Joint Statement Promoting Women’s Health and Strengthening the Family (WHA 73)

Resumed 73rd World Health Assembly
Agenda item 22. Collaboration within the United Nations system and with other intergovernmental organizations

Joint Statement Promoting Women’s Health & Strengthening the Family

The United States of America is pleased to present this joint statement on behalf of Brazil, Egypt, The Gambia, Hungary, Uganda, Indonesia*, Poland* and the United States who uphold the right to the highest attainable standards of health for women; promote women’s essential contribution to health, and strength of the family and of a successful and flourishing society; and express the essential priority of protecting the right to life.

We would like to enter into the official record of this Assembly, this statement and the full text of the Geneva Consensus Declaration on Promoting Women’s Health & Strengthening the Family, cosponsored by Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Uganda and the United States. Already signed by 34 countries representing every region of the world and more than 1.6 billion people, this declaration remains open for additional countries to join, and we invite them to do so. This declaration formalizes our joint commitment to work together to:

• Ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and equal opportunity for women at all levels of political, economic, and public life;

• Improve and secure access to health and development gains for women, including sexual and reproductive health, which must always promote optimal health, the highest attainable standard of health, without including abortion;

• Reaffirm that there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion, consistent with the long-standing international consensus that each nation has the sovereign right to implement programs and activities consistent with their laws and policies;

• Build our health system capacity and mobilize resources to implement health and development programs that address the needs of women and children in situations of vulnerability and advance universal health coverage;

• Advance supportive public health policies for women and girls as well as families, including building our healthcare capacity and mobilizing resources within our own countries, bilaterally, and in multilateral fora; and

• Support the role of the family as foundational to society and as a source of health, support, and care.

And we commit to engage across the UN system to realize these universal values, recognizing that individually we are strong, but together we are stronger.

* Confrrmation to join the statement was received after the statement was read due to the early debate on Agenda item 22.

Text of the Geneva Consensus Declaration (PDF FILE)