‘ICPD’s vision of rights yet to be realised’

Kathmandu, December 10

Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund Natalia Kanem today said the world had still a long way to go to realise the human rights-based vision of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, adopted by several countries, including Nepal.

She said this today issuing a statement on the occasion of Human Rights Day. On this day, 70 years ago, UN member states adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’.

“Human rights are violated every time a girl is married before reaching adulthood, every time a woman is denied access to quality maternal healthcare, every time a woman or a girl is subjected to violence of any kind, and every time an individual is unable to freely decide whether, when or how often to have children.” .

“Nearly 25 years ago, 179 countries at the meeting in Cairo committed to enabling people to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health as a matter of fundamental human rights and as a foundation for thriving, just, sustainable societies. The ICPD Programme of Action reframed population and development issues, shifting the focus from human numbers to human lives, well-being, dignity and rights,” the UNFPA chief said.

She said sexual and reproductive health and rights were increasingly under threat around the world, jeopardising the gains made over the past two-and-a-half decades in advancing women’s health, rights and empowerment, adding, “On the face of this pushback, it is more important than ever to ensure that our work is solidly anchored in human rights.”

“As the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence draws to a close, UNFPA stands with the activists fighting against gender-based violence and for women’s human rights.