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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
South East Europe Parliamentary Declaration
ISSUE 38 - 23 August 2004
On 29 July 2004, over 60 participants from Georgia and other countries in the region including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania and Turkey attended a sub-regional Parliamentary Roundtable on "Population and Development in South East Europe", which was organized by the Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (IEPFPD) and the Social and Health Affairs Committee of the Parliament of the Georgian Republic.
The participants, who included parliamentarians, NGOs, UNFPA Country Office representatives and members of the executive branches of government, discussed at length the main achievements and challenges in the region in living up to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
At the conclusion of the Roundtable, the parliamentarians present adopted the following Declaration, which reaffirms their full commitment to the ICPD Programme of Action and calls for greater attention to the needs of the internally displaced persons and refugees and increased involvement of young people in decision-making and legislative processes in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
IEPFPD Roundtable on Population and Development in South East Europe
29 July 2004, Tbilisi, Georgia
We parliamentarians from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Lithuania and Turkey, gathered in the Parliament of the Republic of Georgia on 29th July 2004, and having discussed Population and Development at the 10th year anniversary of the ICPD Programme of Action:
1) reaffirm our full commitment to achieving the objectives of the ICPD Programme of Action, which are indispensable to attaining the Millennium Development Goals;
2) highlight the specific challenges in population and development facing countries in South-East Europe and look to the ICPD Programme of Action, as well as the Beijing Platform of Action and the Millennium Development Goals, as the source of inspiration and responsibility for improving the sexual and reproductive well-being of our people;
3) praise the many efforts which have been accomplished in implementing the ICPD Programme of Action by the adoption of comprehensive legislation on guaranteeing sexual and reproductive health and rights and further encourage adoption of such legislation where it does not yet exist;
4) underscore that the states/ governments should take special measures to meet the social and health needs of elderly people;
5) recognize the cause of abortion as one of the main reasons of maternal mortality in the region and should be taken into consideration on policy design and implementation seriously;
6) draw particular attention to the sexual and reproductive health and rights needs of internally displaced persons and refugees, which constitute a significant percentage of the population of South-East European countries;
7) recognize the need to involve young people in decision-making and encourage the participation of young decision-makers in the formulation of policies and legislation aimed at young people;
8) believe that States and Governments should pay more attention to gender inequality and inequity;
9) look forward to the development of a European sexual and reproductive health strategy by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as a welcome and much needed contribution to European countriesâ€™ mutual desire to implement the ICPD Programme of Action;
10) encourage the creation of permanent parliamentary structures to actively take up population and development as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights issues in their work through the creation of national parliamentary groups;
Moreover, we the participants in the IEPFPD Roundtable on Population and Development in South-East Europe further:
1) express our gratitude to the Parliament of the Republic of Georgia and in particular to the Health Committee of the Parliament of the Republic of Georgia as well as the UNFPA offices in the region and HERA XXI, as well the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development/UNFPA-Japanese Trust Fund for their invaluable financial support;
2) note our appreciation to the UNFPA, IPPF, NGOs and international organizations such as the World Bank for their close partnership and cooperation;
3) urge the creation of a partnership network at sub-regional level to bring together relevant expertise in legal aspects related to sexual and reproductive health and rights and as such recommend that the IEPFPD holds such a regional meeting on a regular basis and further strive to include additional countries in the South-East European Region.
This newsletter is issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in its capacity as secretariat for the biannual International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (the first conference was held in November 2002, in Ottawa, Canada). These dispatches are intended to highlight important developments taking place around the world so that parliamentarians can be kept informed of and learn from the successes, setbacks and challenges encountered by their fellow parliamentarians in other countries and regions in their efforts to promote the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (September 1994, Cairo, Egypt). It should be noted that UNFPA does not necessarily endorse all of the policies described in this newsletter.
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