November meeting in Ethiopia will call attention to wide-ranging benefits of family planning and highlight efforts to provide everyone with voluntary contraceptive information and services
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 7 October 2013 - Malawian President Joyce Banda, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates are among the global leaders who will underscore the urgency of ensuring the availability of family planning services for everyone who wants them at the third International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP 2013).
New commitments to expand contraceptive access and options will be announced at the conference, which will be the largest meeting on family planning to date, bringing thousands of political leaders, experts, researchers and advocates to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 12-15 November 2013.
Organized around the theme 'Full Access, Full Choice,' ICFP 2013 will call attention to the wide-ranging benefits of helping people plan their families - including improved maternal, newborn and child health, increased educational attainment, and greater economic opportunity. The conference will also highlight national and global efforts to provide everyone with voluntary family planning information, services and methods that meet their needs. Scheduled speakers include:
· Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda, President, Malawi
· Her Excellency Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister, Thailand
· Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
· Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
· Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chair, African Union
· Dr. Kesete-birhan Admasu, Minister of Health, Ethiopia
· Dr. Janette Garin, former Congresswoman and current Undersecretary of Health, Philippines
· Anne Richards, Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees and Migration, United States
· Anuradha Gupta, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India
'Women and girls everywhere want the opportunity to reach their full potential,' said Melinda Gates. 'Access to family planning information and contraceptives empower women to plan their families, get a better education, and provide a healthier future for their children.'
In the developing world, 222 million women who don't want to get pregnant lack access to lifesaving contraceptives, information and services. ICFP 2013 will build on the momentum of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, which generated unprecedented commitments from international donors, emerging economies, civil society and the private sector to give 120 million more women voluntary access to family planning by 2020.
'Many partners have a role to play in expanding family planning access, but success ultimately depends on the sustained commitment of national leaders,' said President Joyce Banda. 'Malawi is working diligently so our people have the services and information they need and deserve. We are grateful to all who are supporting us to achieve that goal.'
Each day of ICFP 2013 will focus on a theme central to expanding family planning access and options:
· Making a Difference through Sustained Political Commitment - 12 November (evening): The conference's opening ceremony will include heads of state and other leaders discussing the role of political leadership in expanding family planning access worldwide.
· Achieving Equity through Women in Leadership - 13 November (all day): Speakers throughout the day will highlight female champions for family planning and gender equality. Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) will announce a new report on progress since the London Summit.
· The Young and the Restless: Effective Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Programs - 14 November (all day): Dynamic youth speakers will address the importance of tailoring family planning programs for young people.
· Moving Forward: Highlighting Progress and New Commitments - 15 November (morning and afternoon): The final day of the conference will showcase progress on FP2020 and best practices to expand contraceptive access to millions of women globally by 2020.
A High-Level Ministerial Meeting focused on youth and the Demographic Dividend will be held on 12 November in Addis Ababa, preceding the conference.
ICFP 2013 is jointly organized by the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia and the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. ICFP 2013 will be the largest family planning conference to date, following the inaugural ICFP in Kampala, Uganda, in 2009 and ICFP 2011 in Dakar, Senegal.
WHAT: International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) 2013
WHEN: 12-15 November 2013
WHERE: African Union Conference Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
REGISTRATION: Conference registration is now open, and members of the media are invited to apply for accreditation to register for the conference at no cost. To register for ICFP 2013, please visit www.fpconference2013.org/register.
MORE INFORMATION: For more information, please visit www.fpconference2013.org and follow us Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Leah Sandals, Global Health Strategies