Friday, September 30, 2016
Representatives and parliamentary leaders from Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and New Zealand met in Wellington this week (28-29 September) for a workshop on prioritising sexual and reproductive health in their national Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) plans.
Dame Carol Kidu, Member of the UN High-Level Task Force for ICPD and former Member of Parliament in Papua New Guinea, stressed that politicians are in a unique position to bridge the relationships between government and local organisations, such as NGOs and churches.
Bruce Campbell, Director of UNFPA Sub-Regional Office, urged government to take responsibility for collecting data to inform their political priorities. “Participants are recognising the importance of disaggregation of data to ensure the most vulnerable receive priority, and no one is left behind,” said Mr Campbell.
The workshop concluded with all parliamentary representatives sharing their commitments to implement SDG 3 on good health and SDG 5 on gender equality.
“We’ve discussed the importance of parliamentarians keeping themselves informed on how their respective countries are reporting their accountability to the SDGs,” said NZPPD Chair Barbara Kuriger.
“It’s been incredibly valuable to have nine Pacific countries in the room to hear about how they’re approaching the SDGs, measuring them and getting their constituents engaged in finding solutions,” said Ms Kuriger.
AFPPD Executive Director Mika Marumoto said, “AFPPD will continue to provide a knowledge sharing platform for Pacific nations to learn from each other to come up with effective advocacy plans. It is increasingly crucial for Pacific parliamentarians to voice their shared concern as one voice in the regional and global arenas.”
Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015, parliamentarians are working to ensure that the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) remains a priority within this new international development climate.
The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) and the New Zealand Parliamentarians Group on Population and Development (NZPPD) were co-hosts of the AFPPD-NZPPD Agenda 2030 Workshop for Pacific Parliaments on Prioritising the ICPD agenda in the SDGs.
The NZPPD is a voluntary cross-party group of parliamentarians who share an interest in increasing awareness of and prioritisation for sexual and reproductive health and rights issues in the Pacific region. Family Planning is the secretariat for the NZPPD.
The AFPPD is a network of 29 national committees of parliamentarians from across the Asia Pacific region. AFPPD advocates for parliamentary action and change, in support of population and development issues.
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