By Tatenda Mujeyi
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the ground breaking International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and yesterday stakeholders convened at the Rainbow Towers Hotel to draft Zimbabwe’s commitments to the summit slated for next month in Nairobi, Kenya.
The ICPD 25 is an inter-governmental commitment to improve the conditions of women that was commenced in 1994 by 179 Countries.
“The ICPD initiative commenced in 1994 when 179 countries convened in Cairo to map a way for the tackling of challenges faced by women. A follow up review in 2004 constituted the ICPD@10, the 2009 meeting constituted the ICPD@15, with the 2014 session being the ICPD@20. This process has in turn culminated to this year’s conversion being the ICPD at 2,” a presentation presented on behalf of UNFPA Program specialist Daison Mlambo noted.
There was a call to have attainable commitments that government could easily align to its budgetary and institutional capacity in order for the commitments to be met.
“There is need to align our commitments to the plans that government already has as a means to realise achievable commitments as alienating the institutional and budgetary capacity of government would likely see no support from government and a potentially predetermined failure of the commitments,” Dr Esther Muia, Country Representative of UNFPA said.
The summit comes at an opportune time as the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF) neared lapse and the country had recently introduced the Aid Coordination Policy.
“The ICPD at 25 Summit comes at the right time as the ZUNDAF framework of 2016-2020 was being tied up and government and development partners are working towards its replacement. On the other hand, Government recently launched the Aid Coordination Policy. As such there is need to restructure operations and commitments of government in collaborating with development partners,” said a Director from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
The ICPD Summit will be held in November and will see all the 179 signatory countries undertaking to state their pledges to the ICPD commitments.
“The 25th ICPD is about renewing and reinvigorating the global commitment to the full and accelerated implementation of the ICPD within the overall context of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs to envision that no one is left behind,” A speech read on behalf of the UNFPA Program Specialist said.
The stakeholders workshop came up with draft commitments that will be considered by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for presentation at the ICPD at 25 Summit.
“We have come up with draft commitments as Zimbabwean stakeholders. We are going to consolidate the commitments as shall be specified by government. We will also be going through the recommendation passed here and submit,” The Director in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Mr Majaiti said.
The ICPD@25 is being benchmarked under 5 global commitments that the Zimbabwean government will pledge to commit to as part of the ICPD process.
Recommendations passed at the stakeholder’s conference included inclusive, participatory and human rights approach in dealing with youth issues, advocacy and discursive approach in dealing with issues related to the youth and health policies that are inclusive to the girl child among other issues.