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Fertility and Reproductive Health

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 12th January 2011.

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Photo of Katy Clark Katy Clark Labour, North Ayrshire and Arran 11:30 am, 12th January 2011

What recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the work of the UN Commission on Population and Development on fertility, reproductive health and development in 2011; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Stephen O'Brien Stephen O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

The Government regularly discuss with international counterparts the work of the UN Commission on Population and Development to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights are included in international strategies. The commission's theme for 2011 is fertility, reproductive health and development.

Photo of Katy Clark Katy Clark Labour, North Ayrshire and Arran

I thank the Minister for that answer. He will be aware that we now have the largest ever number of people-1.2 billion-of reproductive age, but we are not spending the money that we set ourselves internationally as targets on reproductive health and family planning. Does he agree that there needs to be greater emphasis on that area, and will he commit his Government to ensuring that more money is provided for it?

Photo of Stephen O'Brien Stephen O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

I congratulate the hon. Lady on her very accurate observations, which are absolutely fundamental to good development. I assure her that, in the reproductive, maternal health and neo-natal document that we published on 31 December, that is precisely the emphasis on, and increased access to, family planning that is both proposed and in which we intend to take a lead, through the design of our programmes, as we roll out their announcement following the bilateral aid reviews.