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WAS Sexual Health for the Millennium Declaration

17th World Congress of Sexology, Montreal 2005

We, the participants of the 17th World Congress of Sexology, assert our commitment to the Mission of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS), to promote sexual health throughout the lifespan. We also reaffirm the 1999 WAS Declaration on Sexual Rights; the recommendations from the Pan-American Health Organization/WAS 2000 report “Promotion of Sexual Health: Recommendations for Action;” and the 2002 World Health Organization’s Working Definitions of Sexual Health and Sexual Rights.


Considering the urgent need for collective action to attain sustainable health and development goals and milestones stated in international agreements, including the Millennium Declaration, we declare that:

The promotion of sexual health is central to the attainment of wellness and well-being and to the achievement of sustainable development and more specifically to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. Individuals and communities who experience well-being are better positioned to contribute to the eradication of individual and societal poverty. By nurturing individual and social responsibility and equitable social interactions, promotion of sexual health fosters quality of life and the realization of peace.


Therefore, we urge all governments, international agencies, private sector, academic institutions and society at large, and particularly, all member organizations of the World Association for Sexual Health to:


1. Recognize, promote, ensure and protect sexual rights for all

Sexual rights are an integral component of basic human rights and therefore, are inalienable and universal. Sexual health cannot be obtained or maintained without sexual rights for all.

2. Advance toward gender equity

Sexual health requires gender equity and respect. Gender-related inequities and imbalances of power deter constructive and harmonic human interactions and therefore the attainment of sexual health.

3. Eliminate all forms of sexual violence and abuse

Sexual health cannot be attained until people are free of stigma, discrimination, sexual abuse, coercion and violence.

4. Provide universal access to comprehensive sexuality information and education

To achieve sexual health, all individuals, including youth, must have access to comprehensive sexuality education (Note, could leave this comma) and sexual health information and services throughout the life cycle.

5. Ensure that reproductive health programs recognize the centrality of sexual health

Reproduction is one of the critical dimensions of human sexuality and may contribute to strengthening relationships and personal fulfillment when desired and planned. Sexual health is a more encompassing concept than reproductive health. Current reproductive health programs must be broadened to address the various dimensions of sexuality and sexual health in a comprehensive manner.

6. Halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Universal access to prevention, voluntary counseling and testing, comprehensive care and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other STIs are equally essential to sexual health. Programs that assure universal access must be scaled up immediately.

7. Identify, address and treat sexual concerns, dysfunctions and disorders

Since sexual fulfillment has the capacity of enhancing quality of life, it is critical to recognize, prevent and treat sexual concerns, dysfunctions and disorders

8. Achieve recognition of sexual pleasure as a component of well-being

Sexual health is more than the absence of disease. Sexual pleasure and satisfaction are integral components of well-being and require universal recognition and promotion.

It is essential that international, regional, national and local plans of action for sustainable development prioritize sexual health interventions, allocate sufficient resources, address systemic, structural and community barriers and monitor progress.

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