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Landmark Nairobi Summit on ICPD takes place in Kenya

WINDHOEK, Namibia - Over 9000 conference participants from around the world gathered in the capital of Kenya between 12 – 14 November 2019 to celebrate the 25th commemoration of the ground breaking International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The ground-breaking ICPD placed sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), women's empowerment and gender equality on the agenda of the United Nations back in 1994.

 

The Nairobi Summit engaged political decision-makers to address the unfinished business on the ICPD agenda, which continues to hinder the fulfillment of the SRHR of women and young people today. The call to action of Nairobi Summit strives to end the unmet need for family planning, preventable maternal deaths as well as gender-based violence and harmful practices – the so-called three zeros – in the world by the year 2030.

 

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Office was proud to support a 21 member strong delegation from Namibia to Nairobi. The delegation consisted of leading politicians, government officials, religious figures, civil society activists and youth leaders together with UNFPA Namibia’s Country Representative, Ms. Dennia Gayle.

 

The head of the Namibian delegation, Deputy Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Hon. Lucia Iipumbu, presented the national commitment statement of the Government of the Republic of Namibia. The statement declared that the Namibian government implements pro-poor policies and programmes that are pro-youth and gender responsive, in order to reap the demographic dividend and leave no one behind.

 

Along the spirit of the Nairobi Summit, the government committed to accelerate the reduction in preventable maternal and neonatal death; intensify the fight against gender-based violence; mobilise resources towards universal health coverage and up-scale youth-friendly family planning services; address barriers that prevent key populations from accessing public health care services; and expand investments into skills-training and employability of young Namibians.

 

The Nairobi Summit turned out to be a great success with over 1200 commitments made globally by the conclusion of the three-day event. ”We will never lose sight of who we are fighting for. Because commitments made are commitments kept,” Dr. Natalia Kanem, the Executive Director of UNFPA, declared in the closing ceremony, bringing the landmark summit to its end.

 

Rest assured, the Nairobi Summit is a transformative experience for both its participants and future societies alike, which will prove out to be as impactful as its predecessor. In order to overcome the unfinished business, we need to roll up our sleeves and fight for the world ensuring rights and choices for all we envisioned already 25 years ago.