JAKARTA – UNFPA and the National Population and Family Planning Board (Badan Keluarga Berencana Nasional/BKKBN) launched the National Review Process of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014 on Friday, 25 May 2012. The review aims to highlight important areas of achievement, challenges, and unfinished business, as well as to map out newly-emerging issues in Indonesia during the 20 years in which the ICPD’s Programme of Action (PoA) has been implemented.
“ICPD was the ‘game changer’ for population and development in 1994, and we are still benefiting from its vision to this day. This national review will consist of a global survey on implementation of the ICPD led by BKKBN, followed by three thematic consultation meetings on sexual and reproductive health, population and development, and gender equality to ensure stakeholders’ participation. Meetings with NGOs and young people are also planned as part of the review,” explained Mr. Jose Ferraris, UNFPA Representative, at the opening of the launching.
The national review’s launch was honored by the presence of two visionary figures from the ICPD held in Cairo in 1994: Dr. Nafis Sadik, former UNFPA Executive Director, who also served as the Secretary General of the historic conference, and Dr. Haryono Suyono, former BKKBN Chairman and Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare and head of the Indonesian delegation to the Cairo Conference.
Dr. Sugiri Syarief, chairman of BKKBN, who officially launched the review, said that the ICPD Beyond 2014 Review is strategically important to Indonesia. “Its result will be the basis of evidence for determining future policies and strategies in Indonesia, and to achieve broader and deeper progress in meeting the goals and objectives of the ICPD PoA.”
Dr. Haryono Suyono said that following the Cairo Consensus, many countries which had been successful with their family planning programmes began to recenter their focus on a broader goal, the development of family welfare. “Cairo shifted people to the center of development and put rights as the focus to be achieved,” said Dr. Haryono.
“There are remaining challenges in meeting the ICPD agenda. Reduced attention to family planning programmes as part of reproductive health is a major concern globally,” Dr. Sadik said, adding that this issue also exists in Indonesia.
Dr. Sadik underlined that the fertility rate in Indonesia has stayed at 2.4 since 2007, following a major decline from 6 in 1960s; unmet need in family planning still remains high at 9 percent. Hence, in reviews that have been carried out on ICPD, there have been many calls to reposition family planning as a key component of sexual and reproductive health. She praised the Indonesian government’s plan to revitalize its family planning programme, which previously had earned a reputation as one of the best in the world.
During a discussion following the launching, Dr. Sadik pointed out another huge hurdle as the 20-year mark of the ICPD’s implementation approaches: the fact that many young people, which currently comprise the largest cohort of population, are still denied their rights to sexual and reproductive health.
“In Asia alone, we have over one billion young people. And we know that sexual behaviors are changing, especially with the increasing age of marriage. We have to acknowledge this reality, and ensure that all young people have access to sexual and reproductive education and services,” she stressed.
Dr. Sadik, who is a special adviser to the UN Secretary-General and envoy for HIV in Asia and the Pacific, emphasized that Indonesia shows an increasing incidence of HIV, which is concentrated in the young adult population. This, she said, clearly shows that the needs of youth with respect to sexual and reproductive health have not been met. Young people aged 10-24 make up 28 percent of Indonesia’s total population of 237 million.
Lutviah, a member of the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP), applauded the recent 45th CPD session that adopted a landmark resolution addressing sexual and reproductive health and rights for adolescents. She also acknowledged BKKBN’s efforts to provide education to young people through the PIKKRR (Center for Information and Counseling on Youth Reproductive Health) and GenRe (Generation Planning) programmes, among others.
However, these efforts are not enough, Lutviah pointed out. “Surveys showed that one out of eight teenagers in Indonesia remain in the dark about HIV prevention and transmission. This shows that we need better education and reproductive health services for young people that enable them to make good, informed decisions and fulfill their life’s potential,” Lutviah said.
The National Review of ICPD Beyond 2014 in Indonesia, as in other countries, will provide an avenue for young people to participate in the process, who will be invited to share their perspectives on implementation of the ICPD at a stakeholder meeting.
Mr. Ferraris said one key event related to ICPD Beyond 2014 will be a Global Youth Forum, hosted by the Government of Indonesia, to be held in Bali this coming December.