In 2015, the world will mark a turning point. The Millennium Development Goals, which have shaped the global development agenda for the past decade and a half, will draw to a close. It will be time for a new development agenda, one that addresses a broader spectrum of needs—with sustainability at the core—and that draws on the lessons we have learned.
Family planning is essential to health, freedom and prosperity. We know that family planning empowers women and improves health, but we also know that it has countless ripple effects across society. Family planning plays a central role in poverty reduction, sustainable development, economic growth, gender equality, social inclusion and environmental stewardship.
For all of these reasons, and more, we believe that family planning must be included in the next global development agenda. In 1994, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) called for voluntary universal access to a full range of safe, reliable family planning methods. Twenty years later, that goal is still unfinished business. Together with partners, UNFPA and USAID have worked to propose a post-2015 measure and benchmark to track progress in increasing access to family planning: at least 75% of demand for family planning is satisfied with modern contraceptives in all countries by 2030.
FP2020 has shown that a broad alliance between countries, donors, NGOs, civil society and the private sector can build powerful momentum for family planning. Consensus is mounting that access to family planning is both crucial to promoting and protecting human rights and a linchpin of successful, sustainable development.
As we enter the post-2015 era, the world would be best served by an agenda that acknowledges the centrality of contraception to sexual and reproductive health and rights; that enshrines voluntarism, informed choice and universal access as core concepts; and that recognizes the importance of family planning to human, economic and environmental development goals.