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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
Tokyo Parliamentary Statement of Commitment
ISSUE 75 - 26 September 2007
On 28-29 August 2007, parliamentarians from 20 African and Asian countries met in Tokyo, Japan for the Afro-Asian Parliamentarians Dialogue on "Population, Health and Community Capacity Building for Sustainable Development toward Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) IV and G8 Summit in 2008".
The meeting was organized by the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) and the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD), with support from UNFPA and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The participants at the two-day meeting held lengthy discussions on recommendations for the TICAD IV and G8 Summits to be held next year in Japan, whose focus will include among others Africa's economic and social development.
They concluded by adopting the Tokyo Statement of Parliamentarians on Population, Health and Community Capacity Development, which reaffirmed the centrality of ICPD to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Tokyo Statement of Parliamentarians' on Population, Health, and Community Capacity Development
We, the 21 Parliamentarians from 20 countries of Africa and Asia, as representatives of the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD)* and the Forum of Africa and Arab Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FAAPPD)** met in Tokyo on August 28-29, 2007 at the Afro-Asian Parliamentarians' Dialogue on Population, Health and Community Capacity Building for Sustainable Development toward Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) IV and G8 Summit in 2008.
- We affirm the centrality of ICPD as the principle framework for the achievement of the MDGs, supported and affirmed by the Berlin Meeting of G8 parliamentarians' Conference on Economic Rewards in Investing in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Health, and declaration adopted at the International Parliamentarians' Conference on ICPD Implementation held in Bangkok in November, 2006.
- We support the initiative of TICAD by the Government of Japan and African Governments for the development of Africa and the well-being of African People.
- We urge the attainment of all MDGs, especially Goals 1 and the global health related Goals,4, 5, and 6 be on the Agenda for TICAD-IV and G8 Summit to be held in 2008, Japan.
- We further urge that the African Union's 2006 Maputo Plan of Action for the operationalisation of the sexual and reproductive health continental policy framework be on the agenda of TICAD-IV.
We, the parliamentarians, believe that:
- The stabilization of population is a crucial prerequisite for poverty reduction, sustainable development and prevents environment degradation in Asia and Africa.
- Community development is the key to African and Asian development. Establishing and maintaining social bonds are essential to prevent HIV/AIDS pandemic and protect socially vulnerable people; particular attention must be given to the remote and rural areas.
- HIV/AIDS is not only a health issue; a cross sectoral effort is needed to address this menace to human security, which is undermining the African and Asian development.
- North-South cooperation and ODA are invaluable and developing South-South cooperation is essential. In addition, South-South cooperation builds the regional cooperation.
- There is an urgent need for universal access to reproductive health, family planning, information, services and commodities especially for young people, to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development and prevent pandemic of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
- Asia and Africa can learn from each other?s best practices and experiences in agriculture, rural development, infrastructure, and capacity development.
- We need to establish a socioeconomic system with an "environmentally-sound material cycle" for sustainable productivity and to limit adverse impact on the environment.
- Internal peace, security, sustainability and good governance are essential for sustainable development. We also recognize that one of the causes of conflict can be traced to population pressures and poverty which need to be addressed.
- Women's education and empowerment play a key role in social and economic development. All efforts should be made to protect women and girls from degrading practices such as Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/FGC), and all forms of gender-based violence should be stopped.
- Agriculture in Africa and Asia is the backbone of their economies. Improvement to infrastructure, promotion of environmentally sustainable agriculture and water resource management are essential.
- Sustainable initiatives such as income generating schemes which contribute to women's empowerment should be developed and encouraged.
- Regional and international cooperation are vital, especially the cooperation among parliamentarians and other elected representatives who can contribute to development, good governance and democracy.
- Information sharing and monitoring mechanisms need to be developed and implemented by parliamentarians for effective development plans.
- TICAD, a Japanese Government effort, and G8 governments have contributed towards Afro-Asian Development and urge that these to continue and enhance their support to meet MDGs, especially 1, 4, 5, and 6.
- Governments and other development agencies should keep parliaments informed of all development project contracts for transparency for better results.
We, the parliamentarians commit ourselves to work towards fulfilling the above.
* AFPPD is a coordinating body of national committees of parliamentarians on population and development and parliamentary committees in Asia and the Pacific which was established in 1982 as the first regional forum of parliamentarians on population and development.** FAAPPD was established in 1997 in Cape Town as a regional parliamentarians' forum on population and development for Africa and Arab countries under the declaration of the International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (ICPPD) which was held in Cairo Egypt in conjunction with the ICPD 1994.
All previous issues of the UNFPA Global Population Policy Update can now be found on UNFPA's website at: http://www.unfpa.org/parliamentarians/news/newsletters.htm .
This newsletter is issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in its capacity as the secretariat for the biennial International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD). The first IPCI/ICPD was held in November 2002 in Ottawa, Canada, the second in October 2004 in Strasbourg, France and the third in November 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand. 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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