The Commission on Population and Development concluded its general debate on Thursday with the statements of some twenty civil society organizations, after having also heard the representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNAIDS.
Young people represent 42% of the world population, civil society supports their education
Many of these organizations, operating close to the populations, have stressed the importance of access to sexual and reproductive health as a determining factor for women’s empowerment and their place in the labor market.
With young people making up 42% of the world’s population, Advocates for Youth has made a strong call for youth empowerment and education, especially calling for comprehensive sex education. “Young people have the right to evidence-based education that enables them to become full-fledged economic actors, with power over their economic production, reproduction and participation in society. “
Likewise, the International Sexual and Reproductive Rights Coalition (ISRRC) recalled that the empowerment of women and girls, as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights, cross the three central dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. In this context, the recognition and redistribution of domestic work and unpaid direct care were deemed essential to achieve inclusive economic growth, conducive to the well-being of women and their families. Governments must therefore promote women’s access to decent work, ensure universal social protection and collect solid and disaggregated data on national economic activity.
For its part, C-Fam, Inc, an international coalition of more than 200 organizations dedicated to family protection, found that the link between demographic policies and sustained and inclusive economic growth is largely “ignored by the establishment. International population” . Low fertility and aging pose unprecedented challenges, for which the world is not prepared, his representative noted, but “without population growth, there can be no sustained economic growth”. The theme chosen this year finally allows us to go beyond the old controversial debates on sexual mores or sexual and reproductive health, in which this commission, according to him, has too often “bogged down” in recent years.
The International Catholic Committee of Nurses and Medico-Social Assistants (CICIAMS) has also raised the question of the aging of the world population. High-income developed countries have low to negative demographic growth, while populations in low-income developing countries are expanding.
As a spokesperson for the formal care sector, the representative of CICIAMS also highlighted the “global shortage of 5.9 million nurses”. He recommended investments in nursing education, work and leadership focused on health promotion and disease prevention as the key to health security to avoid disabilities, unnecessary deaths, waste of vital resources, and increased costs of managing disease.
Indeed, as the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA) has pointed out, in a world of nearly 8 billion people, we must not lose sight of the fact that sustainable development requires healthy populations. “Health must therefore remain at the center of all policies and agendas, especially demographic ones. “
Abundant in this regard, the FEMM foundation, which dedicates its action to health education, medical research, and the improvement of reproductive health programs to promote the health of women and girls, has insisted that sustainable development through assistance that meets their specific needs, especially in rural areas. Women have come to terms with the fact that irregular bleeding, menstruation, cramps, migraines, depression, mood swings, acne, and weight gain are normal “struggles” for a woman, a representative regretted. They are not told often enough that it can be linked to hormone imbalances that can affect their overall health in the long run, sometimes irreversibly. “This reality shouldn’t be the norm,” she said impatiently.
During Wednesday’s third roundtable on population and sustainable development, in particular on sustained and inclusive economic growth, the speakers discussed the links between population dynamics and economic growth, analyzing the latest trends and what they imply for planning development.
The Commission is the only United Nations forum dedicated to reviewing the implementation of the resolutions of the International Conference on Population and Development, it was an opportunity for UNFPA to support accelerating progress towards the ICPD and the goals sustainable development (SDG). The CPD55 Office will be chaired by His Excellency Philippine Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo and co-chaired by the Netherlands, Moldova, Ivory Coast and El Salvador.
The Nairobi Summit reaffirmed that sexual and reproductive health and rights are essential for sustainable development, but have faced setbacks around the world, exacerbated by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19. Family planning creates better health outcomes, but it can also alleviate poverty by allowing women and girls to continue their education, which improves their financial prospects and those of their communities. Maternal health also contributes to growth, as healthy babies generally grow into healthy adults.