On July 11, 2012, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K. Government—along with UNFPA and other partners—convened the high-profile London Summit on Family Planning. The overall goal of the summit, held on World Population Day, was to raise $4 billion to ensure that contraceptive information, services, and supplies are available to an additional 120 million women in the world’s poorest countries by the year 2020.
Key themes that emerged during the London Summit on Family Planning.
The meeting’s attendees included high-level government officials, donor organizations, health and development NGOs, faith-based organizations, and private institutions, among others. It brought together the worlds of policy, finance, commodity, and service delivery to discuss ways to make family planning a global priority – by revitalizing commitments to family planning, increasing access to contraceptive supplies, and removing barriers that prevent women from accessing these vital services.
Reflecting the diversity of the attendees, speakers at the summit included representatives from governments, donor organizations, and private industry. A highlight of the summit was Melinda Gates’s speech during the afternoon plenary session. She began by announcing that the Gates Foundation will commit an additional $560 million dollars to family planning efforts between now and 2020 (twice what they are currently spending on family planning). Ms. Gates talked about the importance of world leaders committing to innovation on behalf of women. She encouraged leaders to think about family planning from the perspective of women, and that this would lead to real innovation.