Kenya: New High-Level Commission Will Ensure Promises Made At Nairobi Summit Are Kept As Covid-19 Pandemic Threatens to Turn Back the Clock for Women's Health and Rights

In November 2019, more than 8,300 delegates from 170 countries and territories gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, to affirm support for reproductive health and rights.

New York — A new High-Level Commission of advocates, experts and activists was established today to help commitments to women's health and rights made at the November 2019 Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 stay on track, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is blocking access to essential services, such as family planning and antenatal care.

The Nairobi Summit secured billions of dollars in commitments from governments, the private sector, foundations and others. It rallied support to achieve "three zeros" - zero unmet need for family planning, zero preventable maternal deaths, zero gender-based violence and harmful practices - in 10 years.

UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, and the governments of Denmark and Kenya convened the Summit 25 years after the landmark International Conference on Population and Development, which culminated in a global agreement that sexual and reproductive health and rights are a necessity for growth and prosperity. But progress in securing these rights has stalled.

"Since the Nairobi Summit, the road to 2030 and the achievement of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all has grown steeper due to COVID-19," says UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem. "Yet we continue to forge ahead, to back up words with deeds and action on the ground. The new High-Level Commission will help all of us who made commitments in Nairobi keep those promises."

Like the delegates at the Nairobi Summit, the membership of the High-Level Commission is radically inclusive. Chaired by H.E. Mr. Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and H.E. Michaëlle Jean, 27th Governor General of Canada, its members range from former heads of state to grassroots activists and youth.

The Commission will monitor and report on progress towards fulfilling the 1,250 commitments made at the Nairobi Summit, and in particular the 12 global commitments contained in the Nairobi Statement on ICPD25, and make recommendations for removing bottlenecks so that the sexual and reproductive health and rights community maintains its momentum towards a world of rights and choices for all.

More information about the High-Level Commision, its members and activities can be found here:


1. Mr. Hatim Aznague, Founder & President of the "Sustainable Development's Youth" Association

2. Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, Director General, IPPF

3. Mr. Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, General Secretary, Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance

4. Ms. Franka Cadée, President, International Confederation of Midwives

5. Ms. Dawn Casey, Deputy CEO, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

6. Ms. Alexandra Chichikova, Miss World Wheelchair 2017; advocate for SRHR and GBV among people with disabilities

7. Mr. Martin Chungong, Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union

8. Mr. Henk de Jong, Chief of International Markets, Royal Philips

9. Ms. Jaha Dukureh, CEO, Safe Hands for Girls

10. Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers

11. Ms. Senait Fisseha, Director, International Programs, Susan Buffett Foundation

12. H.E. Michaëlle Jean (Co-chair), 27th Governor General of Canada; 3rd Secretary General of the International Organization of la Francophonie

13. Ms. Lorence Kabasele , President of AfriYAN (ESA)

14. Mr. Martin Karadzhov, Chair of the Youth Steering Committee of ILGA World (The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association)

15. Mr. Sangeet Kayastha, Coordinator, Y-PEER Asia-Pacific Center

16. H.E. Mr. Jakaya Kikwete (Co-chair), Former President, United Republic of Tanzania

17. Mr. Hans Linde, Chairman, Riksförbundet för Sexuell Upplysning (RFSU)

18. Hon. Angélica Lozano, Senator, Parliament, Colombia

19. Dr. Sara Pantuliano, Chief Executive, Overseas Development Institute

20. Ms. Latanya Mapp Frett, President and CEO, Global Fund for Women

21. Ms. Lucy Mulenkei, Executive Director, Indigenous Information Network

22. Professor Friday Okonofua, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Benin

23. Ms. Bandana Rana, Vice Chair, UN CEDAW Committee

24. Professor Gamal Serour, Director, International Islamic Center for Population Studies, Al-Azhar University, Cairo

25. Professor Keizo Takemi, Universal Health Coverage Advocate

26. Dr. Nahid Toubia, Assistant Professor at Columbia University and Director of RAINBO (Research, Action and Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women)

27. Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, Envoy of the Secretary-General on Youth, UN

28.. H.E. Ms. Lindiwe Zulu, Secretary of the Board, Partners in Population and Development, Minister of Social Development, South Africa

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