services. Participants regretted that in recent years these services are suffering a fragmentation, sometimes for political reasons and sometimes due to vertical interventions by donors in developing countries. Nevertheless, achievements in sexual and reproductive health since the Cairo conference were very much appreciated, but the participants recall that these achievements have a very uneven progress, so a call was made to work to close the gaps in inequality, quality and accountability.
Guest speakers included Alfonso Barragues, deputy director of UNFPA Geneva, the president of the Institute of Women in Catalonia, the responsible for women issues at the City Council of Barcelona and the representatives of CSOs that participated at the 60th Commission on the Status of Women.
For these outcomes credit must be given to the CSO Cooperacció, Creación Positiva and the Catalonian Family Planning Association, a member of the FPFE, along with the Parliamentary intergroup on Population, Development and Reproductive Health at the Catalonian Parliament. They hosted the event with the support of the FPFE, UNFPA, the Parliament of Catalonia, the Catalonian Development Cooperation Agency and Barcelona City Council.