Zim Drafts Commitments Ahead Of ICPD Summit

GOVERNMENT ministries, the United Nations family in Zimbabwe and other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have come up with a number commitments to be tabled at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) summit to be held in Nairobi, Kenya next month.

By Michael Gwarisa

The development comes amidst calls from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for Zimbabwe to propose achievable and realistic targets which translate into tangible development for various populations in particular youths.

Speaking at the ICPD25 Validation meeting in Harare, UNFPA country representative, Dr Esther Muia said the ICPD agenda was broad and governments should commit to bettering lives of citizens at all levels.

The ICPD agenda is wide, it’s not only about Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH), and it’s not just about gender. It is about Zimbabwe’s development but using a lens where all can congregate around. Whatever comes out of here has to be real, it is not just a paper to put on the shelf.

“I think it’s important to have youths driving the agenda. If we look at investment, if the government can confirm and commit and say we are interested to move Zimbabwe forward, it should invest in the youth buldge and use it as an opportunity to address all the factors that are undoing all the gains that would have been made,” said Dr Muia.

She added that youths constitute the biggest population in Zimbabwe and are the most sexually active population and it could make sense to invest in such a group to ensure they are empowered to make safe and lifesaving decisions.

Various commitment s were made in the areas of Health Financing, Gender Based Violence (GBV), SRHR, Demographic Dividend, and SRHR in Humanitarian context.

“When you look at it, there are more young people than there are people of my age. Therefore if we invest there, its value for money and when you look at Gender Based Violence (GBV) it is also high amongst this group.

“Therefore our commitments have to be very focused. Lets tick a few things that we can hold government accountable for. Sometimes it’s not just about giving figures but lets not say by 2030 we will have reduced maternal mortality by more than 50%. Let’s look and be more realistic and not focus on figures.”

She said government  should aim at mobilising financial resources for developing the health services sector and also meet the Abuja declaration which says governments should allocate at least 15% to health from the national budget.

UNFPA Assistant Representative, Abbigail Msemburi said Zimbabwe has made strides in availing services and equipping citizens with information regarding their sexual reproductive health and rights but there was still a long way to go in addressing the unfinished business.

“Since beginning of the year, there has been a lot of activities to highlight the ICPD agenda. Zimbabwe and as UNFPA we have been supporting the government of Zimbabwe to start looking at the whole process to see how things have gone.

Last year there was a review and when we launched the State of World Population (SWP19) report sometime in May, the Ministry of Finance presented some findings on how Zimbabwe has progressed and the report was positive.

“We still have a lot of work to do for example maternal mortality is at 651, we still need to look at young people. We really need to sit down and think about how we support them and how we strengthen the SRHR and how do we empower young people, the report was generally positive but there is still what we term the unfinished business,” said Msemburi.

Senior Director in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Charles Mujajati said the government of Zimbabwe was committed to implementing the proposals which will also be presented at the ICPD summit in Nairobi.








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