Press Release

Global leaders call for greater access to family planning

25 January 2016

UNITED NATIONS, New York – President Joko Widodo, of the Republic of Indonesia, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and numerous global leaders at the International Conference on Family Planning in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, called for urgent action to increase access to family planning services worldwide, which will support the implementation of the new development agenda.

“I wish that at this conference we can discuss the main foundations necessary to build the planet that we want by 2030,” said President Widodo. “A future that ensures all women and girls are empowered to choose whether and when they want to have children and space their births, so that mothers and their babies have better opportunities for better lives.”

"Family planning is about women's right and their capacity to take decisions about their health and well-being, contributing to the objectives of FP2020,” said Dr. Osotimehin. “It is a most significant investment to promote human capital development, combat poverty and harness a demographic dividend, thus contributing to equitable and sustainable economic development within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals."

Experts agree that family planning will play a critical role in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the new development agenda for the next 15 years, adopted at the United Nations General Assembly last September. Reducing the global unmet need for family planning could save an estimated 1 in 4 women from deaths related to pregnancy or childbirth and prevent 1.1 million infant deaths each year, improving their health and well-being, as well as enhancing their prospects for the future.

The conference in Indonesia serves as a platform for partners to revisit global commitments to family planning and speed up progress towards Family Planning 2020 (FP2020)—a global partnership focused on enabling an additional 120 million women to access voluntary contraception by 2020—and support the implementation of the SDGs.

According to the most recent FP2020 progress report, in the last three years 24.4 million more women and girls who want to avoid or delay a pregnancy have begun using modern contraceptives in the world’s poorest countries. This brings the total of women using a modern method of contraception in FP2020’s 69 target countries to 290.6 million.

However, despite recent progress, millions of women still cannot access the family planning information and tools they need: according to the FP2020 report, modern contraceptive use is behind 2015 projections by 10 million. “The family planning data and evidence point to concrete steps we can take as a community to get back on track to meet our FP2020 goal,” said Chris Elias, President of Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Now we must ask ourselves what more we can do to align our efforts to ensure all women have the information and tools they need to time and space their pregnancies.”

For media inquiries, please contact:

In New York: Omar Gharzeddine - gharzeddine@unfpa.org; +1 212 298 5028
In Nusa Dua: Anne Leclercq - leclercq@unfpa.org