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Australian Gov't firm commitment to SRHR welcomed

Australian Gov't firm commitment to SRHR welcomed

The new Australian Government’s firm commitment to continue funding and supporting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) has been welcomed by the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD).

“The new Australian Government’s firm re-endorsement in Parliament yesterday of the strong SRHR commitment Australia gave just days after its election at the UN’s Asia Pacific Population Conference in September is excellent news,” said AFPPD executive director Ramon San Pascual.

Senator George Brandis, deputy government leader in the Senate, told Parliament yesterday:
“The government has no plans to change the current policy settings in relation to reproductive health. The government remains committed to supporting global efforts to reduce the unmet need for quality reproductive health services. At the recent Asian and Pacific Population Conference in September of this year, shortly after the change of government, Australia supported an outcome declaration that upholds women's sexual and reproductive health rights and access to services. The government has no intention of changing that position.”

Mr San Pascual said that as AFPPD and UN bodies were working closely to ensure a stronger world commitment to SRHR during important negotiation meetings in 2014, it was important that civil society and other stakeholders knew the traditional support and activism on SRHR by Australia would continue, despite the change of government.

“AFPPD has a close relationship with Australian AID through our major Ending Violence Against Women project in Asia and the Pacific and we’re looking to step up vital parliamentarian advocacy in the region in 2014,” said Mr San Pascual, speaking from an advocacy workshop AFPPD is conducting for Pacific MPs in Port Moresby.

Mr San Pascual said AFPPD’s deputy director John Hyde had met recently with Australian AID officials in Canberra and Hanoi, and AFPPD was developing new partnerships to value add to Australia’s initiatives on EVAW in the Mekong region and the Pacific in particular.

ends

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