International Conference on “Promoting Family Planning and Maternal Health for Poverty Alleviation”

Partners in Population and Development (PPD) is an Intergovernmental Organization of 25 developing countries from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. PPD was established to promote South-South Cooperation, within the framework of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Program of Action. It provides the mechanism to promote partnership and cooperation between developing countries towards achieving the ICPD goals and the Millennium Development Goals. The Secretariat of PPD is based in Bangladesh; and it has a Regional Office for Africa in Kampala, Uganda, a Program Office in China and a liaison office in New York, USA, PPD is a Permanent Observer to the United Nations.

As you aware, the year 2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Women Conference held in 1995 and 10th anniversary of Millennium Declarations adopted by the international community in 2000 and ratified by the 189 UN Member States. The central theme of the Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the Beijing Conference was gender equality and women empowerment which has been further reinforced by its inclusion within the Millennium Declaration. The MDG 5 calls for reduction of maternal mortality by three quarter and ensuring universal access to reproductive health by 2015.  PPD contends that empowerment of women and promoting their involvement in the mainstream development agenda and the universal access to reproductive health including family planning are inextricably linked with alleviation of poverty and improvement of quality of life.

Despite all the efforts of the governments and international community, maternal health and women’s status are not improving significantly; universal access to reproductive health services and family planning is not gaining momentum and the increasing population growth of the world has once again emerge as a cause of concern. There is need to find quick and pragmatic solution to address these issues urgently. The donor community must necessarily relook at their priorities and invest more on Family Planning, Reproductive Health and Maternal health. Governments, especially those of poor countries should reshape their policies and put back Family Planning, Reproductive Health and Maternal Health as a priority agenda. There is also need to advocate and lobby additionally with policy-makers, development partners and other stakeholders to address these burning issues with greater synergy and concerted efforts.

In this context, Partners in Population and Development (PPD) in collaboration with the Government of Indonesia is organizing an International Conference on “Promoting Family Planning and Maternal Health for Poverty Alleviation” at  Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 26-27 October 2010. The participant would be 25 Ministers of Health/Population/Social Development and senior government officials, representatives of UN organizations, WHO, World Bank and other International Organizations, civil societies and NGOs. The objective of the conference is to discuss on the issues stated above, enhance commitment of participants for greater investment on increase support and assistance to Family Planning, Reproductive Health and Maternal Health programs and promote the leverage of South-South Cooperation as an effective strategy to meet needs of people in developing countries.

The outcome of the Conference will be the adoption of a declaration by 25 Ministers of Developing Countries so as to enhance further commitment towards realization of ICPD Goals and MDGs, and to urge them to take concrete actions at the national level to promote family planning and maternal health.

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