ICPD@25 - placing human rights at the heart of Zambia’s development

19 March 2018

Globally, it is acknowledged without doubt that securing human rights for all, especially for women and adolescent girls, is central towards sustainable development. However, if one were to trace the origins of this landmark consensus, many threads would lead back to Cairo in 1994.

There, at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), key discussions on the correlations of human rights, population, sexual reproductive health, gender equality and sustainable development merged into a remarkable global consensus that placed individual dignity and human rights, including the right to plan one’s family, at the very heart of development.

The subsequent adoption of the far-reaching, interdependent and ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2016 marked a strong global recommitment to the ICPD Programme of Action, securing consensus that investing in individual human rights, capabilities and dignity is the foundation of sustainable development.

The year 2019 will mark the 25th anniversary of the ICPD. In this regard, the 54 Member States of the African Union, including Zambia, have embarked on multi-sectoral national review processes, ahead of the a global review and appraisal of the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action in April 2019.

As Zambia joins the global appraisal of the implementation of the ICPD, the Ministry of National Development Planning, in collaboration with UNFPA, recently launched Zambia’s national review process, which provides an opportunity for Zambia to outline it’s stocktaking of key actions towards enhancing individual health and rights for all Zambians.

Speaking at the launch meeting, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Development Planning Mr. Chola Chabala, as well as UNFPA Zambia Deputy Representative Ms. Chinwe Ogbonna underscored the critical role of advancing population and development issues in an integrated manner within Zambia’s national development pathway.

 “Government is committed to realizing a people centred development, as articulated in Zambia’s Vision 2030 as well as the 7th National Development Plan. Government therefore welcomes the ICPD@25 review process as an opportunity to advance efforts towards improving quality of life for all, including through sustained economic growth,” Mr. Chabala said.

Also speaking at the same event, outgoing UNFPA Country Representative Dr Mary Otieno acknowledged the strategic partnerships between UNFPA and the people and Government of the Republic of Zambia, towards achievement of the goals and objectives of the ICPD Plan of Action in Zambia.

“As I end my 4 year tenure in Zambia, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge key milestones we have collectively achieved towards ensuring every pregnancy is wanted, every child birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. Together with our partners, we have ensured that sexual reproductive health and rights issues are incorporated within national development frameworks and strategic plans; and have generated key data to better target interventions and resources, as well as to evaluate policy impacts, among others” Dr Otieno said.