The evidenced-based views of parliamentarians need to be heeded during the Conference on Population and Development at the UN in New York this April.
The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) wants all governments in Asia and the Pacific to include at least one parliamentarian committed to progressive population and development policy in their country?s official delegation to the CPD.
That?s the core message being conveyed to the AFPPD?s 27 national committees, gathered in Bangkok this week to discuss strategy and plan activities for 2014 with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).
?The participation of a parliamentarian who has a better understanding of the priority population and development issues such as ending inequality, violence against women, young people, education, HIV/AIDS, unmet needs in reproductive health services and family planning, urbanization and ageing will ensure that the outcome document of the Sixth APPC will not roll back from what has already been achieved,? said Hon. Sen. Dr. Porapan Punyarattabandhu, Secretary General of AFPPD.
?Parliamentarians have a strong understanding of the importance of human-rights based policies and how they can enhance the quality of life of people including marginalised groups.?
Parliamentarians from across Asia and the Pacific gathered in Chiang Mai, Thailand this month to help craft the official oral statement on priority issues that AFPPD will present during the CPD in New York.
Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director of AFPPD, said that the region?s parliamentarians recognised that universal access to comprehensive, integrated and high quality SRH information, education and services, with a particular focus on women and adolescents is integral to the socio-economic development of individuals and nations in Asia and the Pacific region.
?They also recognised that equitable development cannot be achieved or sustained without gender equality, women?s empowerment and harnessing the demographic dividend through comprehensive youth policies that include young people?s meaningful participation at all levels of governance, accountability and policy-making,? said Mr San Pascual.
?Since 1994, AFPPD has fostered parliamentarians adopting legislation and policies to achieve the full ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) agenda.?