PPD and UNFPA, with technical assistance from BKKBN of Indonesia, organized a Webinar on Sharing the Best Practices, that PPD documented in its 11 Member Countries, on Tuesday, 23 March 2021. The Webinar was organized in four segments, Opening Session, Presentation of the Best Practices, Intervention/Discussion by the Partner Country Coordinators (PCCs) and the Closing Session. Following the Introductory Remarks made by PPD Executive Director Mr. Adnene Ben Haj Aissa, highly encouraging statements were made by the Treasurer of PPD Governing Board, H.E. Dr. Hasto Wardoyo, Chairperson of BKKBN-Indonesia and Mr. Arthur Erken, UNFPA Director for Policy and Strategy Division. The Webinar was officially inaugurated by the Chair of PPD Governing Board H.E. Ms. Lindiwe Zulu MP, Hon. Minister of Social Development of the Government of South Africa by delivering her Inaugural Address and the Closing Remarks was delivered by Ms. Chouaa Dassouky, Director of Population Policies, League of Arab States.
The objective for availing of the technical assistance from BKKBN for organizing the Webinar was mainly two-fold, ensuring the element of South-South Cooperation by involving one of the member countries and highlighting the preponderant technical capabilities of one of the member country institutions in successfully organizing the digital event. This has demonstrated how expeditiously one of the Southern developing countries has adapted the most advanced digital conference technology, which is not different in case of other Southern developing countries also.
Following the Opening Session, the internationally acclaimed public health specialists and experts, who documented the respective Best Practices as consultants under the guidance of PPD and respective Partner Country Coordinators (PCCs), briefly presented the most salient features of the Best Practices. This session was moderated by the PCC of Indonesia, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Rizal Damanik, Deputy for Research and Training of BKKBN, Indonesia. The presentation of the Best Practices triggered flurries of questions by the Partner Country Coordinators (PCC) during the Intervention/Discussion Session including the audiences. Few of the selected questions and queries were responded and clarified immediately in view of the time constraints, while the remaining have been compiled for responses in writing afterwards.
It is worth mentioning here that, one of the foremost mandates of Partners in Population and Development (PPD) is identifying, documenting and facilitating replication of Best Practices covering broad spectrum of Reproductive Health, Population and Development, Maternal Health including Empowerment of Women and Youths. As stated earlier, the 11 Best Practices were documented in the 11 Member Countries of PPD covering different geographical regions have been enormously successful in accomplishing their objectives and attaining desired outcomes and impacts during and after their implementation. They have also achieved dramatic successes in their repeated replications in different areas and settings, demonstrating themselves as the universal Best Practices for the Southern Developing Countries in the respective field of activities, where their crucial necessity and demand essentially exist. The fundamental purpose of the Webinar was sharing the Best Practices with all the member countries including wider international audience in order to generate interest and enthusiasm for their replications, where they are needed most. The purpose of the Webinar was accomplished to the greatest extent as they were invariably acknowledged as wonderful treasurer of knowledge management through exchange of experiences including replication of the Best Practices whilst the Webinar was in progress.
PPD Executive Director Mr. Adnene Ben Haj Aissa in his Introductory Remarks expressed his appreciation to the Hon. PPD Chair Ms. Lindiwe Zulu, the South African Minister of Social Development for attending the Webinar as the Opening Speaker, PPD Treasurer H.E. Dr. Hasto Wardoyo for the technical support and also for his attendance. He also expressed his gratitude to Mr. Arthur Erken and other UNFPA colleagues for supporting the documentation of the Best Practices and also attending and speaking at the event. He made special appreciation to Ms. Chouaa Dassouky, Director of Population Policies, League of Arab States for attending and consenting to deliver closing remarks. PPD and the League of Arab States recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on partnership and collaboration in areas of common interest. This is for the first time a high-level dignitary of the League of Arab States attended and made an intervention in one of the important PPD Program. The Executive Director extended his gratitude to the Board Members and Partner Country Coordinators including consultants for supporting documentation of the Best Practices.
UNFPA HQ Director of Policy and Strategy Division Mr. Arthur Erken in his statement mentioned that he had been involved with PPD since its inception in Cairo. He attached paramount importance and assured strengthening long-term UNFPA-PPD partnership for leveraging South-South and Triangular Cooperation. He added that UNFPA is also committed to establishment and operationalization of the Center of Excellence for promoting SSTC. He added that dynamic and timely knowledge management is important for sharing and utilization of the successful experiences and commended PPD for carrying out this important exercise. He observed that SSTC is a growing movement across the world as a highly relevant framework of the development cooperation and for building peach and harmony among the nations.
Prof. Muhammad Rizal Damanik, on behalf of PPD Treasurer and the Chairperson of BKKBN-Indonesia H.E. Dr. Hasto Wardoyo, delivered the statement. At the very outset he expressed happiness to co-host this important Webinar on Sharing Best Practices jointly with PPD demonstrating the good will of increased international partnership and solidarity being promoted by PPD and South-South Cooperation. He said that Indonesia is one of the initial signatories of the 1994 ICPD Program of Action and committed to the SDG and Nairobi outcomes including the Three Zeros. He informed that Indonesia establishment a conducive financial framework at the national and provincial level with the ultimate objective of ensuring universal access to the Reproductive Health and Services.
PPD Governing Board Chair H.E. Mrs. Lindiwe Zulu MP, Hon. Minister of Social Development of the Government of South Africa observed that the documentation and replication of the Best Practices in reproductive health, maternal health, empowerment of women and girls is very important to change the lives of the people, which requires political will and commitment for their continued implementation. She said that BAPA+40 emphasized the role and importance of SSTC for implementation of ICPD and SDGs. SSTC was acknowledged as an alternative financial tool for implementation of Nairobi Commitments including the Three Zeros. She said that SSC is an effective platform for intercountry cooperation for supporting horizontal partnership and diversifying knowledge and expertise for sustainable development, and Southern countries need to work together and find out collective solutions. She urged UNFPA to strengthen win-win partnership with PPD for achieving the common objectives under SSTC framework. She said that PPD as a robust Inter-Governmental Organization will garner strong and important political commitment and support to address the post-COVID crises under the framework of South-South Cooperation. She also stressed on the importance and inclusion of poverty eradication under the SSTC program framework. She appreciated 40 scholarships provided by Egypt, India and South Africa will help capacity building to achieve national commitments. She also appreciated PPD for institutionalization of the SSC at the country level through strengthening of the National Task Forces, which will facilitate achievement of the three transformative results, which were agreed in Nairobi. She said that young people constitute 50% of the developing world population and their involvement in program design and implementation can ensure balanced and sustainable development. She urged for sufficient budgetary allocation by national and international organizations for promoting SSTC.
Ms. Chouaa Dassouky, Director of Population Policies, League of Arab States in her Closing Remarks thanked the organizers for inviting her to speak in this important platform. She has been representing the Technical Secretariat of the League of Arab Stakes for Population and Development. She said that the Arab Council of Population and Development was established under the framework of ECOSOC and the patronage of Government of Jordan in 2019 in Amman, Jordan and with support from UNFPA ASRO. The fundamental objective of creating the council was promoting integration of population and development at governmental and non-governmental level. She mentioned signing of the bilateral MOU between the League of Arab States and PPD with the objective of enhanced the cooperation in population and development issues. She enumerated some of the fundamental objectives of the Council, such as, putting an end to the Gender Based Violence and harmful practices. She said that COVID-19 Pandemic reversed many of the past achievements and the organization devised plans to face the consequences and repercussions and strengthening universal access to RH including in the humanitarian settings. Ensuring access to SRSH Services to the women and girls including adequate provision for advanced FP Method is a prime objective of the Council.
She said that signing of MOU opened new horizons of cooperation to benefit from experiences of PPD member states to enrich their own experience. ICPD, SDG and Nairobi Commitments will govern the issues of discussion and exchanges. The Strategic Plan the Arab Council of Population and Development has developed will be implemented in collaboration with UNFPA ASRO. Further workshops on sharing of the Best Practices will ensue cooperation between LAS and PPD member states to benefit from their success. The Arab Council on Population and Development is working on strategies for harnessing demographic dividend in the countries of the region. The MOU has created chances to share the Best Practices of PPD for promoting interregional cooperation. She concluded her Closing Remarks by thanking PPD for inviting her in this wonderful event.