April 15, 2016
To Leave No One Behind, Everyone Must be Counted
UN Commission on Population and Development Calls for Data Improvements to Strengthen the Implementation of the Cairo Program of Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
A broad-based coalition of 51 women’s and youth civil society groups from Asia Pacific, Africa, Latina America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, Europe and North America commended the Commission on Population and Development for a successful outcome. The resolution adopted by the Commission called on governments to improve the collection, analysis and dissemination of demographic data in order to accelerate the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development Program of Action, which will be essential to achieve the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by UN in September 2015.
As a State delegate at the sessions noted “We know that what gets counted, gets done. If we’re truly serious about the promise of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind, then we have to ensure that we invest in and develop new, sophisticated techniques for understanding the persistent inequalities that have impeded sustainable development for all.”
The Commission made several key recommendations to governments that, if followed, will help to ensure the systems are in place to accelerate achievement of the 2030 Agenda. The Commission’s recommendations include collecting and analyzing data on the particular needs of adolescent girls aged 10-14, women over 49, and other marginalized groups, and disaggregating data on key grounds, including: age, sex, race, ethnicity, geographic location, income, disability, and migratory status. They recognized the importance of eliminating inequalities and discrimination on any grounds and ensuring a human-rights based approach to data collection.
Moreover, governments recommitted themselves to collecting data on core factors that impact gender equality and women’s and girls’ human rights in areas such as health, education, economic empowerment, women’s leadership, and gender-based violence –areas that can often be missed in conventional data collection. They further recognized the need to strengthen health information systems to collect data on progress to address sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, as well as other key health issues, such as the zika virus.
We are civil society were also pleased to see that the Commission called for greater participation of civil society, including women’s and youth groups, in the implementation and review of the Program of Action and the 2030 Agenda and the work of the Commission.
Governments will come together in July for the High Level Political Forum during which 22 countries will be reviewed on their implementation of the 2030 Agenda. This resolution adopted by the Commission provides a solid foundation for all governments to use as they implement, monitor, and review progress toward both the 2030 Agenda and the ICPD Program of Action.
Background: The Commission on Population and Development meets annually at the UN headquarters in New York to assess over 20 years of progress since the groundbreaking agreements made at the (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994. At Cairo, 179 governments agreed that women’s health and rights—specifically sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights—must be central to global development policies, programs, and funding, and are the key to reducing the social and economic inequalities that exist worldwide. This was the 49th meeting of the Commission on Population and Development.