Nairobi Summit to fast-track ICPD Programme of Action

Friday, November 8, 2019

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu and Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu will lead a South African delegation to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) Summit, taking place in Nairobi, Kenya.

Held under the theme “Accelerating the Promise”, the summit seeks to galvanise change and mobilise both political will and financial commitment to push forward the unfinished business of the ICPD Programme of Action, as well as build momentum for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

During the summit, which will take place from 12-14 November 2019, the delegation will underscore South Africa’s commitment to consolidate achievements on gender equality through the empowerment of women and girls across South Africa with initiatives that include preventing and addressing gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF), improving women’s economic security, expanding access to education and the rolling out of the universal health coverage, amongst others.

The South African delegation will include government officials from the Departments of Social Development, Health, International Relations and Cooperation, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Basic Education, Statistics South Africa and the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.

The delegation will also include representatives from civil society organisations and academia.

Together, the delegation will work collaboratively to advance South Africa’s national position that is consistent with the human rights based approach as articulated in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution.

Minister Zulu and the delegation will host and participate in a number of side events and meetings during the summit.

This includes South Africa hosting a panel discussion on the National Development Plan, harnessing the demographic dividend, South-South Cooperation, the National Health Insurance (NHI), integrated school health programme, life orientation curriculum, including sexuality and gender education in school.

The delegation will also undertake bilateral discussions with their regional and international counterparts and discuss possible areas of collaborations on population and development issues in the context of South-South Cooperation.

The South African Government remains committed to ensure the full implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both of which have been domesticated through the Population Policy and the National Development Plan (Vision 2030).

One of the most progressive outcomes of the ICPD Programme of Action is that it shifted the focus of population policy and programmes from human numbers to focus more on improving human lives and increasing respect for human rights.

The Programme of Action also recognises that reproductive health and rights, as well as women’s empowerment and gender equality, are the cornerstones of population and development programmes.

The summit programme will cover the following thematic areas:

  • Universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights as part of universal health coverage;
  • Financing required to complete the ICPD Programme of Action, and to sustain the gains made;
  • Drawing on demographic diversity to drive economic growth and achieve sustainable development;
  • Ending gender-based violence and harmful practices; and
  • Upholding the right to sexual and reproductive health care even in humanitarian and fragile contexts.