She decides. Such a fundamental concept. Such an important initiative.

She decides. When, where and how to plan her future, and her family.

Whether to stay in school, or in work.

What happens to her own body.

I will continue to fiercely defend the right of women and girls to decide – freely and by themselves.

The EU will not divert from its development cooperation in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

We have allocated 1.5 billion EUR until 2020 through our bilateral health programmes in partner countries, including for sexual and reproductive health and rights. And a further 100 million EUR to promoting gender equality and girls' rights.

We will keep using our funds in accordance with partner countries' national legislation and their health programmes, thus enhancing women's access to health and family planning services around the world.

This means supporting a wide spectrum of services allowed by the country's legal framework, including safe abortion.

However, we do not promote abortion as a method of family planning or its legalisation. Legal provisions on abortion are sovereign decisions of each country. But, after all, this is not an "anti" conference. It is a "pro" conference, a "pro-women" conference.

Therefore I am proud to announce that we will continue to support the work of our partners - like UNFPA, UNICEF, IPPF and many NGOs - to improve the lives of women and girls, by providing modern contraception, and tackling child marriage and female genital mutilation.  

After careful analysis of their needs – and our partner countries on the ground - we will need to mobilise additional funding to address the gaps.

And to support sexual and reproductive health and rights, comprehensive family planning, education, information and preventive health programmes. 

Because we know what this means for mothers – who suffer fewer complications or even death in childbirth - when they have the right to decide.

What this means for babies in developing countries – who are twice as likely to reach their first birthday when mothers have the choice to have their children at least three years apart.

And what this means for families and communities – who are more healthy, wealthy and successful - when women and girls have the right to decide.

But we also know that these choices can be wiped away – at the sweep of a pen.

225 million women in the developing world still have unmet needs for family planning.

And every minute, a woman dies from complications in childbirth or pregnancy. 99 percent of these deaths happen in the developing world.

We also know that denying essential support will only lead to more suffering and death.

Now more than ever, we in Europe must take a stand. And support great initiatives and visionary leaders - like the ones here today.

I am happy to add my full support to the governments, stakeholders and ordinary citizens who have already taken a stand.

Let us all stand firm in defending this most fundamental right - She Decides.

(Check Against Delivery)