BANGKOK, 12 November 2020 – The UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office is relaunching Humans of ICPD, a compelling online initiative that showcases inspiring personal stories of individuals who work to achieve zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning, and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls – transformative results all the more crucial as the region, and the world, seek to emerge from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Humans of ICPD was initially unveiled on Facebook and Instagram a year ago this week, as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners convened the Nairobi Summit to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo.
“The ICPD Programme of Action was groundbreaking,” recalls Bjorn Andersson, UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Director who attended the conference in Cairo. “We had 179 countries agreeing, for the very first time, that individual choices and human rights must be at the heart of sustainable development, with a special focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights – and for women and girls in particular – underpinned by gender equality and human rights.”
Over a quarter-century, the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action has encouraged countries to invest significantly in rights-based programmes and services aimed at ensuring safe pregnancy and childbirth, facilitating access to contraceptives and other family planning supplies and services. The global action plan also helps put the focus on ending violence against women and practices such as child marriage, female genital mutilation and gender-biased sex selection.
In a region that is ageing fast, the ICPD Programme of Action advocates for the rights of older persons as well, calling for a life-cycle approach to population ageing that begins with establishing a strong foundation from pregnancy through childbirth, childhood and adolescence, and on to adulthood.