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General News of Thursday, 26 September 2019


CSOs hold consultation forum towards population conference in Nairobi

Some participants at the stakeholders forum on ICPD Some participants at the stakeholders forum on ICPD

The National Development Planning Commission, in partnership with the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) has held a forum in Accra, on controlling population growth and promoting development in Africa and beyond.

The forum was to enable stakeholders to discuss and make recommendations towards the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) slated for November, 2019, in Nairobi.

The Nairobi conference would enable stakeholders, including representatives from the UN, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Population and Development Experts, and young people, among others, to mobilise political will and financial commitment towards the implementation of the ICPD programme of action.

The topics developed at the forum to be discussed at the Conference included Population Growth and Structure; Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights; Gender Equality, Equity and Empowerment of Women; Interrelationship between Population, Sustained Economic Growth and Sustainable Development.

Others were Health, Mobility and Mortality, Family Planning, Population Distribution, Urbanisation, Internal and International Migration.

Professor Stephen Kwankye of the Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana, making a presentation on “ICPD and the Unfinished Agenda,” said the advancement of gender equality, equity and women empowerment should be central to population development programmes.

He said population related goals and policies were an integral part in cultural and social development.

The ICPD, he disclosed, had key principles, which called for strengthening of family basic unit of society, and for everyone to be given the right to education, directed at a full development of human resources.

The principles also called on all states and families to give the highest possible priority to children, and adequate social welfare services for documented migrants.

Prof. Kwankye said sustainable development required full recognition of the proper and harmonious management of the interrelationships between population, resources, the environment and development.

“All states and people need to cooperate towards eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development and everyone has the right to physical and mental health,” he said.

Mrs Abena Adubea Amoah, the Executive Director of PPAG, quoting the WHO said: “Unmet need is especially high among adolescents, migrants, urban-slum dwellers, refugees and women in the postpartum period.”

“The UNFPA in its 25th Anniversary Edition of the Outlook Journal, Volume 25, states that, changes in the political environment, funding mechanisms and organisations of health systems have created new challenges for meeting the need for family planning,” she added.

She noted that, family planning was among a handful of feasible and cost-effective interventions that could make an immediate impact on maternal mortality in low-resource settings.

Mrs Amoah explained that family planning could also reduce maternal mortality by reducing the number of pregnancies and, hence the need to promote it among families.

Mr Niyi Ojuolape, Country Representative of the UNFPA, said some parts of Africa were practising rights infringing acts, like the Female Genital Mutilation, however, it had been reduced as a result of the intensification of education on the human rights agenda, which was a good effort on the part of stakeholders.

He disclosed that consultations were ongoing with parliaments of some countries, including Ghana, for partnerships and collaborative effort to protect the rights of women, control population growth and promote national development.