Recognizing the urgent need to address the political, structural and cultural barriers to mainstreaming Emergency Contraception in the region, the Pacific Institute organized the first ever Southeast Asian Workshop on Strategies to Promote Access to Emergency Contraception from October 24 to 26, 2002 in Bangkok, Thailand. Due in large part to the lack of access to reproductive health information and services in the region, Southeast Asia alone accounts for 40% of the more than 500,000 maternal deaths that occur each year worldwide. Among those attending were more than 30 non-governmental leaders, medical and health service professionals and policymakers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, East Timor, Thailand, India and Bangladesh. The purpose was to promote Emergency Contraception and women's sexual and reproductive health and rights. See the Southeast Asian Manifesto.