Cairo +10 - ICPD +10

Source: ARROW
It is ten years after the Cairo conference and it is such a disappointment that so little progress has been made in the actual status of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights as well as people's access to affordable and comprehensive SRH services. October 2006. [see more]
In 1994, at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, 179 countries adopted a forward-looking 20-year plan —the ICPD Programme of Action (PoA)— that seeks to balance the world’s people with its resources; ensure universal access to reproductive health care; and improve women’s status by promoting women’s social, economic and political participation in issues surrounding population and development. The starting point of the action plan was the premise that population size, growth and distribution are closely linked to development prospects, and that actions in one area reinforce actions in the other. In a rights-based approach, the Cairo consensus shifted priority to investing in people and broadening their opportunities, rather than reducing population growth. (From U.N.Non-Governmental Liaison Service)

Ten years on from the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the review of the Programme of Action has taken place amidst a debate on the defence of sexual and reproductive rights.

Negotiations at the ICPD committed the countries to promoting over the following 20 years the Programme of Action they eventually agreed upon. The three most important objectives set for this period were: the reduction of infant and maternal mortality, universal access to education (especially for girls) and universal access to reproductive health and family planning services.

Compared with the previous Conferences (held in Bucharest and Mexico), in 1994 there was a qualitative leap in the agreements reached on economic growth, the rational use of natural resources, social equity and good governance.

The Conference also witnessed a transformation in the conceptualization of citizenship rights: the recognition given in the Programme of Action to rights that are enjoyed or denied within the home began gaining ground within the framework conception of human rights. The document also recommended that post-abortion counselling, education and family planning services “should be offered promptly to help to avoid repeat abortions”, and that States “should consider revising laws that criminalize women who have illegal abortions”.

Different clauses of the Plan for Action provide a definition of reproductive rights and exhort governments to regard unsafe abortion as a serious public health concern, improve family-planning services to avoid abortions, and provide attention and counselling to women who have unplanned pregnancies; it also recommends that any measures and changes related to abortion within the health system be addressed at national and local level according to national legislative process and states that “in all cases, women should have access to quality services for the management of complications arising from abortion. Post abortion counselling, education and family-planning services should be offered promptly, which will also help to avoid repeat abortions”, and that States “should consider revising laws that criminalize women who have illegal abortions”.

Both at the Conference and in the Cairo +5 review process women’s organizations and global networks played a crucial role in securing the agreements.

CAIRO +10 AND THE GLOBAL CONTEXT

The Programmes of Action that came out of Cairo and Beijing can be regarded as initial normative ethical frameworks. They are texts reached by consensus among the international community (with reservations expressed by some countries like the Vatican and Islamic countries) that represent a moral obligation on the signatory States.

Ten years on from the Beijing and Cairo Conferences the global situation has grown even more complex with the emergence of new voices and the resurgence of old ones (conservatism, fanaticism, fundamentalisms, etc.) against sexual and reproductive rights, against human rights. After the advance represented by the process of consensus achieved at the Conferences in the 1990s, opposition forces are now emerging that are trying to reverse the gains made, with the Bush Administration and the Catholic Church leading a declared war on sexual and reproductive rights all over the world, with support from other allies.

Faced with this global panorama it might seem that the context is not a favourable one in which to open up a discussion on issues that have already been agreed on and committed to at international level. The regional discussions offer a more positive-looking context, as shown by the Fifth Asian and Pacific Population Conference and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)’s Open-ended Meeting of the Presiding Officers of its Sessional Ad Hoc Committee on Population and Development, in which thirty-seven countries approved by acclamation a statement that reaffirms the Cairo consensus.

At the Asian and Pacific Conference, the US delegation opposed the use of the terms “reproductive health services” and “reproductive rights”, alleging that such terms “promote abortion” and declaring that “the United States supports the sanctity of life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death”. Insisting on a policy of “simple abstinence”, it also tried to eliminate all references to “condom use” as a viable way of preventing HIV infection. In the end, the US position was defeated by 32 votes against 1. This conference was the first in a series of regional meetings that are taking place in the world in 2004.

The 10th Anniversary of ICPD

Regional meetings and activities on ICPD +10 have been planned for 2004, to provide a regional perspective and review at the halfway mark of the ICPD Programme of Action (PoA). The sexual and reproductive health and rights community felt strongly that ICPD +10 should not only be marked by one international NGO-led meeting (the Global Roundtable) but rather that a series of regional and some national events and meetings should both proceed and follow the key ICPD +10 international events, in order to provide input to the Global Roundtable, as well as follow-up at the regional level to the outcomes of the Global Roundtable and the UN Regional Economic Commission meetings on ICPD, taking us into 2005.

The range of regional meetings will gather grassroots NGOs and regional organizations to take stock of progress, report back on experience, identify regional priorities and develop future strategies for implementing ICPD. These meetings, as important events in themselves, will also compliment, reflect and reinforce the international activities for ICPD +10 (see Countdown 2015: sexual and reproductive health and rights for all).
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UPDATES
Friday, September 03 2004
London conference backs abortion
(Source: IPS)
Thursday, August 26 2004
Recalling Cairo ten years later
(Source: IPS)

Official web site

10th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (UNFPA)

ICPD +10 celebrations include regional assessments, CSO activities

NGOs documents and reports

Breaking through: a guide to sexuality and reproductive health and rights (Centre for Reproductive Rights)

Countdown 2015: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All

Update on NGO Plans for the 10th Anniversary of ICPD, 2004 (Family Care International)

Update on NGO Plans for the 10th Anniversary of ICPD, in 2004 (WHRNET)

Access to Safe Abortion: A Call to Action on the 10th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Dev (DAWN)

Follow-up Project on the Implementation of the Programme of Action from the ICPD (Cairo, 1994) (Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network - LACWHN)

Latin America and the Caribbean

Declaration of Women’s Caucus (FIRE)

ECLAC meeting to affirm Cairo consensus (IPAS)

ICPD +10, not one step back (Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network)

Draft Declaration - ECLAC March 10-11, 2004

Latin America and the Caribbean Stand Behind the ICPD Programme of Action (Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network - LACWHN)

Reasons to rejoice

Cairo consensus reafirmed in Latin America and the Caribbean

ICPD+10: We must take our victory to Puerto Rico (Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network - LACWHN)

Africa

ICPD commitments remain unfulfilled in Africa (IPAS)

UNECA - United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

African Center for Gender and Development

African Women's Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights Conference

African Women ’s Sexual and Reproductive Health

Cairo +5 1999

Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (United Nations)

Official United Nations Documents

Cairo+5: Moving forward in the eye of the storm (Social Watch)

Fact sheets and reports on the Cairo +5 Conference (Women's Environment & Development Organization (WEDO))

NGLS Roundups

Cairo Ten Years Later: Approaching the Mid-Point of the ICPD’s Programme of Action (United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service - NGLS)

Roundup 116 - State of world population 2004: The Cairo Consensus at Ten (U.N.Non-Governmental Liaison Service - NGLS)

Global political circumstances

State of World Population 2005 (UNFPA)

Women’s health, women’s rights, and U.S. global policy

London conference backs abortion (IPS)

Recalling Cairo ten years later (IPS)

ICPD+10: sexual and reproductive rights in the balance (Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network - LACWHN)

DAWN says no to negotiations for Beijing+10 and Cairo+10 (DAWN)

Sexual and reproductive rights in the political arena (DAWN)

A war declared against the rights of women: global obstruction (Lola Press)

Asia Pacific

Monitoring ten years of ICPD implementation in Asia: the way forward to 2015 (ARROW)

Fifth Asian and Pacific Population Conference (APPC)

Reports on Asian and Pacific Population Conference

Cairo 1994

Report of the ICPD and Cairo Programme of Action (United Nations)

Cairo Programme of Action

Chapter VII, paragraph 7.3, and Chapter VII, paragraph 8.25: Reproductive rights and health, morbidity and mortality

Background

Report of the International Conference on Population, Mexico 1984 (part I) (United Nations)

Report of the International Conference on Population, Mexico 1984 (part II) (United Nations)

First UN World Population Conference, Bucarest 1974


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