UNITED NATIONS, New York, 28 April 2014 – At the sixth global parliamentarians’ conference on population and development, held in Stockholm from 23 to 25 April, parliamentarians from 134 countries issued their strongest call ever to implement the Programme of Action agreed to at the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994.
The parliamentarians committed to mobilize their constituencies and governments to make bold efforts to ensure that the principles of the Cairo Programme of Action are fully integrated in the post-2015 global development agenda and that human rights, gender equality, women and young people are at its heart.
The Stockholm Statement of Commitment, which was agreed upon unanimously by all the parliamentarians present, emphasized the critical links between a country’s population and its ability to achieve sustained economic development. They called for the integration of population dynamics in all development planning at national and subnational levels as a critical foundation for sustainable development.
Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, reminded the parliamentarians of their crucial role in directing the future of international development by transforming the conference’s outcome into concrete action. He emphasized their responsibility towards those who need their support the most, saying, “Let us not forget the people that count on us. Let us not forget the most marginalized young girl. The actions you as Parliamentarians take to transform her life will transform our world.”
“The outcome of this conference gives more legitimacy to our efforts to place sexual and reproductive health and rights, with special focus on young people, in the centre of the new global development agenda,” he added.
The rights of adolescents and young people also featured centrally in the Statement of Commitment, most notably the need to “keep the girl child, including married girls and pregnant girls, in school at all levels of education without discrimination.” Recognizing the opportunities offered by young people, parliamentarians also agreed to commit to “design policies and programmes that harness the demographic dividend through enhancing the capabilities of young people to contribute to social and economic development and innovation.”
In addition to the main Statement of Commitment, a Declaration on Human Rights was adopted by acclamation by the participants. In this document, the parliamentarians “call on all States to guarantee equality before the law and non-discrimination for all people, by adopting laws and policies to protect the human rights of all individuals, without distinction of any kind.”
The Stockholm Conference was organized by UNFPA and the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development, together with the Swedish Parliament, the Swedish All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It followed similar global conferences in Istanbul in 2012, Addis Ababa in 2009, Bangkok in 2006, Strasbourg in 2004 and Ottawa in 2002.
You can access the Statement of Commitment and the Declaration on Human Rights at: http://www.ipci2014.org
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