President of Parliament, MP Sarah Wescot  attends the 8th International Parliamentarians’  Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Program of Action (IPCI).

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Participants in a session facilitated by MP Wescot pause for a photo moment  

 

St. Maarten’s President of Parliament, Sarah Wescot recently returned to the island from Oslo,  Norway, where she attended a conference of the  IPCI, a gathering of more than 200 MPs, Ministers, VIPs, journalists and observers.

Explaining the importance of the meeting in Oslo from April 8 -13th, MP Wescot stated that the  last IPCI/ICPD was held 6 years ago in Ottawa, Canada. “As a member of the Steering Committee for  preparing the  conference in Oslo, I had traveled to Geneva in September of last year”,  MP Wescot  further explained.

In 2019, a high level conference was held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in 1994.

The watershed 1994 ICPD in Cairo  had brought the global community together and reflected on  a new consensus about response to population growth. Delegates also reached consensus on the inclusion of a number of issues in the Cairo document, including the relationship between population, environment, sustained economic growth and development; the empowerment of women; population ageing; health and mortality; population distribution,urbanization and internal migration; international migration; reproductive health and family planning; and partnership between Governments and NGOs.

The Oslo conference offered a review of the  past 30 years of ICPD implementation and resulted in a Statement of Commitment that will be distributed by UNFPA, who along with the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights are  key partners of the IPCI/ICPD.

The aim of the IPCI is to mobilize and equip  parliamentarians all over the world to play an active part in their country and region in promoting SDGs as the path to sustainable development and universal human rights as the anchor of lasting development. 

The Oslo conference review centered on the comprehensive health areas of the SDGs and on target 3.7 in particular, “Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including the fundamental human rights related to sexuality and reproduction (SRHR)”.

“As a member of the Global Parliamentary Alliance for Health, Rights and Development, I attended this conference personally as parliamentarian and funded by the host organizations, however it is good to note that the country Sint Maarten  as a developing country is featured as a participant in these global conferences along with other small island developing states as well as large countries on all continents”, MP Wescot concluded.