Gaps, challenges and emerging issues

June 28, 2013

Messages and prelimary findings from the ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Survey

ICPD Global Survey first findings presentation to UN

Left to right: Petal Thomas Special Assistant to: Kwabena Osei-Danquah, Executive Coordinator ICPD Secretariat,
Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Executive Director, Prof Rachel Snow ICPD Global Report Lead Author

New York – United Nations member states were today presented with initial findings from an extensive survey of national progress towards the goals of the ICPD Programme of Action.  The survey, which was completed by 176 governments, is part of the mandated review of a landmark international document that placed human rights, in particular the rights of women and girls at the heart of the global development agenda. The survey set out to capture what had been achieved since 1994 as well as gaps, challenges, emerging issues and future priorities of governments in relation to the ICPD agenda. It is the first time in the 20 years since the ICPD Programme of Action was created that such a comprehensive and rigorous approach has taken place to assessing progress.

While acknowledging that the findings of the survey are still subject to in depth analysis, Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of UNFPA, described the survey data that has been gathered so far as ‘extraordinarily rich’ and highlighted the importance of this information to the process of both the ICPD review and to informing discussions on global development priorities in the post Millennium Development Goal era.

The key initial findings and messages of the survey, under the themes dignity, health, place and governance were presented by Professor Rachel Snow, the lead editor for the ICPD Global Report. A recurrent theme of Prof Snow’s presentation was the continuing inequality between the richest and poorest parts of the population in every country, while globally, regionally and even nationally aggregate gains can been seen over the past 20 years, often for the poorest and most marginalised little has changed.

In terms of development and sustainability, the report highlighted internal migration and urbanization as key emerging trends over the past 20 years. It is anticipated that by 2050 two thirds of the world will be urban. This, said Prof Snow, represents a major challenge for governments in terms of delivering sexual and reproductive health in areas of urban poverty, while ensuring that those people in rural areas have appropriate levels of service. While massive urban growth is inevitable, global survey data has highlighted that most governments remain committed to decentralization, an approach that may require some rethinking if individual rights are to be safeguarded.

Download a copy of the initial findings report here.

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