Oslo Statement Creates New Challenges On People Development

(MENAFN- AzerNews) By Mazahir Afandiyev

A radical new understanding of the connection betweenpopulation, development, individual rights, and well-being wasestablished during the 1994 United Nations International Conferenceon Population and Development (ICPD), which took place in Cairo health, human rights protection, and the struggleagainst the exploitation of women and children were the key topicsof discussion there. As a result, the Cairo agreement, also knownas the ICPD Programme of Action, was adopted. The Programme ofAction states that reproductive health and other human rights arefundamental to both individual well-being and sustainabledevelopment.

The ICPD Programme of Action has been the subject of discussionsfor the past 30 years at different levels. The successes of theprogram are highly assessed by the states, representatives of civilsociety, international experts, and parliamentarians in connectionwith the formation of a legislative framework.

The legislative framework being built benefits from legislators'discussions of new topics targeted at restoring realities andenacting legislative measures in this regard. These discussions canalso help prevent violations of fundamental rights.

When the agreement was adopted in Cairo in 1994, a relativelylimited number of parliamentary representatives took part in talksabout human rights and freedoms and universal human ideals in acompletely transparent way. However, parliamentarians had todiscuss the protection of liberties and human rights, which wasbacked by numerous think tanks and scientific studies.

Since 2002, international conferences of legislators have beenheld by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) andparliamentary networks for the protection of sexual andreproductive health and rights (SRHR) to address the mobilizationof available resources and establish an environment that promotesthe discussion of topics related to the realization of reproductiverights.

A unique instrument designed to bring parliamentarians togetherglobally and translate that consensus into tangible policy,financial, and accountability outcomes at the national level is theInternational Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation ofthe nt (IPCI/ICPD).

The first International Parliamentarians' Conference on theImplementation of the ICPD Programme of Action took place inOttawa, Canada, in November 2002. Subsequent conferences were heldin France (2004), Thailand (2006), Ethiopia (2009), Turkey (2012),Sweden (2014), and Ottawa, Canada, which hosted the seventh one inOctober 2018.

It is important to point out that the International Conferenceon Population and Development (ICPD) will celebrate its 30thanniversary in 2024 at the 57th session of the United NationsCommission on Population and Development. During the conferencethat took place on October 19–20, 2023, in Geneva, it was decidedto hold the next eight International Parliamentarians' Conferenceon the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action in Norway onApril 10–12, 2024, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the ICPD discussion also covered the progress made in the field of theICPD Programme of Action since 2014.

Over 300 individuals from 120 countries attended this year'sconference, including over 200 lawmakers, ministers, UNrepresentatives, and members of civil society. This was one of theachievements of the conference, where the Azerbaijani parliamentwas also represented.

In light of the past 30 years, it is evident that issues relatedto reproductive health, cleanliness, the planet's demographics,appropriate family planning, guaranteeing universal access tohealthcare, and strategies for preventing violations of the rightsof women and children who need special attention are stillimportant.

Today, during the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the adoption ofresolutions and papers pertaining to the protection of humanrights, reproductive health, and other comparable liberties was theprimary agenda item for the Eight International Parliamentarians'Conference, which was held in Norway. Implementing the issuesexpressed in the document adopted in Cairo in 1994 was one of theconference's particular directions.

The Republic of Azerbaijan has been actively participating inall Conferences for the past 30 years, expressing its views onissues related to both human and demographic development whilemaintaining close ties with the UN Population Fund and taking intoaccount the unique characteristics of the Azerbaijani people withinthe national context.

It is no secret that, as a result of the First Karabakh War,which broke out in response to Armenia's military aggression,thousands of people were killed, wounded, or captured in newlyindependent Azerbaijan in the early 1990s, and that nearly amillion individuals became internally displaced and refugees. As aresult, since 1990, the average annual growth fell even more in a10-year period, up to 1.3%.

The population of Azerbaijan was 6,400 thousand people in 1994,when the Cairo Document was adopted. And now, with the 30-year ICPDProgramme of Action in place, we can see that Azerbaijan'spopulation is expected to reach approximately 11 million by2024.

This is unquestionably a testament to Azerbaijan's adherence touniversal values, the Millennium Development Goals that wereenacted in 2000, the Sustainable Development Goals that the UNGeneral Assembly unanimously adopted in 2015, and the appropriatenational implementation strategies for these internationalagreements. In our country, institutions have been established toaccomplish the objectives set forth by these universal documents,and a special state commission has been established to carry outthese tasks.

The distribution of papers emphasizing the accomplishments ofworldwide governments and states in conjunction with the ICPD's30th anniversary celebrations is a clear indication of theprogram's expanding reach. Sadly, issues with equality, theviolation of women's and children's rights, and people's lack ofaccess to appropriate education and information persist despite thegood parts of the work that has been done.

The Eight International Parliamentarians' Conference's activityalso reflected this. The need to create a roadmap for the future isthus reinforced by the particular interest in the experiences ofthe parliamentarians of Japan and Ireland, the current challengingcircumstances facing third-world nations, particularly those inAfrica, and the conversations taking place in the parliaments ofMuslim states regarding women's equality, rights, and freedoms, aswell as the guarantee of universal access to modern healthcare.

In this regard, the adoption by all participants of the OsloStatement at the Eight International Conference of Members ofParliament on the implementation of the ICPD Action Program will beone of the main goals and objectives of the new world order( ).

Mazahir Afandiyev is the Member of the Milli Majlis (theAzerbaijani Parliament).



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