How can parliamentarians push population issues more prominently in the international development agenda?
This was one of the questions debated last week in Stockholm, where lawmakers from 134 countries convened for the the 6th International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the Program of Action agreed upon at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo.
On the sidelines of the three-day event, we sat down with U.N. Population Fund Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin to get his take on the ICPD at 20 and the challenges ahead in what is a crucial year for the future of development cooperation.
The main lesson learned, Osotimehin explained, is that the international community has finally accepted the paradigm shift that took population away from demographic targets to the individual, with tangible results including a significant decrease in maternal and child mortality rates. Gender equality, however, has not yet been accomplished and, in his opinion, would benefit from a standalone goal in the post-2015 framework – always linked to a rights-based approach.
“We must never delink gender equality from the issue of rights … We should never get to a point where, because some people are uncomfortable about rights, we delink it,” the UNFPA chief said. “When you do that, it becomes a Trojan horse – there’s nothing. What is gender parity, when you cannot exercise your rights?” Click here to continue reading.
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