Asia-Pacif​ic government​s declare decade of action to achieve universal civil registrati​on – Ministers commit to ‘Getting every one in the picture


Bangkok  (ESCAP  News)  —  Asia-Pacific countries embarked on an ambitiousagenda  today to accelerate and focus efforts to improve civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems at a Ministerial Conference convened bythe  United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific(ESCAP).

The  Ministerial  Conference  on  Civil  Registration  and Vital Statistics(CRVS)  in  Asia  and the Pacific adopted a Ministerial Declaration to ‘Get every  one  in  the  picture’  and  proclaimed  the ‘Asian and Pacific CRVS Decade’ for 2015-2024. To implement the declaration, governments endorsed a regional  action  framework  of goals and nationally-set time-bound targets for  civil  registration  coverage,  issuance  of  legal  documentation and production of vital statistics by 2024.

“The  declaration  we  have forged today affirms our shared vision that, by 2024,  we  will:  achieve  universal  registration  of all key life events; provide all people with legal proof of identity; and use these registration records  to  produce  and  openly share accurate, complete and timely vital statistics,”     said     Dr.     Shamshad     Akhtar,    United    Nations Under-Secretary-General  and  ESCAP  Executive  Secretary,  speaking at the closing ceremony.

“Our job now, is to work together in partnership and solidarity. To realize the  dreams  of  millions of people in our region who want a legal identity and seek a better future.”

Currently 36 countries in the Asia-Pacific region do not possess universal and responsive civil registration and vital statistics systems that meet international standards. 135 million children under the age of 5 have not had their birth registered. Without birth registration, a child’s
access to education, health care and social security may be hampered. Without proper recording of causes of death, governments are unable to
respond to the health service needs of the public. Today, governments took a giant leap to address these issues forging high-level political
commitment for the improvement of CRVS systems in the region.

The  Ministerial  declaration  outlines  the  commitment  of governments to achieve  a  shared vision that, by 2024, all people in Asia and the Pacific will benefit from universal and responsive CRVS systems that facilitate the realization  of  their  rights  and  support  good  governance,  health and development.

“The  right  to  be recognized as a person before the law is an inalienable human  right. Civil registration captures the events that mark the cycle of life  and  is an indispensable source of information to formulate effective policies  and  promote  good  governance,” said Ms. Nobuko Horibe, Regional Director  for  Asia and the Pacific, UNFPA in her closing remarks on behalf of co-organisers.

“As  development  partners,  we  stand  committed  to  support the national efforts  needed  to ensure that universal and responsive civil registration and vital statistics systems are in place in all countries in the region by

The  regional  action  framework  aims to accelerate and focus the combined efforts of governments and development partners to improve CRVS in Asia and the  Pacific  and  contains  key  principles,  regional  goals and national targets,  action  areas  and  implementation  steps.  This  also includes a governance  mechanism for its implementation and the long-term architecture for civil registration and vital statistics in Asia and the Pacific.

Youth   voices   featured   prominently   at  the  conference,  with  youth participants   presenting   a  Youth  Call  to  Action  to  complement  the
Ministerial Declaration and the Regional Action Framework which will inform youth work on CRVS in the future.

“It is the first time that youth voices and opinions about CRVS have been brought to a Ministerial Conference,” said Nigel Chapman, Plan
International CEO. “We want them to be heard and we want them to be part of producing changes on CRVS in Asia and the Pacific to ensure everyone gets in the picture by 2024.”

The  Conference was co-organized by ESCAP, UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, UNFPA, WHO, ADB  and  Plan  International,  in  collaboration  with the Partnership for Maternal,  Newborn and Child Health, the World Bank Group, the Asia Pacific Observatory  on Health Systems and Policies, the Partnership for Statistics Development  in  the 21st Century (PARIS21), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and World Vision.

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