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Fiocruz acts at UN sustainable development Forum


Julia Dias (AFN)


Nísia Trindade Lima, President of Fiocruz, and other representatives of the institution took part in the 2019 High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF), which will took place on July 9-19 at the UN headquarters in New York. Promoted by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Forum brought together more than two thousand attendees, including ministers, UN officials and experts from around the world to discuss the progress and challenges of the 2030 Agenda.

With the theme Empowering people and ensuring inclusion and equality, this year's event focuses on six Sustainable Development Goals, discussing topics of education (SDG 4), decent work (SDG 8), reduction of inequality (SDG 10), climate change (SDG 13), peaceful societies (SDG 16) and means of implementation and partnerships for sustainable development (SDG 17).

In addition, 47 countries submit their voluntary evaluation reports on internal Agenda indicators. The event is rounded out by 156 additional meetings, 36 exhibitions, eight special activities and a three-day ministerial meeting. The president of Fiocruz took part as a speaker at two side events. The first, last Monday on July 15, promoted by the Brazilian Population and Development Network (Rebrapd, in the Portuguese acronym) and World Vision International, had as its theme 25 years of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Brazil's challenges in promoting the 2030 Agenda. On July 18, Nisia participated in a panel at the Ford Foundation on Exclusion and Marginalization in the Context of Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health, where the complexities, barriers, needs and challenges that restrain black women, adolescents and girls were addressed.

The International Conference on Population and Development, also known as Cairo 94, is considered a milestone in the rights of women and girls. Since its inception, preventable maternal deaths have declined by 40% worldwide, adolescent birth rates have declined by 32% and more women have reached secondary education (83% in 1994 compared to 91% today) and the parliament of their countries (12% in 1997, compared to 24% today). Still, much remains to be done to ensure that women and girls around the world have their rights assured. The challenges involve maternal deaths, child marriage and access to contraceptives and family planning.

In her speech, Lima drew attention to the existing inequalities between countries and within each country, among different populations. She also highlighted the importance of considering gender violence and violence against minority and ethnic groups. “By adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and committing themselves to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the countries have committed themselves to leaving no one behind. This is no small thing if we consider the large contingent of historically excluded people, the outsiders of citizenship, the rights and development around the world, including the poor, women, ethnic minorities, African descendants and youth in these social groups, groups that have been receiving UNFPA's special attention”, she said.

A Summit will be held in November in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss the ICPD's 25-year Program of Action. The president of Fiocruz was the only representative of the Brazilian scientific community invited to join the Directive Committee of this event. The group met on July 15, in New York. At the time, Nisia pledged to set up a working group at Fiocruz, with the support of other organizations such as Rebrapd, to contribute with different points of view in preparing for the participation of the Nairobi Summit.

Lima’s agenda in New York also included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the executive director of the United Nations Population and Development Fund (UNFPA).

In addition to the president of Fiocruz, the Forum was also attended by the coordinator of the Fiocruz strategy for the 2030 Agenda, Paulo Gadelha, and the international advisor Luiz Augusto Galvão. Gadelha, who is a member of the Ten Member Group for the UN Technological Facilitation Mechanism, participated in a session that presented the results of the Forum of Science, Technology and Innovation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum), which was held in May, also in New York.

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