In the wake of commitments made by the Philippines at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have today signed a memorandum of understanding for a multi-year partnership for 2019 to 2023. This partnership aims to strengthen the government’s efforts toward a demographic dividend, by which the Philippines’ economy benefits from a bigger, healthier working population with fewer dependents in the years to come.
Population-related policies and investments are key instruments of sustainable development enshrined in the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action, signed by 179 countries in 1994. It sets call for all countries to invest on young people, strengthening policies that improve their reproductive health and stimulate education and employment opportunities.
This empowers young people to become productive contributors to their countries’ socio-economic development. The ICPD Programme of Action also recognizes that the empowerment of women and girls are intertwined with the effective exercise of their sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, and therefore urges countries to address gaps in both areas.
Twenty-five years on, the global community renewed commitments on the unfinished work of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights and gender equality at ICPD25. Upon return from making pledges at this global summit, POPCOM and the UNFPA formalized their partnership with the MoU, signed at the Rafael M. Salas Conference Room at POPCOM’s Mandaluyong City office. It is full circle for both organizations, as Salas was instrumental in establishing POPCOM 50 years ago, just a few months before becoming the UNFPA’s first executive director upon its founding.
“Mr. Population,” as he was fondly called, was a pioneering advocate for demographic policy-making that recognizes critical links between development, population growth, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Since then, the country has seen both organizations work together to improve Filipino lives, in line with the ICPD’s objectives.