Last week, the faith Community attended the International Conference on Family Planning . This is a global conference attended by the global development community around a shared vision of universal access to family planning since 2009. A network of advocates, researchers and scientists, community and government leaders, health practitioners, economists, conveners, civil society members, and young people attended the conferences.
The faith community shared the below statement during the closing ceremony:
We, faith representatives from various traditions are grateful that we were able to gather together with all of you here in Thailand.
We are aware of the critical role we play and the influence we have in our communities. We are committed to interfaith action and collaboration with all of you in order to increase our understanding of each other, building bridges between different stakeholders to ensure a greater and more significant impact.
We particularly appreciate our coming together here in Pattaya-Thailand to celebrate all the progress that has been made over the last years on the occasion of the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) 2022. We are committed to seeking constructive solutions to the challenges our communities are facing around health, including but not limited to sexual and reproductive health and rights, mental health, COVID-19, gender and social justice, climate change, and peaceful coexistence, and are committed to ending practices that limit the flourishing of our communities.
We affirm our responsibility to continue advancing family planning from the faith perspective. Life is sacred, and we believe in the role of family planning in protecting the lives and health of mothers, fathers, and children, reducing their mortality, and creating well-being.
We are committed to striving for women’s and girls’ access to decision-making while ensuring male engagement is part of the processes.
We uphold our commitment to continuing to inform and educate our communities on family planning, advocate for mainstream quality family planning services, and strive to sustain services during emergencies. We acknowledge the compassionate nature of religion and do not accept and will not promote practices and selective interpretation of sacred texts that cause harm in the name of religion.
As we move forward, the following points are critical for us:
- Ensure that faith actors are included in the planning, execution, monitoring, and evaluation of family planning projects and policies
- Call on governments and other agencies to include faith-led facilities in the list of beneficiaries for support with FP commodities, personnel, and other infrastructural support
- Ensure the availability of funding for faith-based organizations
- Acceptance of different approaches to family planning that allow for different beliefs and cultures but ensure that referrals between the systems are possible and no harm is done
Thank you for this opportunity to restate our commitment to family planning, and we look forward to future opportunities through which faith entities can scale up their contributions to family planning awareness and services.
Download the Statement here: ICFP_Faith Community StatementIC