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Общи :: BFPA participated actively in a regional UNFPA conference

BFPA participated actively in a regional UNFPA conference

Visit BlagoevgradSofia,  May 27-29 2015

In the period 27-29 May, 2015, Sofia hosted the Regional conference “Promoting Health and Rights, Reducing Inequalities: Towards Better Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”. The conference was focused on reducing health inequalities and promoting SRHR in 19 countries of the region. Organizers of the event were the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and the Regional Office of UNFPA for Central and Eastern Europe.
The main goal was to present the development of policies on reproductive health, to mobilize support and investments in this area, and to exchange experiences for sustainable national policies and future cross-border cooperation in the region.

Vicky ClaeysAt the official opening, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Valentin Poriazov highlighted  that a priority for Bulgaria and the EU member states is to include the topics of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the post-2015 UN Program for Development, successor of the MDGs adopted in 2000. The concept that no one should be excluded from economic opportunities for development (known as „LeaveNoOneBehind”), will be fundamental for the post – 2015 Program for Development.  The healthcare issues will be important both as an indicator for success and as a part of the sustainable development paradigm.
Special guests of the conference were Ms. Kate Gilmore, Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA and Mr. Heimo Laakkonen, Director of UNFPA's Regional Office for Eastern and Central Europe in Istanbul, as well as Vicky Claeys, IPPF EN Regional Director. They drew attention to the need for more effort in the struggle for equal access to healthcare and for improving the quality of services offered. Participants also emphasized that today we are witnessing one of the biggest migration flows in Visit Blagoevgrad 2 history. In their opinion that increases the need to work with the different generations and to ensure access to information in the field of the sexual and reproductive health and rights.
BFPA took active role in the discussions for future policy development and assuring of and equal access to quality health care for all. The Executive Director of BFPA Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova had a presentation at the conference on the conducted by IPPF and seven member associations study in seven middle-income countries on contraceptive use and reproductive behavior and participated as a panelist in the followed discussion. Dr. Stamenkova, BFPA Program Manager Ventzislav Kirkov and few other NGO representatives took part in a separate meeting with Kate Gilmore and Heimo Laakonen on which were discussed the perspectives and challenges NGOs in Bulgaria face in the SRHR field and in development policies as a whole. At the last day of the conference BFPA hosted in its premises the visit of part of the international guests who had the opportunity to observe and discuss on place the activities of the Association.Group photo Blagoevgrad
The two UNFPA high position guests shared at the conference closing session that for them the most exciting part of their stay in Bulgaria was the site visit organized by BFPA and the National Network of Health Mediators in Blagoevgrad. There with the help of Katya kirilova and Antoaneta Eftimova they saw the reality of the Roma neighborhood without make-up. But they saw also how people work on the ground, how they overcome difficulties and that it is possible even with limited resources to make a difference in access to health care, contraception and in retaining young people in schools.  
The 140 participants from 19 countries, representing governmental bodies, parliamentarians, civil and scientific organizations, signed a declaration (Sofia Declaration of Commitment), which puts sexual and reproductive health as a fundamental priority in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Special attention was given to the commitments of the countries to the international development cooperation issues in the field of reproductive health.

The full text of the declaration could be found here.

Link to a picture gallery of the visit

 

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Общи :: BFPA participated actively in a regional UNFPA conference