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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
Report on the Conclusion of the 38th session of the CPD
ISSUE 50 - 19 April 2005
Below is a UNFPA press release on the conclusion of the 38th session of the Commission of Population and Development (CPD), which took place on 4-8 April 2005 in New York. Due to time contraints, the Member States had to meet on 14 April 2005 to officially close the session and adopt the main resolutions on "Population, development and HIV/AIDS, with particular emphasis on poverty"; "Contribution of the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action in all its aspects, to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration"; and "Methods of work of the CPD".
Integrate Universal Access to Reproductive Health into World Development Strategies, Strengthen Links Between HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health, UN Members Stress
UNFPA Welcomes Decisions as Triumph for World's Women, Families
UNITED NATIONS, New York, 14 April 2005 - Members of the United Nations have emphasized the need to integrate the goal of universal access to reproductive health by 2015 in strategies to attain the world's development goals. Such access, they resolved, should be part of efforts to eradicate poverty, improve maternal health, reduce infant and child deaths, promote gender equality and combat HIV/AIDS.
United Nations Members included these decisions in resolutions they adopted today as they concluded the 2005 session of the Commission on Population and Development. Two main resolutions covered population, HIV/AIDS and poverty, as well as the contribution of the Programme of Action of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) to the world's development goals, including those in the Millennium Declaration.
Stressing that the full implementation of the Cairo Programme is an essential contribution to the achievement of the world's development goals, the United Nations Members underscored its relevance in reviewing the progress of the Millennium Declaration and other commitments. Three Cairo goals - reducing maternal death, reducing infant and child mortality, and ensuring universal access to primary education - were fully reflected in the Millennium Declaration, they emphasized. The Members reaffirmed the Cairo Programme, as was done at recent regional meetings in Bangkok, Geneva, Dakar, San Juan and Beirut.
In order to fight AIDS cost-effectively, the countries emphasized, it was necessary to strengthen linkages and coordination between HIV/AIDS and reproductive health and include them in national development and poverty eradication plans. This would make anti-HIV/AIDS efforts more relevant and reduce the infection's impact on families and communities, they added.
The United Nations Members reiterated that point in a separate resolution on HIV/AIDS, and went even further. They urged governments to take measures to increase the ability of adults and adolescents to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS by providing health care, including sexual and reproductive health, and prevention education.
Young women and men, United Nations delegates stressed, should be ensured access to information, education-including peer education and youth-specific HIV education, sexual education-and services needed to develop the life skills to reduce their vulnerability to AIDS. HIV/AIDS programmes, they continued, should enable men to adopt safe and responsible sexual and reproductive behaviour and to use effective methods of preventing AIDS.
The feminization of both poverty and HIV infection was tackled in the two main resolutions adopted by the United Nations Members. Their resolution on development goals stressed that women's reproductive health, enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, empowerment, equal access to resources and freedom from gender-based violence were essential to addressing the feminization of poverty and halving poverty. In addition to these rights, the separate resolution on HIV/AIDS urged governments to "take all necessary measures to empower women and strengthen their economic independence" to enable all individuals to protect themselves from HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and reproductive ill health.
"This is a victory for all the women and men of the world and an affirmation that their pains and concerns are being addressed by United Nations Members" stated Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, UNFPA's Executive Director. "We pledge to continue doing our utmost to support governments and civil society in dealing with population, development, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and gender equality to meet the needs of women, men and young people, who remain our guiding light."
Funding for AIDS-prevention and development programmes was also addressed at the Population Commission. For example, the HIV/AIDS resolution encouraged greater investments in HIV/AIDS-related research and called on donors to help close the funding gaps for sexual and reproductive health programmes. A group of development experts has concluded that doing so would bring quick gains for millions of people.
The cost of providing quality contraceptive commodities would rise to $1.8 billion in the next decade, from $810 million in 2000. Each $1 million of commodities could prevent 800 maternal deaths or 360,000 unwanted pregnancies. And 100,000 maternal deaths could be prevented each year if women who did not want children used effective contraception, says the World Health Organization, which reports that some 300 million women in developing countries suffer from short- or long-term illness caused by pregnancy and childbirth.
The delegations encouraged UNFPA and other agencies to continue implementing HIV prevention strategies, recognizing sexual and reproductive health programmes as key entry points for HIV prevention. They commended the Fund for its Global Strategy on Reproductive Health Commodity Security and urged contributions to its trust fund.
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 secretariat for the biannual 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 and the second in October 2004 in Strasbourg, France. 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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