Political Declaration adopted at the 30th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development

New York, 29 April–3 May 2024

As spring sets in, the annual UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD) is taking place in New York from 29 April – 3rd May. This year’s CPD57 marks the 30th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). ICPD’s landmark Programme of Action (PoA) recognised the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights for sustainable development.

This week at CPD57, United Nations member states come together to discuss the progress and challenges of the ICPD agenda. In advance, negotiations have been underway to agree a Political Declaration that reconfirms their commitment to the ICPD PoA and its accelerated implementation. This Political Declaration was agreed today, and while we are disappointed by its limitations, we are pleased to see an agreed outcome considering the year’s significance.

For Countdown members and other progressive NGOs, it is important that the commitments made 30 years ago to the ICPD PoA are reaffirmed by member states and followed with concrete actions. We call for a recognition of the connection between the ICPD PoA and human rights, gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. There are many areas of ‘unfinished business’, especially when it comes to maternal mortality rates, contraceptive use and sexual and gender-based discrimination. This calls for an urgent response from member states.

Countdown 2030 Europe is one of the co-convenors of the International Sexual and Reproductive Rights Coalition (ISRRC), a group of NGOs working on sexual and reproductive rights, most of whom are advancing the ICPD PoA on a daily basis. We believe that the CPD remains one of the critical places for countries and civil society to discuss and progress on their commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights – which are also part of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development (SDG 3.7 and 5.6). Multiple and overlapping crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, climate and humanitarian crises and pushback to the agenda have been harmful to the implementation of the ICPD agenda, and backdrop has to be restored quickly.

Despite calling for a progressive outcome document with critical elements that could improve the lives of women, girls and structurally excluded groups, progress made at the Commission this year was limited. That said, a Political Declaration was adopted that calls for the realization of human rights for all and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

It was important to ensure that a Political Declaration was adopted to send a strong political message that the ICPD PoA is more relevant than ever and to support the implementation of SRHR services and to ensure the realization of rights for all across all regions. We are committed to ensuring accountability on this agenda — without the full realization of sexual and reproductive health and rights, sustainable development, gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls will not be possible.

On the 30 year anniversary of the ICPD PoA we call for renewed commitment and urgent action from member states to advance the ICPD agenda. Inaction is not an option – the lives, well-being and human rights of women, girls and marginalized groups are at stake.

SOURCE: Countdown Europe, https://www.countdown2030europe.org/news/political-declaration-adopted-at-the-30th-anniversary-of-the-international-conference-on-population-and-development/