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

PHILIPSBURG:— St. Maarten’s President of Parliament, Sarah Wescot, recently returned to the island from Oslo, Norway, where she attended an IPCI conference, 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 six 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 commemorated the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which was held in Cairo in 1994.
The watershed 1994 ICPD in Cairo brought the global community together and reflected on a new consensus about the response to population growth. Delegates also reached a consensus on the inclusion of several issues in the Cairo document, including the relationship between population, environment, sustained economic growth and development; the empowerment of women, population aging; 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 reviewed the past 30 years of ICPD implementation and resulted in a Statement of Commitment that will be distributed by UNFPA. UNFPA, along with the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, is a key partner of the IPCI/ICPD.
The aim of the IPCI is to mobilize and equip parliamentarians worldwide to actively participate in their country and region in promoting the 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 a 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.

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