Cross-regional statement on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Annual Discussion on women’s rights

Joint statement delivered by H.E. Monique van Daalen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Madam President,

It is my pleasure to deliver this statement on behalf of a large cross-regional group of countries, including my own country The Netherlands.

This year, Heads of State, Ministers, youth and civil society gathered at two historic Generation Equality Forums convened by UN Women and co-organized by France and Mexico to announce ambitious and concrete commitments for achieving gender equality by 2030 and reaffirming that women’s and girls’ rights are universal. We reiterate our shared commitment towards this end at the Council.

More than twenty-five years after adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, steady progress has been made. Yet, we remain deeply concerned about the persistent violations and abuses of the rights of women and girls worldwide, as gender inequality continues to plague all countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects women and girls, especially the most marginalized. We forcefully denounce the shadow-pandemic of sexual and gender-based violence, and the additional 13 million girls that could be forced into marriage. Disruptions in essential health services, including for sexual and reproductive health, are leading to more unplanned and adolescent pregnancies, unsafe abortions and maternal mortality and morbidity.

We are also deeply concerned by the growing pushback on longstanding international instruments on gender equality, including on sexual and reproductive health and rights and bodily autonomy. We must stand firm in support of these instruments as women and girls need these safeguards now more than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for governments worldwide to effectively put gender equality and the full respect for all rights of all women and girls at the core of our national and collective efforts to build back better. To do so, we must ensure the meaningful participation of women, girls’ and women’s rights organizations across decision-making processes.

We call upon all governments to implement their commitments made at the Generation Equality Forum and contained in the Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality, towards the realization of SDG5. We also call on all governments to stand firm in their efforts, including here in this Council, to achieve gender equality, SRHR and the full enjoyment of all human rights of all women and girls.

Thank you.


  1. Albania
  2. Argentina
  3. Armenia
  4. Australia
  5. Austria
  6. Belgium
  7. Belize
  8. Bolivia
  9. Bosnia - Herzegovina
  10. Botswana
  11. Bulgaria
  12. Canada
  13. Chile
  14. Colombia
  15. Costa Rica
  16. Croatia
  17. Cyprus
  18. Czech Republic
  19. Denmark
  20. Estonia
  21. Fiji
  22. Finland
  23. France
  24. Georgia
  25. Germany
  26. Greece
  27. Iceland
  28. Ireland
  29. Israel
  30. Italy
  31. Japan
  32. Kazakhstan
  33. Latvia
  34. Liechtenstein
  35. Lithuania
  36. Luxembourg
  37. Malta
  38. Marshall Islands
  39. Mexico
  40. Moldova
  41. Monaco
  42. Mongolia
  43. Montenegro
  44. Netherlands
  45. New Zealand
  46. North Macedonia
  47. Norway
  48. Palau
  49. State of Palestine
  50. Panama
  51. Peru
  52. Portugal
  53. Romania
  54. Serbia
  55. Sierra Leone
  56. Slovenia
  57. Spain
  58. Sweden
  59. Switzerland
  60. Thailand
  61. Tunisia
  62. United Kingdom
  63. Ukraine
  64. Uruguay
  65. USA