Representatives of 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries gathered in Brazil have approved the Declaration of BrasÀlia on sexual health and reproductive rights.
The document came out of a regional forum on the Millennium Development Goals and is part of a series of proposals that are being prepared for a UN summit scheduled for September that will examine the progress that has been made in achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals.
The goals were set in 2000 and are supposed to be achieved by 2015 with a resultant improvement worldwide in income, education, health, environment and gender relations.
According to Tânia Patriota, Brazil’s representative on the UN Population Fund, this year, 2005, is the time to reexamine the goals.
She says the Brasília forum provided an opportunity for participants to discuss the challenges they face in achieving the goals, especially in the area of sexual health and reproductive rights.
Patriota points out that one of the millennium goals is to reduce maternal mortality. “That means expanding access to healthcare. All women should be able to obtain emergency obstetric care, not just some.”
Patriota also said that while Brazil has made legislative progress, serious problems remain with regional disparities. “Services are very good in some places for some people, and practically nonexistent in other places,” she explained.
Representatives from Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Barbados, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, besides Brasil attended the forum.