Laos reiterates commitments to human-centered development at Nairobi Summit

(KPL) The delegation from the Lao PDR announced a package of national commitments to the acceleration of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (PoA, ICPD) and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 this week.

From 12-14 November, the governments of Kenya and Denmark and UNFPA are co-convening the Nairobi Summit on ICPD 25, a high-level conference to mobilize the political will and financial commitments to further advance the ICPD PoA.

These commitments will be centred on achieving zero unmet need for family planning information and services, zero preventable maternal deaths, and zero sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls.

This Summit convenes over 6,000 participants from 160 countries who are committing to accelerate the unfinished business on 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking ICPD.

In 1994, ICPD marked a global consensus to put individual dignity and rights at the very heart of development, including sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Heads of State, senior officials, parliamentarians and representatives from non-governmental and civil society organizations and young people, gathered at the Nairobi Summit to celebrate progress made and renew commitments to accelerate delivery on ICPD.

On behalf of the Lao PDR, Ms Bouachanh Syhanath, Vice President of Lao Women’s Union, acknowledged progress made especially for women and girls in term of infrastructures and rights protection since the adoption of the ICPD PoA. She also recognized remaining challenges.

The Lao PDR’s pathway to success is through human development. We must adhere to the ICPD PoA’s emphasis on investing in the well-being of all segments of the population as an imperative for equitable and sustainable development, Ms Syhanath stressed at the Nairobi Summit.

The 7 commitments included: Use population Data and Projections in the 9th five-year national socio-economic development plan. By 2030, End MMR, end unmet need for family planning, including among adolescent girls and end GBV and harmful practices such as early marriage. Ensure youth receive age appropriate comprehensive sexuality education through school curriculums nationwide. Finalize and implement policies and the Gender Law. Increase investments for adolescents, especially young women through Noi framework and Noi ecosystem.

The government of the Lao PDR also strongly supported the Nairobi statement on ICPD25: Accelerating the promise.

The landlocked, mountainous country Lao PDR is home to 7.1 million people from 50 ethnic groups, with two thirds of the population living in rural areas.

Fifty-eight percent of Lao people are under the age of 25 years, among them, over 700,000 are girls aged 10-19. While still being a Least Developed Country (LDC), the Lao PDR has achieved high economic growth over 6 per cent in recent years as well as all-round improvements in social sectors.

In Nairobi the Lao delegation discussed with UNFPA Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary General Laura Londen the next steps in delivery of ICPD in the Lao PDR.

The Lao PDR adopted the ICPD Programme of Action (PoA) in 1994 and since then integrated the implementation of ICPD PoA in the National Social Economic Development Plan (NSEDP), sectoral plans as well as in the localization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At the Nairobi Summit, the Lao PDR pledged strong support to the Nairobi Statement and reiterated its commitments to further advance the ICPD PoA and 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The national commitments from the Lao PDR included specific targets of plans and programme actions towards ensuring rights and choices for all in the country, as well as legal and policy actions to integrate population dynamics and harness population dividends through greater investments in youth and adolescents which take up more than half of its population.

Ms. Mariam Khan, UNFPA Representative in the Lao PDR, expressed heart-felt appreciation of the Lao government’s commitments on accelerating the ICPD promise in the era of the SDGs. Using the ICPD people-centered approach, UNFPA will continue support the Lao PDR, particularly the most vulnerable, including adolescent girls and boys to ensure that no one is left behind, said Ms. Khan.

New partnerships for ICPD with the private sector, media as well as young people for innovative and empowering solutions to reach the most vulnerable are rolling out.

Source: Lao News Agency