June 16, 2010
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, which represents more than 158,000 nurses across Canada, believes the G8 Summit in Huntsville, Muskoka gives Canada a unique opportunity to highlight the important link between the 2010 G8 focus on maternal and child health and previous G8 commitments to the AIDS response.
In order to reach its full potential, the maternal and child health initiative must include comprehensive sexual health and reproductive health rights, including universal access to contraception, family planning services, options counselling, and access to safe, legal abortion, while similarly promoting social and economic equality for all through the provision of quality public services.
At the upcoming Summits in Canada, we call upon you to lead the G8/G20 in showing accountability and leadership on achieving past commitments, including the Millennium Development Goals, the ILO Decent Work Agenda and its Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183).
The CFNU is calling on the Government of Canada to demonstrate leadership and accountability by:
1. Promoting sexual and reproductive health rights, including the rights of women to access safe and legal abortion, as part of its maternal and child health care initiative;
2. Meeting prior commitments on development aid at a rate of 0.7% of GNI per year, and redirecting a significant portion back to Africa;
3. Encouraging Country Ratification of the ILO Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (C183); and
4. Increasing and sustaining investments in quality public health care for the effective delivery of maternal and child health services.
CFNU reconfirms our support expressed during our May 25, 2010 MP Breakfast on HIV/AIDS. We join our voice to the Canadian Labour Congress and the Canadian Nurses Association in their call for international consensus on a sustained, comprehensive, rights-based global strategy for maternal, newborn and child health.