Renewed Hope at the 54th UN Commission on Population and Development

Today, an important milestone was reached as the 54th Session of the UN Commission on Population and Development, on the theme of population, food security, nutrition, and sustainable development, adopted an Agreed Resolution by consensus. This reaffirms the rights governments committed to deliver in the ICPD Programme of Action and sets out global policy guidance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to address the particular issues facing women and other marginalised people.

Members from across ACT Alliance, from every region, have been working together to participate in this important commission, including giving an oral statement, co-hosting a Side Event, and participating in an interactive dialogue.

Claudia Gomez, ACT Alliance Latin America and the Caribbean Gender Community of Practice, delivered our oral statement during the Commission: “We stand up for the integrity of the United Nations and the importance of multilateralism and embrace cooperation as the means to resolve global injustices… it is crucial to promote and strengthen strategies to engage faith leaders, actors and communities, in the ICPD Programme of Action.”

Our delegation included Dr. Pacis-Alarine Irambona, a young leader from Burundi, and a member of the ACT Alliance Youth Community of Practice: “For me it very critical to participate because in a world where youth are the majority, our voices should matter as well. As we love to say in my local language: Whatever you do for me, without me, is against me. It critical to engage young leaders in the UN CPD to empower them for the implementations of its resolutions.”

During CPD, ACT Alliance works with the International Sexual and Reproductive Rights Coalition, which has more than 100 organisations worldwide. Coalition members engage in CPD sessions with the purpose of information sharing and strategizing to reach progressive SRHR outcomes: “ISRRC is very pleased to see the outcome resolution has maintained the lines of previously agreed language on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). We also welcome the resolution’s strong reference linking sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights and the impacts of the COVID-19 on health systems and the need for Universal Health Coverage.” You can read the full ISRRC Statement here.

After many years where Member States have been unable to agree, we welcome and celebrate that the Commission concludes today with an Agreed Resolution. This builds on the work of the Nairobi Summit, which ACT Alliance participated in, and made strong commitments to the ICPD.

However, there remains significant work to do at every level. We remain committed to strengthen and deepen our partnerships, with UN Agencies, Member States, faith actors, and secular rights-based organisations. As Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA, concluded the session, “It is time now to work together to build back better, stronger and greener.”