IPPF-ESEAOR, through its Member-Associations, actively participated in the Mid-Term Review (MTR) of 2013 Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development held in Bangkok from the 26th to the 28th of November 2018. The three-day intergovernmental meeting was organised by the United Nation’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
This MTR was a follow-up to the 6th Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development which took place in 2013 in the effort to monitor the framework in the region. The MTR reaffirmed the commitment towards the implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 at both the national and regional levels.
Prior to this, a two-day youth forum and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) Forum also took place in Bangkok.
The youth forum was held to discuss the progress of ICPD implementation while the Civil Society Organisations (CSO) Forum was held to chart the way forward and identify key priority areas to accelerate progress implementation of the ICPD Programme of Actions, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Two youth representatives received ESEAOR’s full support to participate in this forum where they urged member States to recognise and reaffirm human rights, gender equality, equity, social inclusion, and justice, as well as youth empowerment and leadership, as central to sustainable development, and closing with a call for meaningful discourse on young people’s needs and aspirations.
The CSO Forum, on the other hand, underscored that, while there had been significant progress in sexual and reproductive health policies in the region, implementation continued to be a challenge, particularly for marginalized and vulnerable groups.
Throughout this three-day meeting, IPPF ESEAOR had been a powerful force – eight (8) ESEAOR MAs were part of the government delegation and have influenced the language of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the national statements. These MAs were also been invited to the consultation process to input the country report to the ICPD +25 review in 2019.
In the statement of the Cook Island delegation, Cook Islands Family Welfare Association (CIFWA) and its critical role in the training of educators on comprehensive sexuality education were mentioned. There were specific contributions from the MAs, on Comprehensive Sexuality Education or its similar forms (Cambodia, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Malaysia, Tonga); addressing Gender Based Violence (Kiribati), and elimination of FGM (Indonesia), which were highlighted in the national statements.
The MA’s close relationship with its government has facilitated this participation in the delegation. MAs are considered technical experts on SRHR given their knowledge of the local contexts, and their long-standing work with the vulnerable and marginalised groups both on direct service provision and on advocacy for the recognition and respect of human rights.