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CSP involvement in the UNECE ICPD+25 process and conference

1 UNECE Regional Conference on ICPD+25

Enabling Choices: Population Dynamics and Sustainable Development

The UNECE Regional Conferences on ICPD+25, Enabling Choices: Population Dynamics and Sustainable Development, organized jointly by UNECE and UNFPA, will be held in Salle XVIII in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 1-2 October 2018.

During the conference the UNECE Regional Report on ICPD+25 will be launched, concluding the five-year periodic assessment of progress made, identified challenges and gaps in implementation of the main findings and recommendations for the way forward, as included in the Chair’s Summary of the ICPD beyond 2014 review at the Regional Conference Enabling choices: Population Priorities for the 21st Century (1-2 July 2013, Geneva).

Conference themes

The three main themes for the Conference are (i) population dynamics and sustainable development; (ii) families, sexual and reproductive health over the life course; (iii) inequalities, social inclusion and rights.

Conference objectives

  1. Assess progress and identify gaps in the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action
  2. Strengthen the linkages between  ICPD and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  3. Reaffirm commitment to implementing the ICPD Programme of Action in the region

Conference outcomes

The report  of the Conference deliberations, the Rapporteur’s summary -- Enabling Choices: Population Dynamics and Sustainable Development, will be presented at the closing plenary session. It will constitute the recommendations for follow-up to the ICPD beyond 2014 Chair’s summary and will be published subsequently, together with the full proceedings of the Conference. It will, moreover, inform the global review of the ICPD, which will take place at the 52nd Session of the Commission on Population and Development in 2019.

2 Practical information

Civil society organization participation

Representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) and members of national parliaments can be included on the official Member State delegations, which should comprise up to three persons. In addition, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) can register to participate as observers.

To do this use the following link: http://www.unece.org/pau/icpd25.

Please note that the deadline for observer registration is 5 September 2018.

Languages and interpretation services

The languages for the Conference are English, French and Russian.

Conference venue

The Conference will talk place in Salle XVIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

UNECE contact details

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Population Unit, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Email: pau@unece.org

Tel: +41 22 917 1204

3 Proposed CSO inputs into the process


The Regional Conference in 2013 was followed by a CSO Meeting ICPD Beyond 2014 – From Promise to Action, CSOs Defining the Way Forward, organized by IPPF-EN and co-hosted by ASTRA and the European Women’s Lobby to reinforce cross-regional collaboration on the ICPD Beyond 2014 process. It involved 70 participants from CSOs working on human rights, HIV/AIDS, youth, women’s rights, sustainable development and SRHR and its objective was to identify strategies as to how CSOs could ensure that the outcomes of the UNECE Conference would be translated into action and progress for the region, with the regional priorities being taken into account in the ICPD Beyond 2014 global discussions.

The report of the CSO Meeting identified the trends in the region, which represents 18 percent of the world’s population with great diversity among low to medium to high income countries, ageing populations, smaller families and complex migration issues, were considered.  It also included the challenges faced such as limited access to SRHR services in some parts of the region and instances of early and forced marriage in Central Asia, despite policies that preclude it. While rates of abortion had declined over the past 20 years, they persisted at relatively high levels in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and in some cases were used as a modality for prenatal sex selection. In many countries there was over 50 percent youth unemployment making the transition from education to jobs a significant problem and women’s participation was still an “unfinished agenda” with gender-based violence prevalent across the entire region, together harmful practices and gender stereotyping. Meanwhile there were new living arrangements, including children born out of wedlock, newly formed families after divorce and same sex marriage. Some countries in the region, moreover, lacked comprehensive sexuality education or had limited or no rights to high-quality abortion services.

Achievements in the region included the harmonization of national legislation with international agreements such as the ICPD PoA, with a strong focus on sexual health, reproductive health and reproductive rights, and greater attention was being paid to the needs of vulnerable groups.

As stated in the report of the meeting (see: https://goo.gl/YadvgY):

“…policies should focus on addressing the challenges and barriers in a forward-looking manner, by firmly addressing inequalities and social inclusion, both inside and between countries, and by putting women and young people with their needs and the rights at the center (sic) of policy development. Policies [need] to be updated as societies are changing, and should help people alleviate barriers.”

Proposed CSO engagement in the UNECE regional review on ICPD+25

Possibilities for participation at the Conference

As stated above, CSO participation at the Conference will be limited to those representatives who are part of national delegations and NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC. Hopefully, some of these consultative NGOs will be able to accredited other CSOs as part of their delegations.

As opportunities for CSOs working in the region to participate in the Conference will be limited, the following process is suggested to ensure the strongest possible inputs:

Involvement of regional networks working on issues related to the ICPD

Networks and organizations in the region are invited to circulate information to their members so that they can participate.

An Informal Steering Group (ISG) has been set up.  Its members are: Mata Szostak, Astra Network; Leah Hoctor, Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR); Lewis Emmerton, Choice for Youth and Sexuality; Ton Coenen, EuroNGOs; Neil Datta. European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF); Pauline Mukanza, European Women’s Lobby; Nurgul Djanaeva, Forum of Women’s NGOS of Kyrgyzstan; Silvia Perel-Levin, International Longevity Centre – Global Alliance, NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva; and An Huybrechts, The International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF-EN).

The ISG’s remit, working in consultation and collaboration with UNFPA EECA Regional Office, includes:

Advising on regional CSO consultation process for the three themes of the Conference – Population Dynamics and Sustainable Development; Families, Sexual and Reproductive Health over the life course; Inequalities, Social Inclusion and Rights

Deciding on those CSOs that will receive support to travel to Geneva

Consolidating CSO inputs to the UNECE Regional Conference and its follow up

The Commonwealth Medical Trust (Commat) will act as Secretariat for coordination of the consultation.


The objective of the CSO consultation is to provide CSO vision on progress made during the past five years since ICPD Beyond 2014 in the region; to translate commitments into action; and to develop priorities for follow-up.

Proposed activities

The following schedule of activities is suggested to provide as inclusive a process as possible:

Achievements, challenges and gaps – pre-consultation engagement

A consultation process is proposed in the lead-up to the Consultation. It will focus on the same areas as the discussions in the Consultation. A reporting template will be used to facilitate comparisons and similarities among countries. More information will be available shortly.

UNECE Regional Meeting on ICPD+25 Civil Society Consultation – Partners for change: Civil society engagement in ICPD+25 in the UNECE region

The one-day Civil Society Consultation – Partners for change: Civil society engagement in ICPD+25 in the UNECE region will be held at the Warwick Hotel, rue de Lausanne 14, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland on Sunday 30 September 2018 from 08.30 – 18.00.

The outcomes of and recommendations from the Consultation will be presented during the UNECE Conference and will be forwarded to the UN Secretary-General for inclusion in his report for the 2018 session of the UN Commission on Population and Development which will consider the “Review and appraisal of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development at the global, regional and national levels.”

To register to participate in the consultation apply here: https://goo.gl/forms/JKToE9SrL6FEl2e32

Please note that the deadlines are very tight.

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