Ministers from the Region Reaffirmed the ESA Commitment during a 2-Year Progress Meeting at the 2016 International AIDS Conference
This reaffirmation was expressed in the ministerial call to action aptly titled Let’s Step Up and Deliver! A Ministerial Call to Action for accelerating the delivery of comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA).
Ministers and Representatives of Government re-affirmed their commitment. What is new going forward?
Our commitment to prepare and support adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern Africa with the right information and skills to make safe and healthy decisions about their life and future.
That in demographic terms, the ESA region is experiencing major growth in the youth population and will soon be home to the largest generation of young people in history.
Our determination to align our efforts with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2, particularly SDG 3, which aims to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”, and SDG 4, which aims to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
And welcome the adoption of the SADC Parliamentary Forum’s Model Law for Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already Married, and its strong emphasis on the importance of SRH, especially the recognition of the importance of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) for young people.
Our conviction that the education and health sectors, working in collaboration with other key line ministries such as gender, youth, labour, and social welfare, have enormous potential to promote the good health and well-being of all adolescents and young people and prevent early and unintended pregnancies, transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), GBV, and child marriages.
The leadership and transformative role of young people in Eastern and Southern Africa as champions of their own health and well-being, as well as critical partners in scaling up CSE and SRH in the region.
Ministers and other stakeholders also reiterated the importance of intensifying efforts to support country implementation. Key steps to be taken to reach the 2020 targets are outlined in the roadmap that was agreed upon.