On behalf of the International Steering Committee, I am happy to inform you that the preparations for the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health & Rights (APCRSHR) are underway and on schedule. As in previous conferences, we will ensure that this gathering will be a productive and enjoyable learning experience for all the participants and our development partners.
The 1st APCRSHR was convened in Metro Manila in 2001 by my organization, the Philippine NGO Council (PNGOC) on Population, Health, and Welfare, Inc. This event took place two years after a group of Asians who attended the 1999 ICPD +5 review in The Hague assessed that the Asia Pacific civil society organizations (CSO) needed to come together with our development partners to regularly review SRHR issues, challenges and actions. CSOs in Thailand, Malaysia, India, China, and Indonesia have successfully convened the subsequent conferences every two years. The PNGOC is again honored to host the 2014 APCRSHR. This event promises to be a great opportunity to take stock of the Asia Pacific countries’ many good practices, lessons, and challenges in meeting our commitments to the 1994 ICPD Program of Action (POA) and to the SRHR-related MDGs.
I am optimistic that CSOs in partnership with professional health practitioners, health and social workers, parliamentarians, donors, social scientists, and governments would arrive at viable scenarios beyond 2015 that would strategically position SRHR for all.