NEW YORK – As the 2015 deadline for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, world leaders will face a choice: move the goal posts back another decade or two, or hold accountable those who have failed to deliver on their commitments. For women, the choice is clear.
We have been here before. In 1978, at the International Conference on Primary Health Care in Alma-Ata, 134 states signed a declaration calling for adequate health care for all by the year 2000. Sixteen years later, in 1994, in Cairo, 179 governments embraced reproductive rights as a basic human right and adopted resolutions to ensure the provision of universal access to a full range of reproductive health services, including family planning.
Yet those deadlines had come and gone when, in September 2000, during the 55th UN General Assembly, leaders of 189 nations adopted the MDGs. And several other commitments and resolutions were undertaken by world leaders before and after the MDG declaration.
So, where are we now?