The 2014 session of the Commission on Population and Development opened on 7 April with calls to redouble efforts to promote development through strengthened reproductive health and human rights. The session – to review progress made since the 1994 adoption of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo – cast a spotlight on the many challenges that remain, including persistent inequalities. “There have been great gains in the past 20 years – in poverty reduction, girls’ education, maternal and child mortality, access to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, protection of reproductive rights, and many other areas of the Programme of Action,” said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. “Yet these gains mask significant and growing inequalities, which are preventing the most vulnerable, marginalized and excluded among us – especially women and girls – from realizing their human rights as affirmed by the forward-looking Cairo consensus."
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