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Pakistani SRHR Leaders Engage in ICPD30 Global Dialogue on Demographic Diversity and Sustainable Development in Dhaka

By: Asim Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: A distinguished group of Pakistani SRHR Leaders recently participated in the ICPD30 | Global Dialogue on Demographic Diversity and Sustainable Development, held on May 15-16, 2024, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This significant event was a part of the 30th celebration year 2024 which marked the thirtieth anniversary of the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), where global leaders first committed to placing individual rights and dignity at the core of sustainable development.

The ICPD30 Global Dialogue, co-hosted by the Governments of Bangladesh, Bulgaria, and Japan, with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), revisited and rejuvenated the principles established in the 1994 Programme of Action. This Global Dialogue provided a timely opportunity to address the diverse demographic changes shaping our world and explore sustainable, people-centered development strategies for the future.

The dialogue featured a series of engaging sessions covering various aspects of demographic diversity and sustainable development. These sessions included discussions on gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRH/RR), demographic resilience, universal health coverage (UHC), and the impacts of demographic changes on climate and urbanization.

The Pakistani delegation comprised: Dr. Luay Shabaneh, Country Representative, UNFPA Pakistan, Durr-e-Nayab, Joint Director/Pro Vice Chancellor, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Joshua Dilawar, National Coordinator, YPEER Pakistan and Executive Director, Institute for Social and Youth Development (ISYD), Adeebah Ameen, Co-Lead, Advocacy Committee, The Pact.

The event highlights included an Opening Plenary on “Demographic Diversity and Dividends: Promoting Sustainability,” a panel discussion on “Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Strategies for Strengthening Health Systems in Light of Demographic Change and Technological Advances,” a keynote session on “Population Dynamics and the Climate Crisis,” and a session on “Gender Equality, SRH/RR, and Demographic Resilience in the Context of Low Fertility.”

    The Pakistani representatives actively participated in many sessions including the above-mentioned sessions, sharing insights and experiences from Pakistan’s unique demographic landscape. Their contributions helped enrich the discussions and advance the objectives of the dialogue.

    The Dialogue was a platform that brought together over 200 experts from around 50 countries across the world. The dialogue concluded with a clear call to action on accelerating the ICPD promise for 2024 and beyond. The core of the discussion was to ensure that reproductive rights and choices are always upheld amidst shifting demographic trends, emphasizing the need for hard-fought rights to be upheld despite emerging global trends.

    As the world navigates complex demographic shifts, this dialogue encouraged practical responses to demographic change, reinforced human rights approaches to population policies, and promoted the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs). By drawing on the values enshrined in the ICPD Programme of Action, the event aimed to foster a common, global approach to demographic diversity and sustainable development.

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