Nigeria and UNC on pop­u­la­tion and de­vel­op­ment

Daily Trust - - HEALTH INTERACTIVE -

The United Na­tion 47th Ses­sion of the Com­mis­sion on Pop­u­la­tion and De­vel­op­ment kicked up on Mon­day 7th and ends Fri­day 11th April 2014 at the United Na­tions Head­quar­ters in New York City, U.S.A. The theme for the meet­ing is “As­sess­ment of the sta­tus of im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Pop­u­la­tion and De­vel­op­ment (ICPD)”.

Coun­tries are ex­pected to make pre­sen­ta­tions dur­ing ple­nary ses­sions on progress made with re­spect to ICPD im­ple­men­ta­tion. Nigeria for the 1st time has be­ing ad­mit­ted to this meet­ing as a mem­ber not as an ob­server as done pre­vi­ously. This is a big plus as it al­lows Nigeria to vote and be voted for as well as be part of the im­por­tant de­ci­sions mak­ing. The Na­tional Pop­u­la­tion Com­mis­sion leading the Nige­rian del­e­ga­tion had pre­sented a coun­try as­sess­ment around the theme of the meet­ing. Be­fore I dwell on the con­tent of the pre­sen­ta­tion and of­fer my opin­ion next week, I will pro­vide key high­lights of the Draft Res­o­lu­tion of the As­sess­ment of the Sta­tus of Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Pop­u­la­tion and De­vel­op­ment shared by the Com­mis­sion on Pop­u­la­tion and De­vel­op­ment.

The draft res­o­lu­tion is writ­ten tak­ing in to cog­ni­sance that 2014 marks the twen­ti­eth an­niver­sary of the In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Pop­u­la­tion and De­vel­op­ment, held in Cairo in 1994, as well as key ac­tions for the fur­ther im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion, as en­dorsed by the Gen­eral As­sem­bly at its twenty-first spe­cial ses­sion, held in New York from 30 June to 2 July 1999. It was also linked to the United Na­tions Mil­len­nium Dec­la­ra­tion and the 2005 World Sum­mit Out­come, in­clud­ing the Mil­len­nium De­vel­op­ment Goals and other in­ter­na­tion­ally agreed de­vel­op­ment goals, and the Bei­jing Plat­form for Ac­tion.

It was also linked to the res­o­lu­tion 65/234 adopted by the Gen­eral As­sem­bly on 22 De­cem­ber 2010 on the fol­low-up to the In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Pop­u­la­tion and De­vel­op­ment be­yond 2014, in which the Gen­eral As­sem­bly de­cided to ex­tend the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion and the key ac­tions for its fur­ther im­ple­men­ta­tion be­yond 2014 and en­sure its fol­low-up in or­der to fully meet its goals and ob­jec­tives as well as the Gen­eral As­sem­bly’s de­ci­sion to con­vene a spe­cial ses­sion dur­ing the sixty-ninth ses­sion of the Gen­eral As­sem­bly in or­der to as­sess the sta­tus of im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion and to re­new po­lit­i­cal sup­port for ac­tions re­quired for the full achieve­ment of its goals and ob­jec­tives.

The res­o­lu­tion also stresses the im­por­tance of pro­tect­ing the achieve­ments of the ICPD and re­spond­ing to new chal­lenges rel­e­vant to pop­u­la­tion and de­vel­op­ment and to the chang­ing de­vel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment. It also recog­nises the cur­rent de­mo­graphic pic­ture as one of con­sid­er­able di­ver­sity and on­go­ing change, re­flected in new pat­terns of child­bear­ing, mar­riage, mor­tal­ity, mi­gra­tion, ur­ban­iza­tion, and pop­u­la­tion age­ing. It ex­presses con­cerned for the find­ing that, in spite of the progress made to­wards achiev­ing the goals and ob­jec­tives of the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion and the Mil­len­nium De­vel­op­ment Goals, con­sid­er­able gaps still ex­ist in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion.

It stresses that the full im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion and the key ac­tions for its fur­ther im­ple­men­ta­tion be­yond 2014, in­clud­ing those re­lated to sex­ual and re­pro­duc­tive health and rights, which would also con­trib­ute to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Bei­jing Plat­form of Ac­tion, as well as those on pop­u­la­tion and de­vel­op­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and gen­der equal­ity, is in­te­grally linked to the erad­i­ca­tion of poverty and the achieve­ment of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, and that pop­u­la­tion dy­nam­ics af­fect all three pil­lars of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and thus need to be taken into ac­count in the for­mu­la­tion of the new UN de­vel­op­ment Agenda

It stresses that re­pro­duc­tive rights em­brace cer­tain hu­man rights that are al­ready rec­og­nized in na­tional laws, in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights documents and other con­sen­sus documents and rest on the recog­ni­tion of the ba­sic right of all cou­ples and in­di­vid­u­als to de­cide freely and re­spon­si­bly the num­ber, spac­ing and tim­ing of their chil­dren and to have the in­for­ma­tion and means to do so, the right to at­tain the high­est stan­dard of sex­ual and re­pro­duc­tive health, the right to make de­ci­sions con­cern­ing re­pro­duc­tion free of dis­crim­i­na­tion, co­er­cion and vi­o­lence.

The draft res­o­lu­tion urges Gov­ern­ments, the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and all other rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers to give par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to the ar­eas of great­est short­fall in im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion and the key ac­tions for its fur­ther im­ple­men­ta­tion, in­clud­ing, among oth­ers, uni­ver­sal ac­cess to qual­ity, in­te­grated sex­ual and re­pro­duc­tive health ser­vices, and ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion and ed­u­ca­tion on sex­ual and re­pro­duc­tive health.

It also re­it­er­ates that in­creased po­lit­i­cal will from all Gov­ern­ments is ur­gently needed to ad­dress ex­ist­ing gaps and to re­spond to new chal­lenges rel­e­vant to pop­u­la­tion and de­vel­op­ment and to the chang­ing de­vel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment.

It rec­og­nizes that the ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion and the key ac­tions for its fur­ther im­ple­men­ta­tion be­yond 2014 will re­quire an in­creased com­mit­ment of fi­nan­cial re­sources, both do­mes­ti­cally and ex­ter­nally, and calls upon all coun­tries to make ev­ery ef­fort to strengthen their com­mit­ment to meet the costs of im­ple­ment­ing the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion.

En­cour­ages Gov­ern­ments, in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing those of the United Na­tions sys­tem, in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and other rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers to as­sist coun­tries to ad­dress ex­ist­ing gaps and to re­spond to new chal­lenges rel­e­vant to pop­u­la­tion and de­vel­op­ment and to the chang­ing de­vel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment through tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance, ca­pac­ity-build­ing and other ac­tiv­i­ties in or­der to ac­cel­er­ate the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion and the key ac­tions for its fur­ther im­ple­men­ta­tion. It en­cour­ages Gov­ern­ments to mon­i­tor their progress to­wards the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion and fi­nally em­pha­sizes the im­por­tance of build­ing and sus­tain­ing part­ner­ships among Gov­ern­ments and rel­e­vant civil so­ci­ety stake­hold­ers for the suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pro­gramme of Ac­tion.

All com­ments to Dr Aminu Ma­gashi at health­weekly@ya­hoo.com

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