International Conference on Population & Development (ICPD 25)
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The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 was about action-oriented commitments to respond to the Political Declaration adopted at the 52nd session of the UN Commission on Population and Development that calls for the “full, effective and accelerated implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (PoA) and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. These commitments were centred on achieving zero unmet need for family planning information and services, zero preventable maternal deaths, and zero sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls. Stakeholders were to choose from the following commitments:
Achieve universal access to Sexual and Reproductive Health as a part of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Mobilize the required financing to finish the ICPD programme of action and sustain the gains already made.
Draw on demographic diversity to drive economic growth and achieve sustainable development.
Address Gender-Based Violence and the Harmful Practices of Child, Early and Forced Marriages and Female Genital Mutilation.
Uphold the Right to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care in Humanitarian and Fragile Contexts.
The Summit aimed at bringing together: heads of state, ministers, parliamentarians, thought-leaders, technical experts, civil society organizations, grassroots organizations, young people, business and community leaders, faith-based organizations, indigenous peoples, international financial institutions, people with disabilities, academics and many others interested in the pursuit of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
At the conference, governments and other organizations announced voluntary, global commitments including financial ones that will accelerate progress. To this effect the Dutch government pledged USD420 million and the European Commission also pledged USD20 million towards Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights related programs. Young people from all over the world also agreed that the future of the ICPD led by young people needs to recognise the following actions:
Ensure the SRHR of all young people are respected and promoted
Prioritize adolescent health and wellbeing
Barn all harmful practices against all LGBTI youth
Provide flexible and multi-year funding to adolescent and youth-led organizations.
Develop strong youth-led accountability mechanisms that are youth initiated, managed and monitored.
Most of the sessions were very interactive as they encouraged dialogue and various people from all parts of the world shared their experiences and map the way forward while also creating partnerships for the Sustainable development goals.
One of the major topics for discussion was Child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (which is in four categories). Individuals concluded that Child marriages were institutionalised child rape while FGM was sexual harassment. There is need to change these narratives since it is because it is within these narratives people tend to normalise these practices within the African context. There is also no one way to do away with harmful cultural practices and Sexual and Gender Based Violence as there is need for continuous support and partnerships towards abolition of these practices.
Conclusively, there is a lot of evidence most of the problems that were identified at the ICPD conference but after gathering data and evidence little is being done. Thus, perseverance and partnerships are crucial towards addressing the various issues raised at the Nairobi Summit. There is also need for persistence and involvement of all stakeholders including men and all adults since they are custodians of culture and religion and remove the blame game to ensure effective and positive results by 2030.