JAKARTA – UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) launched today in Indonesia a review of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014. The review aims to highlight important areas of achievements, challenges, and unfinished businesses, as well as to map out new emerging issues ICPD’s Programme of Action (PoA) was implemented in 1994.
“ICPD was the 'game changer’ for population and development in 1994, and we are still benefiting from its vision to this day. This national review will consist of a global survey on implementation of the ICPD led by BKKBN, followed by three thematic consultation meetings on sexual and reproductive health, population and development, and gender equality to ensure stakeholders’ participation. Meetings with non-govermental organizations and young people are also planned as part of the review,” explained Jose Ferraris, UNFPA Representative, at the opening.
The launch was honored by the presence of two visionary figures: Dr. Nafis Sadik, former UNFPA Executive Director who served as the Secretary General of ICPD, and Dr. Haryono Suyono, former BKKBN Chairman and Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare.
Dr. Sugiri Syarief, Chairman of BKKBN, officially launched the review saying that ICPD Beyond 2014 is strategically important to Indonesia. “Its results will be the basis of evidence for determining future policies and strategies, and to achieve broader and deeper progress in meeting the goals and objectives of the ICPD PoA.”
Following the ICPD PoA, Dr. Suyono said countries that have been successful with their family planning programmes begin to recentre their focus on a broader goal – the development of family welfare. He added that it “shifted people to the center of development and put rights as the focus to be achieved.”
“There are remaining challenges in meeting the ICPD agenda,” Dr. Sadik said. She underlined that despite the fertility rate in Indonesia stayed at 2.4 since 2007, following a major decline from 6 in the 1960s, unmet needs for family planning services still remain high at 9 per cent. Hence, in reviews that have been carried out on ICPD, there have been many calls to reposition family planning as a key component of sexual and reproductive health.
Dr. Sadik pointed out that another hurdle to ICPD’s implementation is: young people, which currently comprise the largest cohort of the population, are still denied of their rights to sexual and reproductive health. “In Asia alone, we have over one billion young people. We have to acknowledge this reality, and ensure that all young people have access to sexual and reproductive education and services.”
Dr. Sadik, who is also the envoy for HIV in Asia-Pacific, emphasized that Indonesia shows an increasing incidence of HIV among its young adult population. This, she said, clearly shows that their needs for sexual and reproductive health services have not been met. Young people make up 28 per cent of Indonesia’s total population of 237 million.
Lutviah, a member of Youth Advisory Panel, applauded the recent 45th Commission on Population and Development session that adopted a landmark resolution that addresses adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health and rights. She also acknowledged BKKBN’s efforts to provide education to young people through the Center for Information and Counseling on Youth Reproductive Health and Generation Planning programmes.
However, these efforts are not enough, Lutviah pointed out. “Surveys show that one out of eight teenagers in Indonesia remain in the dark about HIV prevention and transmission. This shows that we need better education and reproductive health services for young people to make good, informed decisions, and fulfill their potential.”
The ICPD Beyond 2014 review in Indonesia will provide an avenue for young people to participate. Ferraris informed a global youth forum will be held in Bali this coming December.