Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The United States strongly endorses the UN General Assembly's resolution entitled "Intensification of Efforts to Eliminate all Forms of Violence Against Women" and we are pleased to be among the co-sponsors. The health effects of violence against women, adolescents, and girls are serious, extensive, and inter-twined, and the strong linkage within the resolution of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights is critical to our efforts to address violence against women.
Reproductive rights, which are described in the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development's Program of Action, in its five- and ten-year review agreements, and in many UN resolutions since, provide the foundation for our global effort. We very much appreciate that this resolution recognizes the importance of states complying with their ICPD commitments. The United States strongly supports this resolution, and we will continue to work to advance implementation of the ICPD including sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
To reach our collective goal of eliminating the violence women and girls around the world face in many aspects of their lives, violence such as early and forced marriage, human trafficking, female genital mutilation/cutting, domestic and intimate partner violence, and acts of sexual violence such as the prevalence of rape as a tactic of war—it is critical that we promote and protect the reproductive rights of women and young people, including the right to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence. The United States considers the basic right of all couples to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children to be important to our efforts to advance the status of women and girls.
We thank the main sponsors, the Netherlands and France, for their tireless and skillful efforts to bring about a consensus on this important topic.
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