Brief on ICPD + 25

 Introduction In 1994 in Cairo, at the International Conference in Population Development (ICPD), representatives from 179 governments and other stakeholders adopted a landmark and farsighted plan to advance human well-being by placing the rights of individuals at the centre of the global development agenda. Through a consensus the states developed the ICPD Programme of Action that lays out a farsighted plan for advancing human well-being that places the human rights of individuals, rather than numerical population targets, at the centre of the global development agenda. The plan was to be implemented in 20 years’ period from 1994 to 2014. The ICPD Programme of Action emphasized the value of investing in women and girls and affirmed the principle of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. The Programme of Action highlights the crucial links between sexual and reproductive health and rights with almost every aspect of population and development, from urbanization, migration and ageing to changing family structures and the importance of addressing the rights of young people. It calls attention to the ways in which investing in women and youth, especially in their sexual and reproductive health, can impact environmental sustainability and population dynamics. In recognition that the Programme of Action was due to formally come to an end in 2014 but that its goals and objectives remain valid beyond 2014; and acknowledging that many Governments may not meet all the goals and objectives of the Programme of Action by 2014, during the Sixty-fifth session of the UN General assembly held in 2011, the Programme of Action and the key actions were extended the for further implementation beyond 2014 and ensure its follow-up in order to fully meet its goals and objectives.

Progress since the ICPD

In many ways, the world has changed for the better over the last 25 years as governments’ efforts to protect the health and rights of women and girls have gained momentum. Today more women have the means to decide if and when they become pregnant and have access to sexual reproductive health services. Fewer girls are subjected to child marriage, and fewer women die from the pregnancy-related complications. The number of maternal deaths each year, for example, decreased by about 40 per cent over the last 25 years, and today, one in five girls is forced into marriage before age 18, compared with one in three in 1994. But despite impressive gains, additional efforts are needed to reach those who have been left behind. An estimated 214 million women who want to prevent a pregnancy are not using a modern method of contraception. In developing countries, some 830 women die every day from preventable causes during pregnancy or while giving birth. Every day, 39,000 girls are forced into marriages, and every year 4 million girls are subjected to female genital mutilation.

Review of ICPD Programme of Action

Every five years since ICPD, states have come together to reaffirm this commitment, analyze the progress that has been made towards realizing sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, and decide upon further actions that should be taken. Each member state is required to undertake the review and submit to the African Union and United Nations Population Fund. The report from member states are compiled to regional (continental) reports and later into global report. Kenya has conducted review implementation the Programme of Action in the country in 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. The year 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the ICPD Programme of Action. The anniversary will be marked by reviewing the centrality of the ICPD Programme of Action to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Why is it still relevant 25 years later? In 2019, 25 years after Cairo, the Commission on Population and Development will conduct a full review of the ICPD Programme of Action and its contribution to the 2030 Agenda, based on these regional reviews. This will also inform the first full review of the 2030 Agenda in the UN General Assembly. In preparation of this review, member states and each region of the world reviewed their progress since the 2013 regional conferences on population and development. National and regional reports of the review of ICPD@25 were prepared. These reports will be used to prepare the UN Secretary General’s Report that he will submit to member states during the Commission on Population and Development fifty-second session to be held in April 2019.

The Nairobi Summit

The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25: Accelerating the Promise, to be held from 13 to 15 November 2019. The high-level summit, co-convened by UNFPA and the Government of Kenya, will further galvanize partnerships, mobilize political and financial support and help foster ideas and commitments on how to fully realize the goals of the ICPD. The Summit will offer an inclusive platform for a broad range of public and private sector stakeholders – Heads of State, Ministers, civil society and youth leaders, parliamentarians, business representatives, media and others – to come together around the universally applicable principle of rights and choices for all. This major event is coming to Kenya on a backdrop of the country embracing Universal Health Coverage among its top four agenda to be attained by 2022 and its alignment to the SDG agenda. This commitment is also galvanized by the country’s capacity to host major events such as the TICAD and the recent Blue Economy conference.