3 Key Issues Highlighted during the ICPD25, Nairobi Summit

The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) ended on 14th, November 2019. The event was a result of the revolutionary Programme of Action towards accessible and comprehensive reproductive healthcare, and prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. One hundred and seventy-nine governments committed to implementing the action plan in 1994. Twenty-five years later, the Nairobi summit was held to accelerate the promises made twenty-five years ago.

The highlight of the summit, attended by over 7000 delegates  from all over the world, was when multinational organizations, private sector players, and donor agencies pledged to raise $8 billion to support reproductive health programmes for women and girls in developing countries for the next 10 years.  This followed a research finding by the UNFPA, University of Washington, Victoria University, and Avenir Health Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Intervention, which showed that efficient, accessible, and quality sexual and reproductive health are barriers to achieving sustainable development Growth.

Ending Harmful Practises like FGM is Possible, Imperative, and Urgent

The annual reviews of the ICPD action plan shows that ending harmful cultural practises like FGM, and child marriage, is ensuring peace and creating an environment for viable developments for women and girls. Therefore, there is a need for increased interventions related to changing the social norms and education. According to the UNFPA, the cost of the intervention will $37.4 billion. Additionally, it will cost $68.5 and $42 billion to provide quality family–planning options and end gender-based violence respectively.

Making Girls & Women’s health a priority

The summit highlighted the importance of investing in girls and women’s rights capabilities as a way of achieving sustainable development. Women and girls face challenges in accessing quality reproductive health services because of the embarrassment and stigma involved in discussing reproductive health matters. The challenges are limiting their ability to live freely.

Participants of ICPD25 marching in preparation of the summit

Achieving the 2030 Agenda

The 2030 agenda can be met if governments, donor agencies, and multinationals focus on achieving zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family-planning, and zero gender-based violence. The UNFAP, and the Johns Hopkins University in collaboration with Avenir Health, Victoria University, and University of Washington estimate that this will cost $264 billion.

Generally, the summit, organized in collaboration by the UNFPA, Kenya, and the government of Denmark, has provided the best platform to review progress made in quality and equitable access to reproductive healthcare services and prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases. It has ended by notably re-energized and renewed commitment to achieving sustainable development goals.  


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