Honorable Chairman, Representatives of UNFPA, Speakers and Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen
Firstly, allow me on behalf of the PPD Board to thank UNFPA and you all to attend this august gathering at Thematic Solution Forum on SSTC for Reproductive Health and Population and Development. It is a great pleasure to me to represent PPD today during this forum.
PPD, an intergovernmental organization, was launched at the 1994 during International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt with ten developing countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America to help implement the ICPD Program of Action (POA), specifically for the purpose of expanding and improving south-south cooperation in the fields of reproductive health, population, and development. Today, PPD has become an organization of 27 developing countries, representing close to 60% of the population of developing countries. PPD dedicates to the promotion and strengthening of South-South cooperation in reproductive health, family planning, and issues related to population policies and dynamics including aging. Through advocacy, policy dialogues, exchange of information and experience, capacity building, training, and technical cooperation, PPD partners with both its members and other countries in implementing the ICPD Programme of Action and SDGs 2030 agenda.
Ladies and gentlemen:
The landscape of international assistance in recent times has also changed significantly with the emerging economy countries, many of them are PPD member countries, becoming international assistance recipient and provider countries. The outcome document of the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 20 to 22 March 2019, re-emphasized the role of SSC in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At Nairobi Summit ICPD@25 in November 2019, SSTC was acknowledged as an alternative financial tool for achieving ICPD and SDGs.
We believe in progress but every era, every decade has its problems, small, big or critical. The problems we face now seem overwhelming. Despite we have hope to overcome them, we have global commitments like ICPD and SDGs, but we are worried about our future. People are suffering as a result of wars and conflicts but we want development as countries are facing challenges related to emerging population issues like aging, youth employment, fertility decline, urbanization, and migration.
We all are aware of the impact of COVID-19 on the health system globally and to address the COVID-19 pandemic, resources were diverted away from reproductive health services and population and development programs, to deal with the outbreak. COVID-19 caused disruptions and long-term impacts to sexual and reproductive health services, including those for maternal health. The crisis is deepening due to both impact of COVID-19 and the recent war in Europe on the international efforts to achieve the goals of zero unmet need for family planning, zero preventable maternal deaths, and zero gender-based violence and other harmful practices that were promised during ICPD+25.
The pandemic COVID-19 and the War in Europe have been a great burden to well-resourced countries, and its impact on lower-income countries and in humanitarian settings is even worse. The estimation made to address these 3 zeros globally (zero unmet need for family planning, zero preventable maternal deaths, and zero gender-based violence and other harmful practices) are getting more challenging to achieve.
Distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen,
It is evidenced that South-South Triangular Cooperation is an important alternative development model contributing to developing countries greatly in achieving ICPD and SDGs 2030 agendas. But,
- Institutionalization of south-south triangular cooperation is a big challenge; for example there is no available Center of Excellence of South-South Triangular Cooperation on population and development in developing countries.
- National south-south triangular cooperation focal persons are the key person for promoting SSTC at the country level but due to inadequate knowledge and skills they face challenges to deliver their role effectively.
- A good framework that promotes the role of South-South and triangular cooperation as an instrument to the achievement of ICPD and SDGs 2030 Agenda.
- Lack of well-defined national policies of SSTC that need to be established through national commitment.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to make few recommendations for your consideration:
- UNFPA and PPD should take joint efforts to establish a “Center of Excellence” on south-south triangular cooperation on population and development.
- Capacity building training programs for national South-South Triangular cooperation focal persons and other government officials in developing countries to be taken.
- A South-South focal unit may be established in PPD partner country office with technical support from PPD and UNFPA to strengthen SSTC activities at national level.
- A strategic framework that promotes the role of South-South and triangular cooperation towards supporting innovation, new partnerships, knowledge-sharing and scaling up of proven best practices to achieve ICPD and SDGs 2030 agenda to be developed.
- Ensure political commitment for national policy and budget allocation for south-south cooperation and donors or international agencies need to prioritize funding south-south triangular cooperation in population and development.
In conclusion, I wish UNFPA and PPD will continue to work together for addressing the challenges related to South-South Cooperation in order to help developing countries address Reproductive Health and Population and Development issues and to expedite the progress for achieving ICPD and SDGs 2030 agenda so that no one is left behind.
[ Statement delivered by Ms. Tahrima Khan, Sr. Program Officer, Partners in Population and Development (PPD) ]