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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
Parliamentarians Meet in Strasbourg to Assess Progress in Implementing the ICPD PoA
ISSUE 43 - 11 October 2004
Life or Death is a Political Decision, Stress Lawmakers
Parliamentarians will meet in Strasbourg to assess progress in promoting universal access to reproductive health care by 2015
About 250 leading parliamentarians, ministers and other participants from over 90 countries will meet to discuss ways to mobilize funds and influence national laws and policies on population and reproductive health at the second International Parliamentarians Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD), to be held in Strasbourg, France on 18-19 October.
This year's Parliamentarians Conference coincides with the 10th anniversary of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which established a 20-year Programme of Action (PoA), including the goal of ensuring universal access to reproductive health services by 2015.
IPCI/ICPD is a biannual conference aimed at promoting dialogue among parliamentarians from all regions of the world. Its two main themes are constant: resource mobilization and the creation of an enabling policy environment for the implementation of the ICPD PoA.
At the first IPCI/ICPD held in Ottawa, Canada in November 2002, lawmakers agreed that "Life or Death is a Political Decision" and pledged to save lives by striving to allocate up to 10 per cent of their nations' development budgets for population and reproductive health programmes. The Ottawa Statement of Commitment, which was endorsed by over 100 parliamentarians and ministers from 72 countries and territories, became a point of reference for parliamentarians' work in supporting the ICPD PoA. To make sure that the Ottawa spirit is carried forward, parliamentarians established, for the first time, a global system of continued follow-up of their actions.
First, it was decided that the IPCI/ICPD would be held every two years to focus on the same two themes of the Ottawa Conference as mentioned above. It was also agreed that the Conference would be hosted, on a rotating basis, by each of the five regions: Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Arab States, the Inter-European, and the Inter-American and Caribbean.
Second, the participants of the Ottawa Conference requested UNFPA, in its capacity as the permanent secretariat for the IPCI/ICPD, to keep parliamentarians and policy-makers regularly informed about important developments taking place around the world regarding the two main themes discussed in Ottawa. UNFPA launched in April 2003 an email newsletter entitled, UNFPA Global Population Policy Update.
In Strasbourg, parliamentarians will assess the progress made in the ten years after the ICPD and adopt a strong declaration that would build on the Ottawa Statement of Commitment and provide a clear sense of direction for the ten years ahead.
The Conference will be hosted by Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (IEPFPD) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in collaboration with regional parliamentary groups on population and development, i.e. the Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (IAPG), the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) and the Forum of African and Arab Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FAAPPD), along with Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA). UNFPA is the co-organizer and secretariat of the conference, as well as one of its sponsors. The other sponsors are the European Commission and the Governments of The Netherlands and Switzerland. In addition, In-kind support is being provided by the Government of France, the Council of Europe, the City of Strasbourg and the French National Assembly Delegation on Womenâ€™s Rights and Equal Opportunities between Men and Women.
To find out more about the Strasbourg Conference, visit the UNFPA website at: http://www.unfpa.org/parliamentarians/ipci/strasbourg/index.htm