GENEVA – As the 20th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) approaches, efforts are underway to revitalize and re-energize the Programme of Action (PoA) adopted by 179 Member States in Cairo in 1994. Part of that work will center around the operational review process now underway around the implementation of the ICPD PoA.
An informal briefing held in Geneva on 28 June 2012 has highlighted the importance of this review process for all involved in ICPD.
“The 2014 review of the implementation of ICPD provides a unique opportunity to renew political support for actions required to achieve the full implementation of the ICPD agenda,” said His Excellency Antti Rytövuori, Chargé d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Finland, who underlined Finland’s full support to the ICPD Programme of Action.
The operational review was mandated by General Assembly Resolution (A/65/234 (2010)), which established a roadmap for achieving the vision of ICPD beyond 2014 and called on UNFPA - in cooperation with relevant UN agencies, international organizations, institutions and experts - to undertake the review.
The ICPD Programme of Action acknowledged gender equality, eliminating violence against women and the provision of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services as cornerstones of population and development policies. Today, this agenda is as important as ever and the world has yet to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health.
“Pregnancy and delivery are the single biggest reason for the rise in girls’ mortality between the age of 15 and 19 in developing countries,” said His Excellency Elias Jaime Zimba, Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Mozambique. “To save their lives, we are required to exert every effort to make the Cairo Agenda and the MDGs a reality.”
The briefing was co-organized by UNFPA, the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh, Colombia, Finland, Mozambique, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and the NGO Committee on the Status of Women. It outlined the review process, which will reveal what worked best and how to respond to new challenges. It is expected to yield new recommendations to assure each individual a healthy and fulfilling life, with respect for their dignity and equal rights, in a world looking beyond 2014.
A key feature of the review process is its inclusiveness, as it involves the UN System, Member States and civil society. “What we need is a continues conversation within the human rights framework here in Geneva,” said Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, President of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, speaking on behalf of more than 100 women’s organizations