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In 1994, 179 governments and other stakeholders held an International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo. They adopted a landmark and far-sighted plan to advance human well-being by placing the rights of individuals at the center of the global development agenda.

Through a consensus, member states developed the ICPD Programme of Action (ICPD- POA) that lays out a plan for advancing human well-being, positioning the human rights of individuals rather than numerical population targets at the center of the global development agenda. The plan was to be implemented in 20 years’ period from 1994 to 2014.

The Programme of Action highlights the crucial links between sexual and reproductive health and rights, with almost every aspect of population and development, from urbanization, migration and ageing to changing family structures and the importance of addressing the rights of young people. It calls attention to the ways in which investing in women and youth, especially in their sexual and reproductive health, can impact environmental sustainability and population dynamics.

In recognition that the Programme of Action was due to formally come to an end in 2014, but that its goals and objectives remained valid beyond 2014; and acknowledging that many Governments did not meet all the goals and objectives of the Programme of Action, the UN General Assembly during the Sixty-fifth session resolved that the Programme of Action and the key actions be extended for further implementation beyond 2014 and ensure its follow-up in order to fully meet its goals and objectives.

The world has changed for the better over the last 25 years as governments’ efforts to protect the health and rights of women and girls have gained momentum. Today more women have the means to decide if and when they become pregnant and have access to sexual reproductive health services. Fewer girls are subjected to child marriage, and fewer women die from the pregnancy-related complications. The number of maternal deaths each year, for example, decreased by about 40 per cent over the last 25 years and today, one in five girls is forced into marriage before age 18, compared with one in three in 1994.


But despite impressive gains, additional efforts are needed to reach those who have been left behind. An estimated 214 million women who want to prevent a pregnancy are not using a modern method of contraception. In developing countries, some 830 women die every day from preventable causes during pregnancy or while giving birth. Every day 39,000 girls are forced into marriages and every year 4 million girls are subjected to female genital mutilation.


On 4th October 2013, Ministers from the African Union member states adopted the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development (AADPD), and agreed that the future reviews of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), be guided by the review of AADPD in the context of reporting on the post-2015 development agenda.


The year 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the ICPD Programme of Action. The anniversary will be marked by reviewing the centrality of the ICPD Programme of Action to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and determine whether ICPD is still relevant 25 years on. The Commission on Population and Development will conduct a full review of the ICPD Programme of Action and its contribution to the 2030 Agenda, based on the regional reviews. This will also inform the first full review of the 2030 Agenda at the UN General Assembly.

The United Nation decided to mark the 25th anniversary of the ICPD, which also marks the 50th anniversary of UNFPA. The decision was taken that Kenya hosts this important event. The Nairobi Summit on ICPD@25 is themed: ‘Accelerating the Promise’ and will be held from 13 to 15 November 2019. This high-level summit, co-convened by UNFPA and the Government of Kenya will galvanize partnerships, mobilize political and financial support and help foster ideas and commitments on how to fully realize the goals of the ICPD.

The Summit will offer a platform for a broad range of public and private sector stakeholder, Heads of States and governments, Ministers, civil society, youth leaders, parliamentarians, business representatives, media and others to come together and deliberate on the linkages between ICPD and SDGs and how to reach all communities without leaving anybody behind.

This major event is coming to Kenya on a backdrop of the country embracing Universal Health Coverage among its Big four agenda to be attained by 2022 and its alignment to the SDG agenda 2030.  This commitment is also galvanized by the country’s capacity to host major events such as the TICAD and the recent Blue Economy conference.

This Multisectoral committee is expected to tap on the capacities and resources from all the relevant government departments and agencies, in order to deliver a very success event on behalf of the government.