Pictured above are ARROW’s Sai Jyothirmai Racherla and Nawmi Naz Chowdhry at CPD52.
The annual sessions of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) remains a critical space for countries and advocates to affirm and further their commitments to advance human rights, including sexual and reproductive rights. ARROW looks forward to working together across member states, UN agencies, civil society, women and especially youth to see to the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Program of Action (ICPD PoA) and its subsequent reviews as we work towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development mandate to build a just and equitable world for all where no one is left behind.
The 52nd CPD Session held from 1-5 April 2019 in New York, was significant in that it saw the adoption of the political declaration of the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the ICPD which was adopted during the first and opening session of CPD52 on 1 April 2019 and was preceded by informal consultations on Wednesday, 6 March 2019, on the zero draft of the political declaration of the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the ICPD. The political declaration did not address thematic issues. Representatives of countries in the various regional groups recognize such a CPD outcome as an exception because of ICPD25 anniversary and that it will not become the norm.
The adoption of the political declaration was followed by a general debate which was heard as the next item for consideration. Delegates considered (a) Actions for the further implementation of the ICPD PoA at the global, regional and national levels and (b) Review and appraisal of the ICPD PoA and its contribution to the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. ARROW representatives were present during the general debate.
ARROW representatives also attended the high-level interactive panel on 2 April 2019 to note the key findings and recommendations of the regional conferences of population and development especially of the key findings and recommendations for the Asia and the Pacific region. ARROW also attended the expert panel and interactive discussion, on the afternoon of 3 April, as well as an agenda item on programme implementation and future programme of work of the Secretariat in the field of population.
On the 3rd April morning, Sai Jyothirmai Racherla on behalf of ARROW, presented the oral statement during the NGO/CSO oral statement session. ARROW attended the informal consultations as well even though there was no thematic resolution related to the general debate on the actions for further implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action or its contribution to the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The inputs from the panel discussions and those of Member States identifying the gaps, challenges and next steps for the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action was noted down by ARROW representatives but will also be detailed out in the official CPD52 report that will go forward to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and contribute to the deliberations of the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) later this year.
ARROW was the co-convener of the International Sexual and Reproductive Rights Coalition’s (ISSRC) meetings which held its preparatory day-long meeting on the 31 March 2019 attended by all representatives of the coalition to talk about the previous CPD’s, provide information on the 52nd CPD session and to discuss CSOs expectation post CPD 52 especially in light of the upcoming ICPD +25 celebration in Nairobi to be held this year. The preparatory session was executed in the form of a workshop where participants worked in groups to work out how to better involve themselves during the CPD sessions.
This meeting was followed by strategising meetings every morning from 8 – 9 am from the 1-5 of April 2016 to allow for sharing of thoughts and reflections from each day and strategize on various aspects of the CPD session namely how it will link with the Nairobi Summit and the HLPF.
Dance4life workshop on regional and national processes following CPD 52 took place on 4 April from 11:00 am – 4 pm where ARROW provided a presentation to RHRN advocates to the CPD on an overview of how the ICPD relates to youth and gave a regional breakdown of spaces such as the Asia Pacific Population Conference (APPC) and the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) and how advocacy following CPD 52 can be done on a national level.
Launching of national reports was done by ARROW during the CPD event and it included national reports Following the Commission on Population and Development (#CPD52) adopting the political declaration reaffirming and pledging full support to the #ICPD Programme of Action, ARROW celebrated this consensus on the 25th anniversary of #ICPD, sharing what partners at country-level had to say about why this is important. The national reports shared insights from Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Lao, Malaysia, Nepal and Pakistan.
On 2 April 2019, ARROW as part of the RHRN consortium met with the UN envoy Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake with the young RHRN advocates from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss the work and challenges faced by youth in relation to establishing their full sexual and reproductive rights. They also discussed ways by which the Youth Envoy can better connect with the RHRN initiatives to enable realization of the RHRN objectives in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
ARROW assisted in the preparation of the oral presentations made by the young RHRN advocates from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean which was delivered at a side-event organized by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the 1 April 2019 in which ARROW participated. The side-event included relevant stakeholders including the Chair of the CPD who was also present during the event. The young panel speakers shared stories that reflected the real-life scenario of young people and their sexual and reproductive rights with respect to their own regions. The side-event also included and extensive Q/A session.
Mission visits was also done by ARROW where the ARROW representative has met the representative from the Bangladesh mission in the UN and the representative from the Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Respective RHRN advocates also met their mission; the participant from Asia met her mission (Nepal) to share RHRN’s work.
ARROW also attended the UNFPA meeting on the Nairobi Summit which will be held later this year to commemorate the ICPD +25. Through attending these meetings, ARROW was able to provide input to the UNFPA on how to makes the Summit meaningful for both youth and the CSOs. The meeting took place on 4 April 2019.
Nawmi Naz Chowdhry
Senior Programme Officer, ARROW