Harnessing the gains of ICPD POA implementation in the Post 2015 Development Agenda
Twenty years after the global consensus was reached at the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, the lessons and recommendations of the ICPD beyond 2014 review process, distilled in the UN Secretary General’s Global Report “Framework of Actions for the Follow-up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014” provide the means to carry forward the paradigm shift of the ICPD, despite the identified unfinished business that still exist, while also responding to new challenges.
The ICPD Beyond 2014 review process engaged Members States and a wide range of stakeholders in an open and transparent process thus the results reflect country experiences and an agenda truly owned by developing countries. The review incorporated responses to the Global Survey from 183 Member States, territories and areas – many completed in partnership with civil society organizations – and built on the outcomes of regional conferences, drew from three thematic meetings on young people, human rights and women’s health, and reviewed and analyzed the most up to date data and research outcomes.
The findings of the review point to the necessity of equality, dignity and human rights – including sexual and reproductive health and rights – as a foundation for sustainable development, and how inequality is undermining development gains. They identify a wide range of groups that face persistent discrimination, quantify the costs of discrimination for people and societies, and the importance of non-discrimination for all, without distinction of any kind. Thus we are at a critical intersection at which we must stand up for dignity and human rights in order to guarantee the health of all people.
The findings also describe wide-ranging changes to household composition that have taken place in the last twenty years, especially the rise of single-person households, women-headed households, child- headed households and other living arrangements, a display of the diversity of the family that the POA recognized and how that diversity has grown.
The findings map the way to reducing maternal morbidity and mortality, including the importance of legal access to safe abortion as a means of saving the lives of women and girls. The report unequivocally make the case for access to age- appropriate information and comprehensive sexuality education, services and rights for sexual and reproductive health of young people around the world. The recommendations, if implemented, will promote the health and development of women and young people especially adolescent girls.
During the 47th meeting of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD), Heads of Government delegations in plenary emphasized how the implementation of the ICPD PoA has galvanized their countries development and empowered their people, acknowledge the ICPD Beyond 2014 review process and the resulting Global Report in reflecting the gains and charting the path forward for dignity, human rights and sustainability. Furthermore, there was an overwhelming call for continued implementation of the ICPD PoA beyond 2014, and its’ inclusion in the post-2015 development agenda.
The outcome of the CPD reaffirmed the gains made in 1994. It reflected much of the diversity of the comprehensive development agenda that the ICPD represents: addressing sexual and reproductive health, reproductive rights, the needs and aspirations of adolescents and youth, persons with disabilities, unemployed persons, older persons, disadvantaged and marginalized groups, gender equality and elimination of violence, aspects of discrimination, urbanization, migration, climate change and more. It also highlights the importance of population and development for the Post-2015 development agenda. These findings were affirmed across the regional outcomes, pointing the way for a forward-looking agenda built from regional agreements.
In light of this, we urge African Governments to take full advantage of the General Assembly Special Session on the ICPD to be held on 22 September, to commit to the full scope of the ICPD Beyond 2014 review and its findings, particularly the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development in Africa Beyond 2014 and to ensure that this is fully reflected in the post 2015 development agenda.
We especially urge Member States during the Special Session of the General Assembly on the follow-up to the ICPD Programme of Action to listen to the voices of civil society around the world, particularly from the global south.
We commend the review process that generated the Report under the leadership of UNFPA, and urge UNFPA to continue its mandate to support countries in the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.
For more information about the ACCPD, contact Uwem Esiet, Interim Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org