2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the ICPD POA, a landmark consensus document, in which governments agreed to and signed off on commitments towards improving women’s SRHR. 179 countries adopted a forward-looking, 20-year PoA that built on the success of the population, maternal health and family planning programmes of the previous decades while addressing, with a new perspective, the need of the early years of the 21st century.
Some of the progress made in the last 20 years includes decreased maternal mortality ratios and infant mortality rates, improved access to contraception and increased life expectancy. However, much remains to be accomplished. The ICPD PoA helped shift population policies from demographically driven targets towards a people-centred approach, putting aspirations and choices of individuals and couples at the centre of development. The ICPD PoA also presented a holistic development document, which marked the pathways towards creating a more just, equal, equitable and sustainable world.