The members of the High-level Commission on the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 Follow-up met on Friday 9 June to discuss their forthcoming final report and its launch, scheduled for September 2023, and to reflect and share key advocacy work conducted in recent months.

H.E. Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, former president of Tanzania, was joined by co-chair H.E. Michaëlle Jean, 27th Governor General, Commander-in-Chief of Canada. Together, and with the support of the Secretariat, they led a discussion on the Commission’s progress and work towards the continued advocacy for the full and accelerated implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action and the Nairobi Summit commitments.

During discussion of the launch of the Commission’s forthcoming, and final report, Commission members reinforced their call for reproductive justice as a critical framework. “If we want to capture the three years of work of this Commission in three words, it’s sexual and reproductive justice,” said Dr. Nahid Toubia, Commissioner and Sudanese surgeon and women’s health and rights activist. The Commission’s previous reports, No Exceptions, No Exclusions: Realizing sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice for all, and the 2022 report Sexual and Reproductive Justice as the vehicle to deliver the Nairobi Summit commitments, reinforce three years of the Commission’s critical work and advocacy  to achieve the commitments put forward by diverse stakeholders during the historic Nairobi Summit of November 2019.

At the meeting, Commissioners discussed work they undertook in previous months, highlighting key advocacy moments and successes. Commissioner Hans Linde, outgoing President of RFSU, the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, noted that at the association’s recent General Assembly, “We had more than 200 participants adopting what we call a program of ideas, a program which describes our values, which will guide us in our work in the future. And for the first time ever we not only included sexual and reproductive justice in our in our program, but we also put it at the center of the program.”

Commissioner Martin Chungong, Inter-Parliamentary Union Secretary General, updated the fellow commissioners of the workshop convened at the IPU’s recent Assembly in Bahrain on comprehensive sexuality education. “The objective of that meeting was to create awareness among parliamentarians of the importance of ensuring that comprehensive sexuality education is legislated, is included in the resource and allocation schemes. And we wanted to press upon parliamentarians why it's important that we ensure the health of and well-being of the young people in society.”

Commissioner Lucy Mulenkei, Executive Director of the Indigenous Information Network, discussed involvement of indigenous communities, including involvement of young women at the global school of the International Indigenous Forum. “Every year we have a number of young women coming to a global school where they are discussing different issues. And one of the key issues that we've been presenting is about our reports, to make sure that they can look at them and spread them further and take it down to the ground.”

The ICPD25 Follow-up Secretariat, under the leadership of UNFPA Global Coordinator, Saskia Schellekens, provided substantive updates on the preparations of the commission’s final report, joined by Gretchen Luchsinger as the author supporting this work. Highlights of the various projects underway in the lead up to September were also shared.

As the High Level Commission marches towards its conclusion and release of their final report, commissioners will continue their critical work on the path forward towards achieving the goals of ICPD and Nairobi. “As the ICPD30 processes move forward, let us continue our political advocacy efforts, guided by the linked calls to action in our two reports, to accelerate the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Nairobi Summit commitments,” said H.E. Dr. Jakaya Kikwete. “Achieving the Programme of Action and Nairobi commitments is essential for the realization of the sustainable development goals.”

The Commission will continue to center the three transformative results of zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning, and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices, and build on their clarion call for sexual and reproductive justice for all.