Universal access to sexual and reproductive health services can help eliminate the poverty cycle, promote economic growth, and diminish economic and social inequalities among countries.
This is one of the recommendations of the Brasília Declaration, a document drafted yesterday, August 4, by representatives of 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries that participated in the Sub-Regional Forum on the Development Goals of the Millenium, in Brasília.
The document also stipulates that universal access to information and youth education constitute “arms” that countries possess to check the advance of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.
For the regional director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Carmem Barroso, political will is needed for the eight goals of the millenium to be fulfilled by 2015.
They are elimination of hunger and extreme poverty; quality basic education for all; gender equality and protection of women’s rights; reduction of infant mortality; improved health care for pregnant women; actions to combat AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; environmental sustainability; and a global partnership for development.
Barroso urges the rich countries to provide the required support and technical cooperation for developing countries to wage the battle against diseases like AIDS.
“Today we know that the world is globalized and that isolated threats no longer exist. Since the episode of September, 2001, the illusion that a fortress could be built in which the rich could live happily ever after, removed from the rest of the world’s problems, has been shattered, when, in fact, these problems are crossing frontiers and represent everybody’s problems,” she affirms.
The Brasília Declaration also warns that abortions performed in risky settings have a negative impact on countries’ levels of poverty. This practice causes the death of 4 million women annually in Latin America.
The Brasília Declaration will be submitted to the United Nations (UN) Summit Meeting, at the UN General Assembly session scheduled for September, in New York.
The meeting will discuss the progress made by the countries that committed themselves to the Development Goals of the Millenium in 2000.