UN level

UN logo and contcaceptives and gender equality scale

Almost all UN bodies have paid attention to SRHR. UNFPA is the leading UN organisation working with SRHR. Other organisations that have SRHR as a priority are UNAIDS, UN Women, WHO and the World Bank. Also UNESCO works with SRHR issues related to comprehensive sexuality education.

International agreements and declarations

1994 The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo and its Programme of Action (PoA)

Marks a very significant shift in thinking and policy development from a population perspective to a rights-based approach to reproductive health. The PoA defines and recognises comprehensive definitions of reproductive health, sexual health and advances the idea of sexual and reproductive rights. 

International Conference on Population and Development 

1995 The Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and its Platform for Action

Confirmed and expanded the commitment to a rights-based approach to SRH made at ICPD the previous year. The Conference on also stated that women’s power and ability to decide over their own sexuality and reproduction is an important step to ensure that they can fully exercise and enjoy their human rights.

The Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and its Platform for Action

2000 Millennium Declaration

Recognises gender equality, maternal health and the fight against HIV/AIDS as axes of sustainable human development. Does not prioritise SRHR as a development issue.

2006 MDG Target on universal access to reproductive health under Goal 5.B 

In 2002 the then UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, commissioned a group of experts to produce a programme of action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Their analysis highlighted the fact that sexual reproductive health was essential to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Therefore, the targets and indicators for SRHR made a late entry to the MDG framework.

Millenium Development Goals (MDG Monitor) Maternal Health 

2015 Sustainable Development Goals -Agenda 2030

SDGs, provide an international framework for sustainable development and poverty reduction. The goals must be achieved by 2030. The agenda 2030 includes 17 sustainable Development Goals and 169 specific sub-goals or targets. Several global goals are directly related to SRHR, Goal 3, Goal 4 and Goal 5. The SDGs refer to important international action programmes which are still in effect, such as the PoA of the ICPD

Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals 


The CPD was established in 1946 as the Population Commission but was renamed by the General Assembly in 1994 and given the responsibility for assessing progress on implementing the ICPD Programme of Action at the national, regional and international levels.

The International Conference on Population and Development ICPD, diverse views on human rights, population, sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and sustainable development merged into a remarkable global consensus that placed individual dignity and human rights, including the right to plan one’s family, at the very heart of development.

2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, where 179 governments adopted a landmark Programme of Action which set out to empower women and girls for their sake, and for the benefit of their families, communities and nations. From 12-14 November, the governments of Kenya and Denmark and UNFPA are co-convening the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, a high-level conference to mobilize the political will and financial commitments that are urgently needed to finally and fully implement the ICPD Programme of Action.  

Commission on Population and Development 

What is the ICPD and why does it matter? (UNFPA)

The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25