Nairobi, November 13
Nepal today announced it would increase investment in the youth by ensuring that they were able to exercise their reproductive rights through upscaling adolescent-friendly services and comprehensive education on sexuality.
Delivering a country statement at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 here today, Minister of Women, Children and Senior Citizens Tham Maya Thapa said Nepal was committed to achieving the three zeros: ending violence against women and children, early and forced marriage and ending preventable maternal deaths and unmet family planning needs.
“The global commitments are closely aligned and reinforce our national priorities and commitments, that will focus on putting in place financing policies, instruments and structures to ensure full implementation of ICPD Programme of Action and Sustainable Development Goals,” Thapa added.
Expressing commitment to ensure basic humanitarian needs of affected populations, Thapa also called on global, regional and national partners to uphold reproductive rights and ensure that the promise of ICPD was not forgotten, to leave no one behind, in the pursuit of fulfilling the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
Nepal is a strong supporter of ICPD vision, Thapa said, reminding that the country had passed the Right to Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Act in 2018, as a fundamental human right. “Our commitment is embedded in our constitution and the Act aims to promote equity and ensure non-discrimination so that all citizens, irrespective of caste, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, can exercise their fundamental rights,” she said.
According to Thapa, Nepal stands proud of its achievement since the Cairo Conference and recognises that it needs to reach its SDG aspirations by 2030.
This is a historic opportunity for the world to transform the lives of millions of people, especially women and girls, and advance universal access to sexual reproductive health and rights, UNFPA Executive Director Dr Natalia Kanem said. “It’s now time to finish the unfinished business,” the UNFPA chief said, referring to the ICPD vision which is still far from reality. According to her, SDGs cannot be achieved without attaining ICPD promises.
During the three-day summit, world leaders, representatives of non-governmental organisations, young people, business leaders and community groups will unveil their commitments to end preventable maternal death, meet all women’s demands for family planning, and stop violence against women and girls by 2030.
More than 11,000 delegates, including heads of governments from over 170 countries are attending the summit taking place 25 years after the landmark International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, where 179 governments adopted an action plan for women’s empowerment and sexual and reproductive health for all.
Private sector organisations have announced they will mobilise some $8 billion in combined new pledges to achieve zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning, zero gender-based violence and harmful practices by 2030.
A version of this article appears in print on November 14, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.