Asia-Pacific parliamentarians are determined that the progressive rights-based approach the region’s member States endorsed at November’s Asia Pacific Population Conference is carried forward to the UN’s global Conference on Population and Development in April in New York.
Regional MPs are meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand, this week ahead of April’s 47th Session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), which will assess the status of implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) adopted by 179 nations in Cairo in 1994.
“In the last two decades, much progress has been made but many challenges still face us today,” said Hon. Senator Assoc. Prof. Dr. Porapan Punyaratabhandhu, Secretary General of the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) as she addresses ICPD champion parliamentarians from the region today.
“Mothers and children continue to die preventable deaths during childbirth, girls continue to have unintended pregnancies, women continue to be subjected to violence, sexually transmitted infections and new HIV infections continue to occur, and very few women are elected to public office to serve as leaders.
“Parliamentarians have a crucial role to play in advocating for ICPD’s reaffirmation, with emphasis on the unfinished agenda; identifying emerging priority issues in relation to ICPD; advocating for the integration of ICPD in the post-2015 development agenda; and for holding governments accountable for their commitments in the ICPD.
“AFPPD strongly encourages governments to include parliamentarians in their country delegations as they are key players in the implementation of the ICPD beyond 2014 and the coming post-2015 agenda.”
There was also a need for parliamentarians to address population dynamics, transparent governance and sustainability in a shared agenda, Senator Assoc. Prof. Dr. Porapan Punyaratabhandhu
AFPPD and UNFPA APRO convened parliamentarians in Chiang Mai, Thailand to develop a strategic approach to ensure a progressive outcome for the CPD. Mobilising champion parliamentarians will reinforce population and development advocacy in the region.