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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jenn Remick, jenn.remick@pinkston.co

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2022 – Ambassadors, members of Congress, members of Parliament, and women’s health advocates from around the world joined together yesterday to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Geneva Consensus Declaration (GCD) on Capitol Hill at a luncheon hosted by the Institute for Women’s Health, a one-of-its-kind organization committed to advancing the health and thriving of girls and women everywhere. 

In 2020, 35 nations signed the Geneva Consensus Declaration (GCD), a first-ever strategic international coalition representing every region of the world, committing to:  1) Protect the health and thriving of women throughout every stage of life, 2) Assert that there is no international right to abortion, 3) Defend the family as foundational to every healthy society, and 4) Protect the sovereign right of nations to support these core values through national policy and legislation. 

Signing nations formed a historic — and growing — coalition around these core pillars, recognizing that, though each nation has unique strengths individually, together, they are stronger. In addition to the original members, the Republic of Guatemala joined the coalition in 2021, The Republic of Colombia joined in 2022 and it was announced yesterday that the nation of Kazakhstan just joined as the 37th member. 

Without question, this coalition is more important than ever before,” said President of the Institute for Women’s Health Valerie Huber, in her opening remarks in the Kennedy Caucus Room at the Russell Senate Building. “I am optimistic that what can be accomplished by this family of nations has yet to be seen. Know that we are here to protect your nation’s sovereign right to protect women’s health, life, and family. These values are rooted in human dignity, and they are essential to human thriving.”

Throughout the event, Brazil’s Secretary of Family Angela Gandra, along with several ambassadors from the coalition, highlighted the positive progress their respective countries were making to advance health and flourishing for women and girls. 

Ambassador Alfonso Quiñónez of the Republic of Guatemala, Ambassador Forster of Brazil, and Ambassador Szabolcs Takács of Hungary, served as honorary co-chairs for the event. For the past two years, Brazil served as the secretariat of the GCD, but it was announced at the event that the leadership role would soon transition to the government of Hungary. 

Honorary co-hosts of this year’s celebration included Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Congressman Jody Hice (R-GA). Senator Daines and Congressman Jim Banks took the lead to introduce a bicameral resolution in the Senate and House yesterday, urging that the United States once again join as a signatory to the coalition of, now, 37 countries after President Biden removed it just eight days after his inauguration. 

The Geneva Consensus Declaration is not just a piece of paper — it’s a family of nations anchored in the universal principles of life, family and national sovereignty,” said Senator Daines in a statement on the proposed resolution. “President Biden’s withdrawal from the Declaration did not mark the end of the American commitment to protecting life and family. Instead, President Biden should reverse this decision and have the United States rejoin the Declaration.”

Huber added: “The Declaration and ensuing coalition was born out of a need to return discussions about women’s health back to discussions about women’s health, and to refuse to permit women and girls to needlessly suffer just because special interests have sidelined the most pressing needs in favor of their own ideological agendas … I hope many more join the GCD coalition in 2023: Countries who want to see even more progress for women’s health and thriving … and who recognize that standing together is so much stronger than standing alone.

About Institute for Women’s Health

The Institute for Women’s Health is the only women’s health policy organization of its kind in the U.S. – and possibly anywhere. IWH exists to promote the highest attainable health and wellbeing for women throughout every stage of their lives, and works to tackle the most pressing women’s health issues through honest discourse, targeted action, and empowered alliances. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., IWH engages both domestically and internationally to build coalitions in support of optimal women’s health. IWH works with governments, policymakers, think tanks, academics, health professionals, nongovernmental organizations, faith-based groups, corporations and all who share a common mission to see women thrive everywhere.

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