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Zambia: Accelerating the Promise of ICPD

LUSAKA, 6 June 2019: As part of in-country engagements to commemorate 25 years of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD); UNFPA’s 50th anniversary; and launch of the 2019 State of World Population Report, UNFPA in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Zambia held a high level event on 6 June 2019, during which the voices and representation of stakeholders, women, young people, as well as people living with disabilities affirmed progress towards Zambia’s commitments to the ICPD Programme of Action, as well as the critical need to invest in catalytic factors that will secure reproductive rights and choices for all as Zambia pursues its Vision 2030.

Speaking during the high level event, Minister of National Development Planning, Hon. Mr. Alexander Chiteme MP and Minister of Health Hon. Dr. Chitalu Chilufya underscored that failure to secure reproductive rights and choices for women and girls can sabotage Zambia's progress towards the number one Sustainable Development principle of leaving no one behind. The Hon. Ministers further reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Zambia to invest in key actions which are essential for human development, as a critical element for realizing the ICPD agenda.

In her speech, UNFPA Representative Ms. Gift Malunga reaffirmed UNFPA's commitment to support national actions essential to accelerate Zambia's progress towards the ICPD. "During this year of our milestone anniversary, we recommit to the fulfillment of our promise in reaching all people with reproductive rights and choices, without exceptions" Ms Malunga said.

In reaffirming Cooperating Partners' commitment to the ICPD, Sweden's Deputy Head of Development Corporation, Ms. Karin Sverkin and the DFID Deputy Head of Office, Ms. Emeline Dicker noted that despite progress made, sexual reproductive health and rights continue to face pressing gaps globally for women, girls and adolescents, and insufficient investment has resulted in overall progress being uneven. They commended the Government of Zambia's resolve to tackle these challenges by investing in universal health coverage, among other efforts.

Group picture at Zambia's triple launch of ICPD@25; UNFPA@50 and 2019 State of World Population Report.
Front Row: Minister of Health; Minister of National Development Planning; UNFPA Representative; SIDA Head of Development Cooperation; DFID Deputy Head of Office; Permanent Secretary in the Minister of Gender; and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Development Planning
Back Row: Representatives from the UN Country Team in Zambia; Partners and UNFPA Staff

During the meeting, the Government of the Republic of Zambia, through line Ministries, articulated key commitments to the 5 Pillars of the ICPD, as summarised below:

  1. Ministerial Commitment to ICPD Pillar 1 (Dignity and Equality): “The Government of Zambia is committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination against all women and girls by 2030" - Dr Auxilia Ponga, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender.
  2. Ministerial Commitment to ICPD Pillar 2 (Health): “The Government of Zambia is committed to eliminating preventable maternal and neonatal mortality..." - Dr Kennedy Malama, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health
  3. Ministerial Commitment to ICPD Pillar 3 (Place and mobility): “The Government of Zambia is committed to integrating migration issues in national development plans and strategies” – Ms. Dorothy Zimba, Chief Systems Development Officer, Min. of Home Affairs
  4. Ministerial Commitment to ICPD Pillar 4 (Governance): "Zambia’s Vision 2030 of becoming a prosperous middle-income country can only be achieved if development is people-focused” - Mr. Chola Chabala, Permanent Secretary, Min. of National Development Planning
  5. Ministerial Commitment to ICPD Pillar 5 (Data & Statistics): "The Gov't of Zambia is committed to investing in the collection, analysis & utilization of population-based data for policy & programming" - Mr. Goodson Sinyenga, Acting Director, Central Statistical Office