The year 2014 could be crucial for the future of humanity, if we achieve that the topics related to sexual and reproductive health and rights are addressed and included in the new Post-2015 Agenda for Development.
During 2014, several regional and world meetings will be carried out between representatives of all Member States of the UN, in order to negotiate the bases of a new framework for development, which should contemplate the elimination of poverty and promotion of social, economic and environmental sustainability as an essential objective. The Millennium Development Goals, whose 15-year horizon ends in 2015, constituted an incentive for mobilizing the international community in the pursuit of their achievement. However, exacerbation of the structural conditions that generate different inequality and inequity gaps, resistance to modifying traditions based on prejudices or attachment to historical power positions of some groups over others, continue to interfere in the path of dialogue and collective construction of policies that strengthen and legally establish equality of rights and opportunities for women, for young people and for those from the poorest and most excluded sectors of society.
Frequently, discussion on these issues, which result uncomfortable and controversial, tends to be ignored, underestimated or postponed in the political and legislative debates, without considering their high cost on development. Furthermore, in some countries with advanced legal systems in the recognition of sexual and reproductive rights, when a general and specific legal analysis of people suffering discrimination is made; it is possible to realize that legal equality does not necessarily ensure equality in practice. Some strategies are required to transform structural and cultural elements of these systems, but above all political will. Not addressing these issues in all their complexity and depth also responds to a political position.
The year 2014 presents new opportunities for focusing our efforts on development agendas that place human beings at the center of their objectives by means of social and economic transformation processes that attend to all their rights.