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World leaders adopt consensus vision in Rio

UNITED NATIONS, New York — The World’s Heads of State and Government unanimously adopted a common global vision that reaffirmed their commitments made in the Programme of Action of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

The leaders called for the full implementation of the common global vision, ‘The Future We Want’, as a key strategy for reaching effective sustainable development. It was adopted by all countries in the United Nations at the closing session of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro from 20-22 June.

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, welcomes the recognition by world leaders of the importance of sexual and reproductive health and the need for integrating the theme as a priority in national strategies and programmes,” said UNFPA’s Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin.

“Health and rights are vital to and are at the core of sustainability,” he said. “We cannot promote sustainable development without promoting the health – especially reproductive health – and rights of women and girls, as well as the youth.”

The common global vision also committed to reducing maternal and child deaths and to improving the health of women, youth and children. As stated in ‘The Future We Want’, the leaders reaffirmed their “commitment to gender equality and to protect the rights of women, men and youth to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including access to sexual and reproductive health, free from coercion, discrimination and violence.”

World leaders further committed to working “actively to ensure that health systems provide the necessary information and services addressing the sexual and reproductive health of women, including working towards universal access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable modern methods of family planning, as essential conditions for women’s health and for advancing gender equality.” 

In the common vision, they resolved to unlock women’s potential as drivers of sustainable development through empowerment of women and the repeal of discriminatory laws and harmful practices that act as barriers to gender equality. They committed to promoting equal access of women and girls to education and to creating an enabling environment to improve their living standards everywhere, including with gender-sensitive indicators and sex- disaggregated data in planning and policymaking.

The Future We Want recognized the importance of inclusive and human-centred sustainable development that benefits the youth, addressing health, participation and employment, stressing that younger generations are the custodians of the future and highlighting the importance of education in this regard.

The common vision noted the linkages between the projected global population and the need to increase efforts to achieve sustainable development. Governments committed to systematically consider population trend projections in national, rural and urban development strategies and policies noting that, through forward-looking planning, they can seize opportunities and address challenges linked to demographic change, including migration.

The Summiteers also recognized the need for integrated planning and management approaches to promote more sustainable cities and human settlements.


UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.


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