Remarks to the UNFPA Executive Board

Lisa Carty
U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council
New York, NY
August 31, 2022


The United States joins UNFPA and all member states in commemorating the passing of Dr. Nafis Sadik. As the Executive Director of UNFPA during the pivotal Cairo and Beijing conferences, she championed women’s rights as an integral component of sustainable development. Dr. Sadik’s legacy lives on through the remarkable international consensus on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights achieved almost 30 years ago. We continue to honor her work through the global community’s partnership with UNFPA, under Dr. Kanem’s exceptional stewardship.

Achieving and protecting gains for women and girls in all their diversity, requires vigilance and perseverance. We fully support UNFPA’s work across countries and in the most fragile settings to uplift and empower women and girls, to advocate for bodily autonomy, to improve access to quality contraception, to help women deliver their babies safely, and to prevent and respond to all forms of gender-based violence.

UNFPA’s efforts promote gender equality and are essential for sustainable development. As a proud partner of UNFPA, the United States looks forward to enhancing collaboration on all these issues through the first ever United States-UNFPA Strategic Dialogue later this fall.

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the Biden-Harris Administration recognized that the momentous decision on a long held constitutional right would prompt concerns and questions about our global commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Domestically, the broader impacts of this decision have highlighted a range of compelling SRHR issues on health equity, access to quality reproductive and maternal health care, equitable access to modern contraception and family planning, comprehensive sexuality education, the prevalence of miscarriage, and humane health responses to sexual assault.

The United States firmly believes that the global community cannot achieve our goals for sustainable development unless all people have control over their bodies and their futures.

We would like to underscore that President Biden remains resolutely committed to advancing and protecting SRHR at home and abroad. The United States will continue to prioritize partnering with governments, the private sector, and international and nongovernmental organizations to improve health outcomes, including advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights and the empowerment of women and girls, so that they can realize their full potential and help drive social and economic development.

We will continue to champion UN partners, including UNFPA, that help drive efforts to accelerate progress towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals related to improving access to sexual and reproductive health services; preventing maternal and infant mortality; ending gender-based violence advancing gender equality; and ending HIV/AIDS.