Seasons' greetings from the Chair Prof. Marleen Temmerman

2019 will be remembered as the year of the Nairobi Summit ICPD+25, marking the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). In 1994 in Cairo, 179 governments adopted the concept of ‘reproductive rights’ and subscribed to a landmark Programme of Action (POA) empowering women and girls to take their own decisions, for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of their families and communities.  The Nairobi Summit celebrated the impressive progress made, but also called to renew the promise pledged 25 years ago and to implement the POA, key to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Too many girls and women are left behind and too many countries and regions still have a long way to go to reach the ICPD agenda. The good news is the loud voices of adolescents and youth who want more agency and decision power regarding their future. And they will need it, given the increasing push back from conservative powerful agencies . More good news is the many commitments made by different constituencies including Heads of State, global organizations, NGO’s, public and private sector, civil society, academia and others, to the renewed POA. ICRH was present and very actively engaged in the different work streams and sessions of the Nairobi Summit.
 

 

2019 is also a special year for ICRH, also celebrating its 25th birthday.  ICRH was founded in 1994 at Ghent University, in  the aftermath of the ICPD- Conference, aiming at supporting the POA. ICRH Belgium has now siblings in Kenya , 20 years old, and in Mozambique, going on 15, as well as partners in many more countries and regions.  As ‘Mama ICRH’, I am very proud and grateful for all the work done by the more than 400 staff that have joined the organization over the years. They have contributed to the many successes and to the impact we had, and still have, in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights. ICRH has matured now, is recognized as a stable and significant partner by the communities it serves and is growing in research outputs, capacity building and impact on policies and practices, locally and globally. Much has been accomplished but the unfinished agenda is still enormous . ICRH is determined to continue to work towards health and rights of the most vulnerable populations of the world.
A big thank you to all of you for your hard work, your dedication and your great contributions to ICRH throughout 2019, and very best wishes to you, your family and your friends, for the year 2020.