UNFPA Executive Director Joins Ghana to Celebrate its 50th Anniversary

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director, Dr Natalia Kanem joins Ghana to celebrate it’s 50th anniversary of existence in Accra.

The Executive Director working visit to Ghana is her first time since she assumed Office in October 2017 and would also participate in the 3rd China-Africa Conference on Population and Development which took started on Tuesday 19th June 2019 at the International Conference Center, Accra-Ghana.

The 3rd China-Africa Conference on Population and Development is under the theme: Population Data Management and Universal Access to Reproductive Health as Key Drivers of Sustainable Development.

The Ghana Conference is the third in the series of population and development conferences being held since 2017, with the first one in Kenya and the second held in Guangzhou City of China in July 2018. A Youth4Youth forum is a thought-provoking part of the 2019 conference.

Meanwhile the 50th anniversary collides with ICPD at 25 as well the 95th birthday of Professor Fred Sai.

In 1969 the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA was born with a declaration that family planning is a basic human right under the administration of the United Nations Development Fund and later transitioned and was placed under the authority of the United Nations General Assembly in 1971.

UNFPA has therefore been in existence for the past 50 years (UNFPA@50). Twenty-five years after its establishment, a blue print which forms the basis of UNFPA’s work: the International Conference on Population Programme of Action, ICPD PoA, came into existence.

With regards to the ICPD, PoA was prepared in September 1994, in Cairo, Egypt where representatives from 179 countries participated in discussions to finalize a Programme of Action on population and development for implementation. The primary recommendations of ICPD’s Programme of Action were the calls for linking the provision of sexuality education to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services; building awareness, acceptance and support for youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education and services; addressing gender inequity in terms of beliefs, attitudes and norms; and targeting the early adolescent period (10-14 years).

Twenty years later, (2014), a review process dubbed “the ICPD Beyond 2014”, provided a unique opportunity to forge a new African regional position to review the progress, persistent and emerging gaps and challenges of population and development, in relation to the achievement of the goals set out in the ICPD agenda.

The celebration of Professor Fred Sai @95 is as a result of his valuable inputs when the ICPD was held in 1994 to draw up a visionary 20-year Programme of Action (which sought to improve the quality of life of every person; to ensure sustained economic growth and achieve sustainable development).

This was the occasion where Prof Fred Sai played an excellent overarching leadership role of chairing the main committee.

This was disclosed in a press release issued by the UNFPA Ghana Office.

“Coincidentally, Prof Sai will be 95 years old in June 2019, UNFPA Ghana deems it necessary to celebrate this international icon and national legend, to spur all stakeholders in population and development to revamp the ICPD agenda in the country”, it explained.

Interestingly, Ghana will host the 3rd China-Africa Conference on Population and Development same week under the theme: Population Data Management and Universal Access to Reproductive Health as Key Drivers of Sustainable Development.

The Ghana Conference is the third in the series of population and development conferences being held since 2017, with the first one in Kenya and the second held in Guangzhou City of China in July 2018. A Youth4Youth forum is a thought-provoking part of the 2019 conference.

The Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, Dr Natalia Kanem who assumed Office in October 2017, would for the first time pay a working visit to Ghana for the packed celebrations: UNFPA@50, ICPD25 and Fred Sai@95 As well as well as participate in the China Africa Conference on Population and Development.

Planned activities to mark these celebrations include the SWOP launch in collaboration with Glitz Africa and UNFPA ghana Honorary Ambassador which saw the gathering of 300 young people to support and witness the launch as well discuss the unfinished business and the future of icpdin the context of a digitized generation.

In addition, the observation of the International Day of the Midwife with a community durbar to acknowledge the role of Midwives in defending the rights of women.

And finally the official Launch of UNFPA@50 and ICPD25 on 23rd June, 2019 where intergenerational dialogue on ICPD will take place, that is creation of a platform for the older generation to hand over the future of ICPD programme to the current generation among other activities.

Source: Ishmael Barfi

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