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GENEVA CONSENSUS DECLARATION ON PROMOTING WOMEN’S HEALTH AND STRENGTHENING THE FAMILY
October 22, 2020
We, ministers and high representatives of Governments,
H
aving intended to gather on the margins of the 2020 World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland to review progress made and
challenges to uphold the right to the highest attainable standards of health for women; to promote women’s essential contribution to
health, and strength of the family and of a successful and flourishing society; and to express the essential priority of protecting the
right to life, committing to coordinated efforts in multilateral fora; despite our inability to meet in Geneva due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, in
solidarity, we
1. Reaffirm “all are equal before the law,” and “human rights of women are an inalienable, integral, and indivisible part of all human rights and
fundamental freedoms”;
2. Emphasize “the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights,” as well as economic, social, and cultural
rights; and the “equal rights, opportunities and access to resources and equal sharing of responsibilities for the family by men and women and
a harmonious partnership between them are critical to their well-being and that of their families”; and that “women and girls must enjoy equal
access to quality education, economic resources, and political participation as well as equal opportunities with men and boys for employment,
leadership and decision-making at all levels;”
3. Reaffirm the inherent “dignity and worth of the human person,” that “every human being has the inherent right to life,” and the commitment
“to enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant”;
4. Emphasize that “in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning” and that “any measures or changes related to
abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level according to the national legislative process”;Reaffirm
that “the child… needs special safeguards and care… before as well as after birth” and “special measures of protection and assistance should be
taken on behalf of all children,” based on the principle of the best interest of the child;
5. Reaffirm that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State”;
that “motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance,” that “women play a critical role in the family” and women’s
“contribution to the welfare of the family and to the development of society”;
6. Recognize that “universal health coverage is fundamental for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals related not only to health and
well-being,” with further recognition that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence
of disease or infirmity” that “the predominant focus of health-care systems on treating illness rather than maintaining optimal health also
prevents a holistic approach”; and that there are “needs that exist at different stages in an individual’s lifespan,” which together support
optimal health across the life course, entailing the provision of the necessary information, skills, and care for achieving the best possible health
outcomes and reaching full human potential; and
7. Reaffirm the importance of national ownership and the primary role and responsibility of governments at all levels to determine their own
path towards achieving universal health coverage, in accordance with national contexts and priorities”, preserving human dignity and all the
rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Furthermore, we, the representatives of our sovereign nations do hereby declare in mutual friendship and respect, our commitment to work together to:
Ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and equal opportunity for women at all levels of political, economic, and public life;
Improve and secure access to health and development gains for women, including sexual and reproductive health, which must always promote
optimal health, the highest attainable standard of health, without including abortion;
Reaffirm that there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion,
consistent with the long-standing international consensus that each nation has the sovereign right to implement programs and activities
consistent with their laws and policies;
Build our health system capacity and mobilize resources to implement health and development programs that address the needs of women and
children in situations of vulnerability and advance universal health coverage;
Advance supportive public health policies for women and girls as well as families, including building our healthcare capacity and mobilizing
resources within our own countries, bilaterally, and in multilateral fora;
Support the role of the family as foundational to society and as a source of health, support, and care; and
Engage across the UN system to realize these universal values, recognizing that individually we are strong, but together we are stronger.
COSPONSORS
Federative Republic of Brazil Arab Republic of Egypt Hungary Republic of Indonesia Republic of Uganda Un
ited States of America
CO-SIGNING COUNTRIES
Kingdom of Bahrain Republic of the Congo Republic of Iraq Sultanate of Oman Republic of South Sudan
Republic of Belarus Republic of Djibouti Republic of Kenya Islamic Republic of Pakistan Republic of Sudan
Republic of Benin Kingdom of Eswatini State of Kuwait Republic of Paraguay United Arab Emirates
Burkina Faso Republic of The Gambia State of Libya Republic of Poland Republic of Zambia
Republic of Cameroon Georgia Republic of Nauru Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Democratic Republic of the Congo Republic of Haiti Republic of Niger Republic of Senegal

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Geneva Consensus Declaration English 11-10-2020

  • 1. GENEVA CONSENSUS DECLARATION ON PROMOTING WOMEN’S HEALTH AND STRENGTHENING THE FAMILY October 22, 2020 We, ministers and high representatives of Governments, H aving intended to gather on the margins of the 2020 World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland to review progress made and challenges to uphold the right to the highest attainable standards of health for women; to promote women’s essential contribution to health, and strength of the family and of a successful and flourishing society; and to express the essential priority of protecting the right to life, committing to coordinated efforts in multilateral fora; despite our inability to meet in Geneva due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, in solidarity, we 1. Reaffirm “all are equal before the law,” and “human rights of women are an inalienable, integral, and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms”; 2. Emphasize “the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights,” as well as economic, social, and cultural rights; and the “equal rights, opportunities and access to resources and equal sharing of responsibilities for the family by men and women and a harmonious partnership between them are critical to their well-being and that of their families”; and that “women and girls must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources, and political participation as well as equal opportunities with men and boys for employment, leadership and decision-making at all levels;” 3. Reaffirm the inherent “dignity and worth of the human person,” that “every human being has the inherent right to life,” and the commitment “to enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant”; 4. Emphasize that “in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning” and that “any measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level according to the national legislative process”;Reaffirm that “the child… needs special safeguards and care… before as well as after birth” and “special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children,” based on the principle of the best interest of the child; 5. Reaffirm that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State”; that “motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance,” that “women play a critical role in the family” and women’s “contribution to the welfare of the family and to the development of society”; 6. Recognize that “universal health coverage is fundamental for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals related not only to health and well-being,” with further recognition that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” that “the predominant focus of health-care systems on treating illness rather than maintaining optimal health also prevents a holistic approach”; and that there are “needs that exist at different stages in an individual’s lifespan,” which together support optimal health across the life course, entailing the provision of the necessary information, skills, and care for achieving the best possible health outcomes and reaching full human potential; and 7. Reaffirm the importance of national ownership and the primary role and responsibility of governments at all levels to determine their own path towards achieving universal health coverage, in accordance with national contexts and priorities”, preserving human dignity and all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Furthermore, we, the representatives of our sovereign nations do hereby declare in mutual friendship and respect, our commitment to work together to: Ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and equal opportunity for women at all levels of political, economic, and public life; Improve and secure access to health and development gains for women, including sexual and reproductive health, which must always promote optimal health, the highest attainable standard of health, without including abortion; Reaffirm that there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion, consistent with the long-standing international consensus that each nation has the sovereign right to implement programs and activities consistent with their laws and policies; Build our health system capacity and mobilize resources to implement health and development programs that address the needs of women and children in situations of vulnerability and advance universal health coverage; Advance supportive public health policies for women and girls as well as families, including building our healthcare capacity and mobilizing resources within our own countries, bilaterally, and in multilateral fora; Support the role of the family as foundational to society and as a source of health, support, and care; and Engage across the UN system to realize these universal values, recognizing that individually we are strong, but together we are stronger. COSPONSORS Federative Republic of Brazil Arab Republic of Egypt Hungary Republic of Indonesia Republic of Uganda Un ited States of America CO-SIGNING COUNTRIES Kingdom of Bahrain Republic of the Congo Republic of Iraq Sultanate of Oman Republic of South Sudan Republic of Belarus Republic of Djibouti Republic of Kenya Islamic Republic of Pakistan Republic of Sudan Republic of Benin Kingdom of Eswatini State of Kuwait Republic of Paraguay United Arab Emirates Burkina Faso Republic of The Gambia State of Libya Republic of Poland Republic of Zambia Republic of Cameroon Georgia Republic of Nauru Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Democratic Republic of the Congo Republic of Haiti Republic of Niger Republic of Senegal