A panel discussion co-organised by Finland on comprehensive sexuality education during the UN Commission on Population and Development was a great success. Participants from all over the world heard MP Jani Toivola speak about challenges of discovering one's identity as an adolescent in between cultures.
Permanent Missions of Finland, Norway and Kenya in collaboration with IPPF organised a well-attended panel discussion on comprehensive sexuality education during this year's Commission on Population and Development at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
In the panel, speakers shared information and good practices on sexuality education and participated in a lively debate on triumphs and trials of comprehensive sexuality education. Particularly inspiring was the intervention of Jani Toivola, who shared a personal story on how parents should discuss and support young people to discover one's identity and to learn to accept diversity. Also much appreciated was the presentation by Kenyan Ambassador Josephine Ojiambo describing the progress made in the field of reproductive health policy in her country and the challenges of building new practices. Sadaf Nasim, a youth delegate from Pakistan, gave a strong statement on young people's need to have more evidence-based information on sexuality and reproductive health.
Comprehensive sexuality education is a human rights and equity based approach on sexuality as an integral part of human being's life. Sexuality education needs to be comprehensive and responsive and not only focused on biology or sexually transmitted infections. The goal of comprehensive sexuality education is to empower young people to make informed and responsible decisions about their own sexuality and develop skills to assist them in decisions over their sexuality and relationships. These skills will also help them to avoid risks.
The event was organised by the Permanent Missions of Finland, Norway and Kenya to the United Nations in partnership with International Planned Parenthood Federation during the 45th session of Commission on Population and Development. The panel was moderated by Ambassador Morten Wetland, Permanent Representative of Norway, and consisted of Ambassador Josephine Ojiambo, Deputy Permanent Representative of Kenya; Jani Toivola, Member of the Finnish Parliament; Doortje Braeken, IPPF and Sadaf Nasim, Rhanuma family planning association in Pakistan. The event was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 25 April 2012.