• Lead-organizer: International Planned Parenthood Federation
  • 11:00 - 12:30
  • Date: 22 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-8

Dynamics of Rio: Population, Women and Rights

Organizing partners

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Government of Denmark in partnership with the Danish Family Planning Association (DFPA), the Bem-Estar Familiar no Brasil (BENFAM) and the Population and Climate Change Alliance (PCCA). Also in discussion for collaboration with Government of Brazil, and Government of South Africa.


The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Government of Denmark in collaboration with the Government of Brazil (TBC) and proposes the "Dynamics of Rio: Population, Women and Rights" Side Event. The high level Side Event brings together a high level panel of governments and civil society to ensure that the Rio+20 outcome document highlights the centrality of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) to sustainable development. The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action must be reflected as a critical component to achieving sustainable development.

The Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development will have a major bearing and influence on the post-2015 development framework. Governments and civil society must work together to ensure that SRHR are a central component of sustainable development. Rio+20 must recognize the centrality of human rights to sustainable development and particularly the well-being of women and young people in a changing world.

Detailed programme

Women, men and young people must have the ability to realize their SRHR, access appropriate services and avoid unwanted births. As a result, individuals have more opportunities to break the poverty-cycle and take positive steps towards securing a healthier, more educated, economically productive and sustainable present which will not just benefit current generations, but positively impact on those of the future. This is critical to the Rio+20 themes of the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

Protecting and realizing the rights of the most vulnerable and promoting the SRHR of poor and marginalized groups must be a cornerstone of efforts to support adaptation to change and seize development opportunities. Intensified efforts to improve sexual and reproductive rights, including rights-based voluntary family planning, should in helping reduce vulnerability to impact be a vital component in supporting countries and communities adapt and respond to climate change. The ability of women to control their own fertility and realise their sexual and reproductive health and rights are fundamental to and inseparable from efforts to promote better health, gender equity, economic and political opportunity and sustainable growth all of which will better equip countries and communities to cope with and respond to the challenges posed by climate change and contribute to sustainable development.


IPPF and the Government of Denmark will convene a high level discussion to secure political recognition of the importance of the links between population dynamics, human rights and the sustainable development agenda. The Side Event will encourage greater collaboration between the BRICS, the G20 and other like-minded partners to ensure the central tenets of the ICPD are included in the next development framework. Recognizing civil society organizations? critical role in influencing and implementing sustainable development at both the national and global level, we envisage collaboration with civil society to advance gender equality and women's rights.

Proposed Debates: Women and sustainability

The Side-Event will contribute to the wider discussion on gender equality and sustainable development, and call on the Rio+20 outcome document to make strong reference to population dynamics, women and reproductive health. The Side-Event will examine the following debates and how they relate to the The Future We Want Rio+20 Zero draft:

Equitable Development.
In order to achieve sustainable and equitable development, women and men have the same right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children. We must remove the barriers that have prevented women from being full participants in the economy and unlocking their potential as drivers of sustainable development, and agree to prioritize gender equality, including education, employment, ownership of resources, access to justice, political representation, institutional decision-making, care giving and household and community management.

Poverty Eradication.
Maternal health promotion is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty. Sustainable development is linked to and depends on women?s economic contributions, both formal and informal. We must address the social and economic inequities that continue to affect women and children, who make up the majority of those living in poverty.

Health quality directly affects the ability of individuals in positively influencing sustainable development, and the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. A green economy, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, should contribute to meeting key goals ? in particular the priorities of poverty eradication, food security, sound water management, universal access to modern energy services, sustainable cities, management of oceans and improving resilience and disaster preparedness, as well as public health, human resource development and sustained, inclusive and equitable growth that generates employment, especially for youth. It should be based on the Rio principles, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and should be people-centred and inclusive, providing opportunities and benefits for all citizens and all countries.

Proposed Panel composition

The Side-Event will present high-level speakers, at the Ministerial level, from the Governments of Denmark, Government of Brazil (TBC), South Africa (TBC), the Aspen Institute, IPPF and civil society organizations.

1. Mr Christian Friis Bach, Minister Development Cooperation, Government of Denmark
2. HE Ms. Eleonora Menicucci de Oliveria, Minister of Policies for Women Government of Brazil (TBC)
3. Ministerial level speaker from the Government of South Africa (TBC)
4. Aspen Institute
5. Tewodros Melesse, Director General IPPF

Chair - Karen Newman, Population and Climate Change Alliance (PCCA)
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