EU-Africa Joint Strategy

International Development written question – answered on 17th December 2007.

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Photo of Chris McCafferty Chris McCafferty Labour, Calder Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with his Irish counterparts on Ireland's reservation to approve the text of the EU-Africa Joint Strategy on the grounds that the strategy supports universal access to reproductive health by 2015, as set out by the International Conference on Population and Development and the Maputo Plan of Action.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Parliamentary Under-Secretary(Department for International Development) (Trade Policy) (also Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Trade and Consumer Affairs) (also Department for International Development), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

holding answer 11 December 2007

The UK fully supports universal access to reproductive health by 2015 and therefore DFID has regular contacts, at official level, with counterparts from Ireland about sexual and reproductive health issues.

Ireland's reservations on the reference to the Maputo Plan of Action within the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and Action Plan were raised and discussed in working level meetings with all EU member states. The UK supported the presidency and Commission's approach to agreeing the text of the documents and member states agreed the following progressive commitments:

Strategy:

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) will be promoted with the aim of achieving universal access to reproductive health by 2015 and to reduce newborn, infant and maternal morbidity and mortality, as set out by the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Maputo Plan of Action, in the context of the Action Plans of this Joint Strategy.

Action Plan:

Support the implementation of the Maputo Action Plan for the operationalisation of the continental policy framework for sexual and reproductive health and rights 2007 to 2010 within the context of established EU positions.

The UK worked to ensure that the Joint Africa-EU strategy specifically addresses the off-track health MDGs and is pleased with the final Strategy and Action Plan.

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