UN Member States reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the goals and objectives of the Programme of Action, adopted at the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994. In a declaration, countries agreed that the full implementation of the Programme of Action is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The 52nd session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development opened on 1 April at UN Headquarters and is continuing until 5 April. During the Commission’s meeting, countries will examine gains that have been made in implementing the Programme of Action as well as the gaps and shortfalls in achieving its goals and objectives. They will also establish how its implementation contributes to achieving relevant Sustainable Development Goals.
“When we look at targets on poverty in the least developed countries, or on child marriage or people living in urban slums, while the percentage of affected persons may be declining, their number is still rising”, cautions Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General.
Important gains and significant shortfalls in the implementation of the Programme of Action
The world has witnessed significant progress in implementing the ICPD Programme of Action, adopted 25 years ago. Examples include greater access to sexual and reproductive health care, reduced child and maternal mortality, increased life expectancy, and advances in gender equality and women’s empowerment.
“While it is right to celebrate our achievements, we must also prepare for a world with a population that is larger, older, more mobile and more urbanized than ever before,” notes Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
Access to sexual and reproductive health-care services key for sustainable development
Use of modern methods of family planning has risen markedly. Globally, among married or in-union women of reproductive age who express a need for family planning, the proportion for whom such need is satisfied with modern methods of contraception increased from 72 percent in 1994 to 78 percent in 2019. Nonetheless, in 44 countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania, less than half of women’s demand for family planning is being met by the use of modern methods.
According to UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Ashley Judd, the keynote speaker, “sexual and reproductive health of girls and women are at the heart of poverty eradication and sustainable development”.
Importantly, the UN reports highlight the importance of ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services for reducing levels of maternal and child mortality. Typically, such policies lead also to a reduction in the birth rate.
Global population is ageing, with important regional differences in timing and speed
By 2050, the proportion of persons aged 65 years or over is projected to reach 28 percent in Europe and 23 percent in Northern America. Many older adults, especially in developing countries, are unable to meet their basic expenses. As the number of older persons continues to grow in all regions of the world, so does the need to address the increased incidence of age-related frailty and the provision of high-quality health care, while enabling individuals to live longer, healthier and more productive lives.
Future population growth will be concentrated in urban areas of Africa and Asia
Today, 56 percent of the world’s population resides in urban areas, a share that is projected to increase to 68 percent in 2050. About 90 percent of this urban growth will take place in Africa and Asia
During the current session of the Commission on Population and Development, representatives and experts from UN Member States, UN entities and civil society will gather to consider the theme, “Review and appraisal of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and its contribution to the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” The deliberations at the Commission will assist countries in integrating critical population issues during the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, to be organized by the Economic and Social Council, in July 2019.
Original source: UNFPA
Published on 01 April 2019