By Hassan Zaggi
The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Dr. Edward Kallon, has called on governments at all levels, agencies and other stakeholders to demonstrate more commitment to the ideals of the International Conference on Population Programme of Action (ICPD PoA).
He also advocated support for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to enable it.
“create a world of zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet needs for family planning and zero gender based violence.,
The UN Resident Coordinator made the call at the official luncheon of the 50th anniversary of UNFPA with top government officials, diplomatic community and development partners in Abuja, yesterday.
The UN Coordinator recalled that in 1969 the UNFPA was born under the administration of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with a declaration that family planning is a basic human right. It transitioned and was placed under the authority of the United Nations General Assembly in 1971. In 1994, a blue print which forms the basis of UNFPA’s work, that is the International Conference on Population Programme of Action (ICPD PoA), came into existence.
“I therefore call on all of you present, the government and agencies you represent, as well as all other stakeholders who are looking forward to a sustainable world where no one is left behind, by the year 2030 to recommit to the ideas of ICPD PoA, and support the UN through the UNFPA to create a world of zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet needs for family planning and zero gender based violence,” Dr. Kallon, appealed.
He, however, lamented that despite the achievements of the UNFPA over the years, its dream is yet to be realized for all people in all places including Nigeria, as according to him, “aggregate development gains tend to masked widespread inequalities.”
He, however, insisted that for many women and girls across the world, the ideas of ICPD still remain far from being fulfilled.
According to him: “Worldwide, 800 women die from preventable causes during pregnancy and child birth every day (in Nigeria 111 women die daily during child birth).
“There are still 214 million women who want to prevent pregnancy but are not using modern method of contraceptive.
“In Nigeria one in four women who are in need of family planning services does not have access. Untold millions of women affected by war or disaster are cut off from reproductive health services.
“In North East Nigeria of 7.1 million affected, 2.3 girls and 1.6 women are in need services. Total Fertility rate is still very high in many developing countries (it is 5.5 in Nigeria).
“World population has grown from 3.6 billion in 1969 to 7.7 billion today (in Nigeria from 140.4 million in 2006 to 194 million in 2018 at a growth rate of 3.2%).
“Demographic trends are more diverse- aging in the developed world, youth bulge and underemployment in developing world.
“There is increase urbanization, mobility and displacement and threat of climate change among others.”
Speaking, the President Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), Prof Oladipo Ladapo, while applauding the UNFPA noted that its interventions in the past 50 years has provided significant improvement on the life of women, girls and young people across the world, especially in Nigeria.
Ladapo who represented Civil Society Organistaions (CSOs) in Nigeria, regretted that government, over the years, has not made any remarkable improvement and shift in the health system.
He therefore, called on the governments at all levels to rededicate to commitment to the unfinished agenda of ICPD 1994.