Family Planning Summit


Young People’s Summit

28 JUNE 2012 | LONDON - On July 11th, at the instigation of the UK’s Department for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a one day Family Planning Summit will convene in London. Ministers of State and leaders from over sixty countries will join with major non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector to make firm commitments to addressing the global short-fall in family planning provision which leaves 215 million women worldwide without access to contraception.

Two weeks in advance of the event, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF - the world’s largest sexual and reproductive health and rights NGO) is convening a special “Young People and Family Planning Summit” to focus on a critical factor in the family planning debate: young people. They’re critical to the debate because pregnancy and childbirth are the number one killer of 15-19 year olds, and maternal mortality is highest amongst the youngest first time mothers.

The IPPF event brings together key influencers, policy makers, opinion formers, and activists from the young people’s sexual health sector. Special guests are Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development Stephen O’Brien (from DFID), and Joe Cerrell (European Director of the Gates Foundation).

IPPF’s Director General Tewodros Melesse and the Federation’s Senior Youth Adviser Doortje Braeken will be joined by three young people from Bangladesh, Nigeria and Zambia who have direct personal experience of working peer-to-peer, in the field, in sex education. Representing IPPF’s UK Member Association is Dr.Audrey Simpson OBE, Director of the FPA Northern Ireland.

Other participants include Yasmin Ahmed (Senior Regional Director at MSI), Simon Blake (Chief Executive of Brook), Anna Martinez (Coordinator of the Sex Education forum), and Roger Ingham (Director of the Centre of Sexual Health Research at Southampton University).

A report of the meeting will appear on the day of the London Summit on Family Planning. The summit aims to provide an additional 120 million women in the world’s poorest countries with lifesaving contraceptives, information, and services by 2020. It will call for unprecedented international political commitment and resources to transform the lives of millions of women and girls, which will save lives and help lift families, communities, and nations out of poverty.

Young people have to be at the heart of driving forward the ambitious developments in family planning provision which the Summit sets out to stimulate. Without sexuality education, the impact of improved contraceptive supply and services will be severely compromised. What this discussion aims to emerge with is a consensus on sexuality education. A consensus which is based, practically and realistically, on what young people want, what they need, and the way in which it should be delivered.

There’s no second-guessing the outcomes of IPPF’s own pre-summit summit on young people and family planning. But it is expected to provide valuable additional input into the continuing drive to meet the urgent global need to address the unmet need for contraception of million