Sarah attends intl. MP conference in Norway | THE DAILY HERALD

Participants in a session facilitated by St. Maarten MP Wescot-Williams pause for a photo.

PHILIPSBURG–President of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams recently returned to the island from Oslo, Norway, where she attended the 8th International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD).

The event, held April 8-13, featured a gathering of more than 200 members of parliament (MPs), ministers, VIPs, journalists and observers.

Explaining the importance of the meeting, Wescot-Williams said the last IPCI/ICPD was held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada six years ago. “As a member of the Steering Committee for preparing the conference in Oslo, I had travelled to Geneva in September of last year,” she said.

A high-level conference was held in 2019 to celebrate 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, urbanisation and internal migration; international migration; reproductive health and family planning; and partnership between governments and non-governmental organisations (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, which 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 mobilise and equip parliamentarians all over the world to play an active part in their country and region in promoting sustainable development goals (SDGs) as the path to sustainable development and universal human rights as the anchor of lasting development.

The Oslo conference review centred 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 organisations. However, it is good to note that the country St. 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,” said Wescot-Williams.

Source: The Daily Herald