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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
ISSUE 12 - 14 November 2003
On 24 October 2003, 65 women ministers and parliamentarians from 23 West and Central African countries adopted a declaration reaffirming their commitment to and support for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action (1994) and the Key Actions for the Further Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (ICPD+5, 1999) as well as the ICPD 10 year review (2004). These ministers and parliamentarians, who are members of the Network of African Women and Parliamentarians (NEWMAP), adopted the declaration at a sub-regional workshop on “Gender Responsive Budgeting for ICPD Goals in National Development Frameworks: PRSPs and SWAps”. The workshop was held from 21 to 24 October in Cotonou, Benin, and was organized by UNFPA in partnership with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). Other organizations that provided assistance with the workshop included the World Bank, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Government of the Netherlands.
In its phrasing, the declaration references the Ottawa Commitment, which was adopted in Ottawa, Canada, in November 2002 by parliamentarians and ministers from 72 countries and territories at the International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.
We, African women ministers, parliamentarians and heads of delegations participating in the sub-regional workshop on “Gender Responsive Budgeting for ICPD Goals in the National Development Frameworks: PRSPs and SWAps” in Cotonou, Benin, from 21 to 24 October 2003,
Reaffirm our commitment to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), to the key actions for the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (ICPD+5) and to the preparation for ICPD+10 review, analysis of progress made, difficulties encountered and lessons learned in the implementation of the Programme over the past ten years, as recommended in the final report of the interim Secretariat of the African Union (AU), which was presented at Maputo Summit in July 2003.
We further recognize and accept our crucial roles, both individually and collectively as advocates for the rights and needs of the people, as legislators to make laws to protect these rights and as policy makers to mobilize and allocate the resources and create an enabling environment.
We further recognize and accept that population is a crosscutting issue, affecting all other development issues.
We recognize as indispensable the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in particular those eradicating poverty and hunger, conflicts and post-conflict situations, improving maternal heath, reproductive health and rights, combating HIV/AIDS, providing universal primary education and promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Call to action
We, African women ministers, parliamentarians and heads of delegations participating in the sub-regional workshop on “Gender Responsive Budgeting for ICPD Goals in National Development Frameworks”, commit ourselves to the following actions:
1. Give high priority to the poverty reduction strategies and ensure that gender perspectives are taken into account;
2. Focus our actions on strategies and programmes that will work to enable the poorest to expand their opportunities and improve their lives;
3. Focus our actions on strategies and programmes that will work to enhance rights and promote peace and security in our countries;
4. Formulate and implement policies and programmes for sexual and reproductive health for teenagers and young girls and men;
5. Enforce laws and policies that promote and protect the human rights of girl child and young women;
6. Support the strengthening of instruments and mechanisms to promote gender equality and equity;
7. Enforce laws and policies that eliminate all forms of violence, coercion and discrimination against women, including various forms of harmful practices;
8. Provide inputs to the ICPD+10 review exercise, coordinate preparation for the National Report on ICPD+10, and create awareness among decision makers, policy makers and the public at large about the ICPD+10 review process;
9. Promote the adoption of gender budgeting as a strategy to secure resource allocations for reproductive heath;
10. Promote South-South Cooperation among African countries; and
11. Advocate for NEPAD*.
* NEPAD stands for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
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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