ICPD Beyond 2014: The UNECE Region's Perspective

No. of pages: 106

Publication date: 1 January 2013

Author: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Publisher: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

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Twenty years after the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994, the United Nations prepares to report on achievements and setbacks in the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (PoA), drawing on the results from the ICPD Beyond 2014 review process. UNECE and UNFPA conducted the review in the UNECE region, which resulted in this report and the encouraging outcome of the ICPD Beyond 2014 High-level Regional Conference held in Geneva on 1-2 July 2013.

The report examines the implementation of the provisions of the ICPD PoA across the region, based on survey results from 45 UNECE Member States complemented by relevant existing studies and data provided in country implementation profiles. The report finds a wide variety of policies, programmes and strategies adopted by countries in response to the ICPD PoA. These strategic documents go beyond traditional population policies to include social and welfare programmes and address vulnerable groups such as adolescents and youth, older persons, persons with disabilities, migrants and women. The analysis shows that many of the issues highlighted in the ICPD PoA persist today, though with somewhat different characteristics, reflecting the dynamics of change in society and individual needs. New issues have emerged – for instance, due to new family forms – and they need relevant policy action.

The economic, social and cultural diversity of the UNECE region, in particular with respect to its western and eastern parts, is also reflected in the approaches to policymaking related to the PoA: they vary from individual-centred policies prevalent in the former to macro-level population-centred policies in the latter. Regional disparities require strong international partnership based on solidarity and cooperation.

Enabling choices, increasing human capital, raising citizens’ awareness, and effective communication with non-governmental and community organisations are seen as the main factors in achieving sustained equitable and rights-based development.

The regional report endorsed by the UNECE Member States and supported by civil society representatives at the ICPD Beyond 2014 Regional Conference in Geneva provides a valuable input into the discussion of the post-2015 development agenda with its emphasis on individual human rights and dignity related to population and development.