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Governments to convene for ICPD30 review of population and development dynamics in Europe, Central Asia and North America

Governments to convene for ICPD30 review of population and development dynamics in Europe, Central Asia and North America


The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in 1994, set a bold new vision of the relationships between population, development, and individual rights and well-being. It recognized that population was not about numbers, but about people, and that individual dignity and human rights, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, are the basis for individual wellbeing and sustainable development. 

Ahead of the 30th anniversary of the ICPD in 2024, member States, civil society representatives, and international organizations are coming together in all world regions to review progress made in implementing the Programme of Action adopted by the ICPD in 1994, discuss challenges and bottlenecks, strengthen linkages between the ICPD Programme of Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and chart the way forward towards a region where ICPD principles are enshrined in law and respected in practice. 

In the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) region, comprising 56 member States in Europe, North America and Central Asia, the review process will culminate in a Regional Conference on ICPD30, entitled Population and Development: Ensuring Rights and Choices, which will be organized by UNECE and the UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia in Geneva on 19-20 October 2023. 

“Europe is advanced in the global demographic shift towards lower fertility and ageing populations. To address complex socioeconomic challenges and to fully harness opportunities, we must ensure comprehensive policy responses. The region must also redouble efforts for gender equality. I call on governments and all stakeholders in the region to seize this occasion to recommit to holistic, rights-based policies linking population dynamics and sustainable development”, said UNECE Executive Secretary Tatiana Molcean. 

“Three decades after the groundbreaking ICPD in Cairo, this review process provides an opportunity to explore what the ICPD principles mean in a rapidly changing world and how we can best use the ICPD framework for action to accelerate progress towards achieving Agenda 2030,” said Florence Bauer, UNFPA’s Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. 

The Regional ICPD30 Conference will be informed by a progress report on the implementation of the Programme of Action in the UNECE region, as well as a series of thematic consultations at global and regional level. The UNECE region has seen overall improvements in most areas of the Programme of Action, but progress has been uneven, both across and within countries. In some areas, the multiple and overlapping crises faced by the region have interrupted decades of progress, slowing or reversing positive trends, exacerbating existing inequalities or generating new ones.  

The Conference will set priorities for sustaining progress and addressing setbacks across three main themes: (1) population dynamics and sustainable development; (2) families and sexual and reproductive health over the life course; and (3) inequalities, social inclusion and rights.  

It will bring together 250-300 representatives of governmental authorities, including high-level officials, young people, civil society organizations and academia, as well as parliamentarians and other stakeholders. 

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