PPD celebrates the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation
12 September 2019
Reaffirming the Commitments for the Implementation of the ICPD PoA and the SDGs 2030 Agenda: Tunis Commitments
Globally 2019 carrying significance as the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for promoting and implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC), the second high-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 20-22 March 2019. This year also marked the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in 1994 and during which Partners in Population and Development (PPD) was established as an inter-governmental organization, by ten founding members to promote South-South cooperation for achieving ICPD goals. Over the last 25 years, PPD reaches its membership to 26 countries; obviously, the commitments of the its member states deepened and became stronger as these countries represent 60% of the world population. The global three economies, i.e., China, India, South Africa which drives the global south-south cooperation and development are the members of PPD which grasped as glorious opportunity houses for PPD.
On the occasion of celebrating its 25 years, PPD, UNFPA and National Office of Family and Population (ONFP) of Tunisia just concluded the 16th International Inter-Ministerial Conference on South-South Cooperation in Population and Development from 3 to 4 September 2019 along with the 24th Annual Board Meeting of PPD in Tunis. The conference attended by 35 countries and 130 participants including Vice-President, Ministers, Vice Ministers, member of parliaments, high-level Government officials, representatives from UN agencies, international organizations, media and academia.
It was a historic consultative gathering representing 35 states with high official dignitaries led by PPD and UNFPA just before the Nairobi Summit reaffirmed the original mandate of ICPD to be implemented to achieve the SDGs 2030 agenda. The 25th anniversary of ICPD and PPD, further reaffirmed the political commitments considering the foundations of the remarkable progress that the member countries attained over the last 25 years in improving the health and well-being and uplifting the lives of their people by the accelerated implementation of reproductive health, population, poverty alleviation and related programs through South-South Cooperation (SSC) within the framework of ICPD. The special ministerial session of the 16th international inter-ministerial conference presented the ministerial renewed commitments towards promoting South-South cooperation as the key accelerator for achieving ICPD PoA and SDGs 2030 Agenda. The ministerial session is eyewitness of releasing the book published by PPD Secretariat with support from UNFPA titled “South-South cooperation in catalyzing achievements of ICPD and SDGs 2030 agenda” that highlights the contribution of South-South Cooperation in achieving ICPD and SDGs in developing countries.
On this 25th anniversary, PPD and United Nations Office of South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) made a joint commitment and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further deepening South-South cooperation as UNOSSC mandated by the General Assembly to promote support, and mainstream South-South cooperation across the United Nations system and throughout the international development community. This MoU brought PPD and UNOSSC institutionally closer, as both organizations sharing same mandate in promoting South-South cooperation and jointly reaffirmed commitments to accelerate the progress of unfinished ICPD and SDGs. PPD has been involved in promoting South-South cooperation for the attainment of the global population and reproductive health agenda for sustainable development. The mission of PPD is to achieve its vision through sustained advocacy, capacity building, networking, knowledge management and sharing and transfer of technology. PPD and UNOSSC will strengthen their joint efforts, initiatives and mutual collaboration on SSC issues for addressing emerging population challenges in developing countries.
The main objectives of the Tunis Conference were to reaffirm political commitments from PPD member countries to promote SSC at national and global levels as an effective tool for the achievement of the ICPD PoA and the SDGs. With the vested interest of the countries, the conference was designed with five cross-cutting interrelated themes: universal access to reproductive health and family planning services; harnessing demographic dividend including ageing; gender-based violence; maternal death; migration, poverty and health. These sub-themes were bridges with 2 central sessions which are ministerial and “Centers of Excellence” that mainly guides and provides future direction and commitments on harnessing the SSC with institutional bindings at national level plan.
The Tunis conference concluded with acknowledging the achievements till today made by the member countries and recognizes the efforts that the countries made. It has come up with very specific commitments that further reinvigorate the original mandate of PPD in accelerating unfinished ICPD agenda as the ladder for achieving SDGs.
The Delegates of the Tunis Inter Ministerial Conference committed to:
- Accelerating the implementation of ICPD PoA and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. PPD MCs will take the lead among the developing countries in achieving the population and reproductive health-related goals of ICPD and SDGs by 2030.
- Integrating population dynamics into national development plans and programmes to ensure harmonious relations between population on one side and the economy, society and the environment on the other.
- Developing appropriate laws, policies investments and innovative approaches that ensure universal access to family planning and the wider sexual and reproductive health agenda, to support the initiatives for achieving the Three Zeros by 2030 launched by UNFPA, i.e. zero unmet need for contraception, zero preventable maternal deaths, zero gender-based violence and harmful practices, such as child marriage and female genital mutilations.
- Making responsive policies and actions to address emerging population issues including low fertility and ageing, youth development for harnessing the demographic dividend, SRH & FP services in hard-to-reach areas, including humanitarian and conflict situations and data utilization.
- Increasing financial resources including domestic, bilateral and multilateral funding to increase transformational and effective SSC programs contributing to improved reproductive health, especially reducing maternal and under-five mortality in developing countries.
- Embodying SSC in the specific population and reproductive health strategies and programmes. PPD Member Countries commit to implement PPD Strategic Plan for SSC (2020-2024).
- Strengthening national policies to advance South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation, and to enhance the capacity of national SSC taskforce particularly that of national SSC focal persons, sharing of knowledge, lessons learned and good practices and technical cooperation in the field of population and development.
- Making more efforts in supporting the development of more effective “Centers of Excellence” on SSC for population and development.
- As UNFPA and UNOSSC represented the UN agencies to this conference, the delegates urged UNFPA and UNOSSC to keep and scale up their efforts in promoting South-South and triangular cooperation. The delegates also call upon global Governments, UN agencies and international organization, donors and private sector to commit for more investments to meet the needs of young people by scaling up programs and reaping the demographic dividend opportunity to achieve ICPD and SDGs.
Finally, the delegates of the Tunis emphasized the importance of upcoming Nairobi Summit for ICPD25 to be held in Kenya in November 2019, and encouraged the integration of the Outcome document of the Third China-Africa Conference on Population and Development and the Tunis commitments with the Nairobi outcome documents for enhancing the effectiveness of South-South and Triangular cooperation.
On the occasion of United Nations South-South Cooperation Day, PPD, as an intergovernmental organization of 27 developing countries after the joining of Cote d’Ivoire during Tunis 24th Board meeting, reaffirms its commitment to work with member and non-member countries, implements the Tunis Commitments and make stronger South-South cooperation for achieving ICPD and SDGs. PPD also wishes to increase its collaboration with UNFPA, UNOSSC and other development partners to leverage South-South Cooperation for achieving the SDGs.