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Global Parliamentarians mark twentieth anniversary of ICPD, key instrument for Women’s rigths

[Brussels, 28 April 2014] The Sixth International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD) was held in Stockholm, Sweden on 23- 25 April 2014. More than 260 parliamentarians from 134 countries met to renew their commitment to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and to mark its 20th anniversary.

The aim of this Conference was at contributing to the United Nations Secretary-General’s index report on further implementation of the ICPD beyond 2014, that will be discussed at the forthcoming UN General Assembly Special Session on the ICPD in September 2014.

The participants discussed progress towards agreements made at the 1994 ICPD on the basis of the recently published United Nations ICPD Global Review Report, which reviews of the implementation of the Programme of Action.
As the report states, the gains in maternal health and other dimensions of sexual and reproductive health and rights during the past 20 years are among the great successes to celebrate since the ICPD. However, women still face significant challenges in exercising their rights all over the world. About 800 women die each day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, and more than 220 million women still have an unmet need for contraceptives.

Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), highlighted parliamentarians’ role in positioning the human person at the centre of development. He highlighted the challenges and injustices faced by an imaginary rural 11-year-old girl, standing in for the millions of girls like her across the world. “They don’t tell her story because she is invisible – too young to appear in surveys or statistics, and perhaps, like one in three children in developing countries, her birth was never registered,” he said. “Lacking this passport to protection, exercising her rights is all but impossible. She isn’t counted; she isn’t reached,” he added. Furthermore, Mr Osotimehin insisted that "It all goes back to the status of women", adding that women and girls should not be treated as commodities but as human beings with rights and privileges.

The participants renewed their commitment to ICPD Programme of Action and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, in particular MDG 5 b) on universal access to sexual and reproductive health. Find here the main outcome of the Conference and the agreements reached at this event: The Stockholm Statement of Commitment On the Implementation of ICPD Beyond 2014.

The IPCI/ICPD event was organized by UNFPA and the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development, together with the Swedish Parliament, the Swedish All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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