Asian and Pacific declaration on population and development

History was made in the Asia Pacific Population Conference as thirty eight member states voted to adopt the draft declaration on population and development.

After a week of intense and passionate debate and negotiation the region overwhelmingly voted to adopt, support and promote progressive language on sexual and reproductive rights, comprehensive sexuality education (the first time it has been mentioned in such a document), and the need to address discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan voted ‘no’ to the text. A cross regional alliance and partnerships including the Pacific Island states, SE Asia and S Asia stood firm and voted to adopt the text. In a rousing  closing speech Dr Nafis Sadik, former Executive Director of UNFPA commended the critical role of civil society, recalling that civil society collaboration in the ICPD, and this week in the Sixth Asia Pacific Population helped to make history, to change paradigms and to change lives.

The fourth day of the Conference saw the reading of a statement on behalf of civil society from the region in the ministerial segment. The statement was delivered to the forty two member states present, by Gaj Bahadur Gurung, a young advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights from Nepal, working for Youth Lead and managing a network of young people organizations in 19 countries.

The statement was developed during the Advances, challenges and ways forward: Asia Pacific CSO forum on ICPD beyond 2014 CSO forum, held immediately before the APPC. It was organized by a steering committee comprised of: IPPF SARO, IPPF ESEAOR, AFPPD, ARROW, APA, DAWN, Help Age International, SARYN, ICOMP, IWRAW, Youth lead, Coalition of Asia Pacific Regional Networks on HIV/AIDS

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