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Moving Forward: 15 Years After Cairo

Written By: Jennifer Redner
September 3, 2009

 

Check out this video featuring Vincent, a representative from the Youth Coalition who is based in the Phillipines, and be sure to stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post about the youth component of the Berlin Conference.

This week in Berlin, Germany, more than 300 nongovernmental organizations are participating in a three-day conference with the goal of reinvigorating support for implementation of the full International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action (PoA) by 2015.

The PoA, agreed to by 179 governments fifteen years ago, is the considered by many to be the most comprehensive international agreement on sexual and reproductive rights and health, and a defining moment in making human rights central to global development.  Today, many organizations and advocates continue to use this exceptional agreement to move ICPD implementation forward.

As part of the conference, two documents will be produced.  The first document is a Call to Action that will be delivered to parliamentarians when they meet to discuss progress towards achieving the PoA in October  in Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia. The second document, directed at NGOs, is a “how to” for advocacy and programmatic implementation of the PoA, with particular emphasis on the policy priorities of the Call to Action.

A first draft of the Call to Action was distributed to conference participants yesterday evening, and a debate appears to be  quickly heating up.  Some feel that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)– global targets for alleviating extreme poverty–should not even be mentioned in the Call to Action, because it may divert support from ICPD’s focus on gender equality and reproductive rights.  Others argue that the PoA no longer resonates with policymakers, and that the name of the game today is the MDGs.  Those advocates argue that placing the PoA within the framework of the MDGs will draw more attention to the need for universal access to sexual and reproductive rights and health.

“The point is to define what is the best strategy to push forward government commitments at this moment considering we still have five years ahead to achieve the Programme of Action,” said Alessandra Nilo, executive director of GESTOS in Brazil.

A final draft of the Call to Action will be issued this evening.  The final Call will reflect input recieved during numerous workshops and discussions, including a workshop moderated by IWHC on how access to sexual and reproductive health services can empower women against HIV infection.

More information on the CPD:

Click here to read the Report of the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 5-13 Sept. 1994).

To access the Programme of Action directly in English, French, and Spanish, visit UNFPA’s website here.

Click here for an overview of the ICPD Programme of Action.

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