What are you doing to advance the ICPD agenda?
World Population Day is held on 11 July every year and is observed as a day to focus on population issues. This year’s focus is on the goals set during the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development – which goals remain, which goals are still unmet, and which goals have been achieved. The conference, held 25 years ago in Cairo, Egypt, established the importance of reproductive healthcare, and called on governments to ensure that all people have access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare as a human right.
The UNFPA says that although voluntary access to modern contraception has increased by 25%, preventable maternal deaths decreased 40%, and FGM has fallen by a proportion of 18% in the 25 years since the agreement, these have all been double-edged swords. Many women still do not have access to modern contraceptives or are stigmatised for using them, the maternal death rate is still higher than 75 per 1000 live births, and FGM affects more girls and young women in total than previously due to population growth. There have been some rollbacks on agreements made in the first ICPD, and some progress has stopped altogether.
This year’s ICPD in Nairobi, Kenya, will seek to clarify which goals have yet to be met, and to outline clear paths to meeting those goals for all people by the set deadlines. To miss these targets means more time and lives wasted, and more people with their human rights being violated.