Twelfth Meeting, Addis Ababa 2011
On June 22 and 23, more than 350 participants from 56 countries gathered in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to raise the international profile of reproductive health commodity security. Under the banner of Access for All, participants marked the 10th anniversary of an earlier conference, Meeting the Challenge, which many credit as having launched today’s reproductive health commodity security movement.
The conference saw US pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck pledge to increase access to its contraceptive implant, Implanon®, through reduced prices and the introduction of new financing and procurement options. Britain’s Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, addressed participants by video on his government’s commitment to reducing unmet need for modern family planning. The German and French governments announced pledges of financial support for reproductive health. And the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, reaffirmed in writing her government’s support for the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition. The meeting culminated in a draft Call to Action that sets out priorities for achieving reproductive health commodity security in the coming decade.
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2011 represented a milestone for people around the world working to ensure reproductive health commodity security. Ten years have passed since the seminal 2001 conference in Istanbul, Meeting the Reproductive Health Challenge: Securing Contraceptives and Condoms for HIV/AIDS Prevention.