On 1st April 2019, Partners in Population and Development (PPD) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) jointly organized a ministerial level panel discussion at the 52nd Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development in New York. The joint initiative took place on the significant occasion of 25th anniversary of PPD and ICPD aiming to promote South-South cooperation as a key tool for the achievement of the ICPD Program of Action and the SDGs 2030 agenda.
The ministerial panel was chaired by Dr. Natalia Kanem, UN Under-Secretary-General, and UNFPA Executive Director and graced by the presence of H.E. Dr. Murad Hasan MP, State Minister of Health and Family Welfare, the Government of Bangladesh, H.E. Ms. Cui Li, Former Vice Minister, National Health Commission, People’s Republic of China, H.E. Dr. Hala Mustafa Zaied, Honorable Minister of Health and Population, Arab Republic of Egypt, Dr. Carlos Javier ECHARRI Cánovas, Secretary-General, National Population Council (CONAPO) of México; and PPD Board and Executive Committee Member, H.E. Ms Susan Shabangu, Honorable Minister for Social Development, Republic of South Africa; and Secretary of the PPD Board. The Panel offered excellent opportunities for PPD Board members to highlight progress made in their respective countries in achieving the ICPD program of action and efforts to attain the SDGs and the role they played in promoting South-South cooperation as an effective tool to help and assist developing countries to achieve their health and population targets. PPD Board Members recommended the establishment of Centers of Excellence in PPD member countries in collaboration with UNFPA to increase exchange of information, capacity building programs and transfer of technology with developing countries for the achievement of the unfinished agenda of ICPD and the SDGs. The Executive Director of UNFPA expressed her satisfaction on the successful partnership launched between PPD and UNFPA calling for more support to PPD programs and activities including the International Inter Ministerial Conference on SSC in Population and Development to be held in Tunis, Tunisia in October 2019 and the establishment of Centers of Excellence in SSC. The Panel was also attended by Board Members and PCCs from Tunisia, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Indonesia, Bangladesh, The Gambia, Indonesia, Morocco and Nigeria. High Level Representatives from The Philippines, Zambia and other countries attended the panel discussion.
In his intervention, Mr Adnene Ben Haj Aissa, Executive Director of PPD, expressed his thanks to the Honorable PPD Board members for keeping the promise of their predecessors to promote SSC for the implementation of the ICPD Program of Action highlighting the significant results achieved so far and calling for renewed commitments to face new challenges in attaining the SDGs. The existing partnership between PPD and UNFPA will pave the way for more achievements in attaining global health targets including universal health coverage and leave no one behind.