Addis Ababa, 26 July 2013 (ECA) - The Regional Conference on Population and Development Beyond 2014 will be held from 30 September – 4 October 2013 at the United Nations Conference Centre, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme of the conference will be "Harnessing the Demographic Dividend: The future we want for Africa." This conference seeks to emphasize the need for state and non-state actors to recommit themselves at the highest level to fully implementing the ICPD Plan of Action at national and regional levels. Preceding the Conference will be pre-events, aimed at validating an African Common Position to be included in the ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Report.
The outcomes of the regional report will serve as a major reference for population and development policies and programmes beyond 2014 and inform the post-2015 development agenda in Africa. This will be based on three principles: Right to development: the people of Africa have 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. As part of the UN mandated review, the conference is an important part of the global effort to define the post 2015 development agenda.
The purpose of the conference is to review evidence of progress, challenges, gaps and emerging issues in relation to the achievement of the goals set out in ICPD agenda with the aim of making recommendations that will accelerate progress towards the goals set out in the 1994 Programme of Action.
Key inputs to this process are the report on regional findings from the ICPD Global Survey which was facilitated by ECA and completed by 52 countries in the region and the African Common Position on ICPD.
The conference will also consider the draft report of the operational review of the ICPD PoA in Africa, recommendations of the operational review, and the African common position on ICPD beyond 2014.
This conference will bring together ministers responsible for population and development matters, government experts, research and training institutions, the Pan-African Parliament, Regional Economic Communities, United Nations agencies, international organizations, civil society organizations, and the youth.
By exploring the implementation modalities and considering challenges and opportunities, the meeting is expected to come up with more effective approaches and tools for population programmes and policies.
The resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on the follow-up to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014 mandates an operational review of the implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) on the basis of the highest-quality data and analysis of the state of population and development, taking into account the need for a systematic, comprehensive and integrated approach to population and development issues.
Consequently an operational review has been undertaken by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on the African continent in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). In order to generate a holistic and in-depth assessment, questionnaires were administered and 52 African member States provided feedback. The process also included a review of country reports and country implementation profiles; relevant policy decisions; strategies and programmes that have been formulated to implement actions in line with the various themes of the PoA; the institutional frameworks and governance structures that have been put in place; and the resources that have been mobilized to implement the policies, programmes and strategies. The process thereby documented the achievements made, challenges and constraints faced, as well as the gaps identified. The review has also provided the opportunity to identify strategic priorities for population and development on the African continent. It is intended, therefore, that the outcome of the process will guide the ongoing dialogue to define the ICPD agenda post 2014, and to contribute to the development agenda post 2015 on the continent.
The final regional report of the operational review for Africa, as well as an African common position on ICPD beyond 2014 will be included in the Global Report. It is intended that the regional conference being organized for 30 September to 4 October 2013 will validate the report.
Jointly issued by ECA and UNFPA
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