Montevideo Consensus reaffirmed as road map for action on population and development matters 

The third session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean concluded with countries reaffirming the Montevideo Consensus (English/Spanish) as the basis of a comprehensive and strategic road map for national and regional action. 

The Conference, which was held in Lima, Peru, was attended by 192 delegates from 32 of ECLAC’s member countries and one associate member, together with 82 representatives of UN System bodies and intergovernmental organizations, and 320 individuals from civil society.

Paulo Saad, Population Division of ECLAC presented the Draft first regional report on the implementation of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development. While the region has made progress in fulfilling the priority measures of the Montevideo Consensus, many challenges remain that are mainly linked to large gaps between countries and between specific population groups within countries. The region, moreover has a ‘long road ahead in all spheres of the population and development agenda”, requiring public policies sustained over time and more “thoroughgoing adoption of the rights-based and interculturalism approach”. A revised and updated document, First regional report on the implementation of the Montevideo Consensuswill contribute to the global review and appraisal of the Programme of Action of ICPD beyond 2014 and the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Ana María Mendieta, Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations of Peru, noted the presence of the highest authorities. It showed the commitment of governments to implementing the Montevideo Consensus, which reinforced their “optimism regarding compliance with all the measures needed to promote equality and respect for human rights.” The Conference also demonstrated although there had been progress during the past few years, “many challenges still lie ahead that demand that we accelerate the adoption of measures in different areas.”

As stated by ECLAC’s Deputy Executive Secretary, 23 countries had submitted their national reports, giving an account of the progress made in the Consensus’s various thematic areas, although the reports detail important advances, there is still great heterogeneity among countries and within them,” he warned.

The closing event was led by Ana María Mendieta; Mario Cimoli, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); and Dereje Wordofa, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Mario Cimoli , ECLAC’s Deputy Executive Secretary, expressed its satisfaction with the successful evolution of the meeting and its notable outcome. As he said, 

“We have achieved the main objective that we had, which is that all the member countries have reaffirmed the Montevideo Consensus as the region’s road map for complying with the Cairo Program of Action beyond 2014, with the regional specificities that our instrument contemplates.” 

Dereje Wordofa underscored that over the three days of the Conference the call had been repeated, 

“from every corner of [the] room and every corner of the region, that we must not leave anyone behind, women and girls, men and boys, young people, older persons, LGBTI persons, Afro-descendants, indigenous peoples, disabled persons, migrants, any person that experiences poverty, exclusion or discrimination.”

Their moral responsibility, captured at the core of the Montevideo Consensus, is this commitment for which they must first reach the furthest behind. “They are demanding it, they have a right to it, sustainable development depends on it, and together we all must and will deliver.”

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