Zimbabwe Sets-Up National Task force To Monitor ICPD@25 Commitments

ZIMBABWE has commenced the process of setting up a National Task-force (NTF) for monitoring the implementation of commitments the country made at the 25th International Conference on Population Development (ICPD@25) that was held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2019.

By Michael Gwarisa

Through support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Partners in Population Development (PPD) have selected Zimbabwe and nine other countries namely Bangladesh, Morocco, Thailand, Nigeria, South Africa, Indonesia, India, Benin, and Uganda to take further initiatives to continued national consultations through National Task Forces (NTF) for South to South Cooperation to review the progress of Nairobi Summit Commitments, actions and achievement at national level.

Addressing a Zimbabwe Multi-Sectoral Dialogue on ICPD@25 meeting in Harare, which ran under the theme “Following the commitments made at the Nairobi Summit,” Director Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Ministry of Health and Care (MoHCC), Dr Robert Mudyiradima said the establishment of the national taskforce would ensure Zimbabwe walks the talk and implements the commitments it made at the Nairobi Summit.

The government has shown and continues to show political will in addressing population and development issues including maternal, child, adolescent and sexual reproductive health through its national programmes and commitments at regional and international level.

“The purpose of this gathering is to initiate multi sectoral dialogue on population and development issues as per government ICPD commitments and set up a National Task force that will assist government in following up implementation of the Programme of Action (POA). I am particularly happy that key ministries and government departments are well represented in this meeting as there are the custodians of the various indicators in Population and Development,” said Dr Mudyiradima.

He added that the ICPD Programme of Action which was adopted in 1994 in Cairo, Egypt paved way through which linkages between population, poverty reduction and sustainable development were strengthened.

“25 years on in 2019, 173 countries met in Nairobi to advance the ICPD Programme of Action. At this summit, government made the following commitment in the following five areas which include achieving Universal Access to Health and part of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC), mobilizing required financing resorces to finish the ICPD Programme of Action’s agenda and sustain gains already made, leverage on the demographic dividend to drive economic growth and achieve sustainable development, address Gender Based Violence (GBV) and harmful practices and uphold the right to safe sexual and reproductive health care in humanitarian and fragile contexts.”

In an interview with HealthTimes on the sidelines of the meeting, Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) Executive Director, Dr Munyaradzi Murwira said the national task force would comprise of government ministries and departments, parliament, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Academia and United Nations Agencies amongst other key sectors.

“The task force will start being active in January 2021 up to the year 2030 as we accelerate progress towards the 2030 agenda. The taskforce will help government in the implementation of the commitments that were made at the ICPD in Nairobi in 2019.

“The taskforce will be working with various organizations to ensure programs around population development are fully implemented and no one is left behind in terms of availing and accessing sexual reproductive health services and other key services that our government committed to achieving at the summit.

“The taskforce will be meeting quarterly and will be producing reports on the findings they would have gathered and give feedback to government and partners on the areas that may be lagging behind and ensure all the unfinished business is addressed so that by the time we get to 2013, issues around population development will be moving smoothly,” said Dr Murwira.

Meanwhile, in a speech reach on her behalf by the UNFPA Assistant Representative Ms Abbigail Msemburi, UNFPA Country Representative Dr. Esther Muia said the COVID-19 had affected efforts to address many of this unfinished business, but as an organisation, they remain committed to ensuring that all pledges Zimbabwe made at the Nairobi Summit are fulfilled.

A year ago, we met at the Nairobi summit in Kenya to reflect on progress made since the International Conference on Population and Development or ICPD held in 1994. At this important summit last year various countries, including Zimbabwe made recommitments to advance the ICPD agenda. 

“Today we reflect and take stock on how far we have gone in reaching those targets we made a year ago and those many years ago. We are very proud as UNFPA to be part of these deliberations today because as custodians of the ICPD agenda within the UN system it gives us great pleasure to see the great commitment and ownership coming from our various partners to see through the promises that we made to people of Zimbabwe.

“Ladies and gentleman there remains a lot of unfinished business in Zimbabwe to ensure we meet key targets [these have already been in part covered by the previous speakers as he reminded us of the commitments we made at the Nairobi summit] Some of this unfinished business includes the high maternal mortality rate and high incidences of Gender Based Violence affecting many women and girls,” said Dr  Muia.

She also expressed gratitude to development partners who support the UNFPA’s work and helps in ensuring they make a difference in the lives of women and young people. These include the Governments of Britain, China, Ireland, Sweden and the European Union.

“We value your partnership. Let me acknowledge the efforts by the Government of Zimbabwe, through the various ministries that we work with and our implementing partners who work on the ground for the great cooperation as we work to advance the ICPD agenda

“One year after the Nairobi summit, 26 years since the ICPD Programme of Action came into action and 51 years since our formation/establishment UNFPA renews its commitment to ensure reproductive rights and choices for all as we move towards Zero unmet need for modern contraception,  Zero preventable maternal deaths, Zero gender-based violence or practices that harm women and girls.”

 

 

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