Opening remarks by Anders Pedersen,UN Botswana Resident Coordintor at the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014 Agenda Ambassadors’ breakfast Seminar

Aug 13, 2014

My purpose here today is to give you an update of where we are and encourage you and countries to agree on a forward looking agenda that will accelerate progress towards the goals set out in the 1994 Programme of Action.

Many of the population and development goals identified in the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action (PoA) were incorporated into the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which include halving extreme poverty, reducing maternal and infant mortality, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education.

Today is meant to emphasize the need for all actors to recommit themselves at the highest level to fully implementing the ICPD Programme of Action at both national and regional levels. It provides a once in a generation chance to define what needs to be done to deliver a more equal, more sustainable world for the 7 billion people - and more - who share it. The current generation of adolescents and youth is the largest one ever and we need to recognize that this group in all countries is a major resource for development and key agents for social change. Further progress for development requires the realization of their rights, gender equality, and the full participation of young people and youth led organizations at the international, regional, national and local levels.

I am certain we are all aware of the challenges that still remain to improve the quality of lives of all our people, ensure equality and equity and protect the environment for succeeding generations. Despite significant gains in poverty reduction and economic growth since the ICPD, many have been left behind, lacking fulfilment of basic needs, meaningful work, access to social protection, or public services in health or education and that there are still significant barriers for many people to enjoy their human rights.

The focus on increasing wealth and income inequalities; unfulfilled gender equality and empowerment of women; the need for lifelong learning and building human capabilities especially for young people; addressing the equalities in access to sexual and reproductive health services, including through strengthening health systems both in rural and urban areas, have significant implications for development policy.
The development challenges we face today require systematic participation of all stakeholders in crafting responses to these challenges, which require partnership and global leadership.

During discussions at the Commission on Population and Development in April, Member States expressed widespread support for the continuing centrality of the Programme of Action and the key actions for its further implementation, in the period beyond 2014, taking into account the findings and recommendations of the 20-year review, including for the Post-2015 Development Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals.

There are 17 goals and 27 targets in the sustainable development goals with an overarching goal of poverty eradication. These goals constitute an integrated, indivisible set of global priorities for sustainable development. Targets are defined as aspirational global targets, with each government setting its own national targets guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances. The goals and targets integrate economic, social and environmental aspects and recognize their inter-linkages in achieving sustainable development in all its dimensions.

The post 2015 development agenda is based on three principles:
Right to development: the right to develop in all spheres of life, including human rights and human development, and in peace and security;
Empowering and Increasing the capacity of people to play a more strategic role in development; and
Justice, equality and human dignity and rights for achieving inclusive and sustainable development. 

On the 22nd of September 2014, the UN General Assembly will hold a session on the follow up to the Plan of Action of the ICPD and member states will have the opportunity to recommit themselves to the Plan.

In this regard it is imperative that the international community and each country reaffirms its support for the support of the ICPD Programme of Action as well as the vision presented in the Post 2015 Development Agenda.Thank you!

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