Realizing our vision—a world where every person (even in the smallest islands of the Caribbean) have access to non-discriminatory high quality sexual and reproductive health care services and have the power to make their own informed decisions about their bodies —requires more than a strong network of service providers; it requires sufficient funding, favorable legislation and policies, and popular support. We have a long history of working with local leaders as well as regional and international agencies to ensure that high-quality sexual and reproductive health information and services reach those with the greatest need.
At the same time, we support the advocacy strategies of our member associations to affect policy changes at the regional and national levels. These efforts are more important than ever in a region that has recently seen a sharp decrease in vital support from international donors. So, building our network’s capacity to advocate effectively—and supporting its efforts with strong resources and sound advice—is crucial.
In August 2013, we were part of the advocacy team which helped secure a major win when thirty-eight governments from Latin America and the Caribbean adopted the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development. The Consensus, which will inform global development policies for years to come, is the first United Nations agreement to include a definition of sexual rights, “which embrace the right to a safe and full sex life, as well as the right to take free, informed, voluntary and responsible decisions on their sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity, without coercion, discrimination or violence.”