By Hassan Zaggi
The United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) Resident Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Ulla Mueller, appealed to the government to place the Nairobi commitments high on the political agenda and consider them as an integral part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improving the overall development of the country.
He made the call at the one year anniversary of the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, in Abuja, Thursday.
She, however, called on the Federal Government to focus on the commitments and accountability to deliver the three transformational goals agreed upon at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, despite COVID-19.
She recalled that during the Nairobi conference, 12 global commitments became three transformational goals, which include- ending preventable maternal death; ending unmet need for family planning (contraceptives), and ending gender-based violence and harmful practices.
According to her: “The goals are transformational because they are critical to releasing the potential of women and girls. They are transformational because the sustainable development will not be achieved without them.
“The Nairobi conference highlighted urgent issues to achieve them such as greater domestic and international financing, private sector engagement, bringing young people into all decision-making that affects them, developing quality and disaggregated data, and ensuring that sexual and reproductive health information and services reach people in crisis.”
She further called on the federal government to focus on the commitments it made and take stock “of where we are in the achievement of those commitments.”
While lamenting that the COVID-19 has affected negatively the plans early put in place to achieve the commitments, the UNFPA Representative said, “our best made plans have given way to rescheduling, reprogramming and adjustments to ensure that our beneficiaries remain at the heart of our response.
“A comparison of the pre- and post-pandemic data shows that, in Nigeria, with an already fragile health sector, the pandemic threatened to reverse successes made in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights – visible in the documented increases in gender-based violence, missed hospital visits (particularly antenatal visits), and scarcity of much-needed medical supplies.”