Nigeria and UNC on population and development
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 email@example.com