Charting the way forward: Progress Gaps, and Actions: CSOs at the Midterm Review of the 2013 Asian Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development

By APA Coordinating Office staff
18 May 2019

52 CSOs gathered in preparation for the in mid-term review (MTR) of the 2013 Asian Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development (APMDPD) which took place 26-28 November 2018, and the preparatory civil society forum on 24-25 November. APA was represented by its members APCOM, Family Planning New Zealand, Youth Coalition, ICWAP, Sukaar Welfare Organization, Youth Association for Development, Youth Advocacy Network and YouthLEAD at the meetings.

The preparatory civil society (CS) Forum was opened by AP Executive Director, as a representative of the
12 member CSO Steering Committee that was formed to guide CSO participation in the process.
A background to the 2013 APMDPD along with an introduction to the APMDPD including key language
strengths was shared with participants.

Over the two days, participants engaged in robust discussions along the key themes of the MTR-- population dynamics, Gender equality and SRHR, and climate change -- generating priority issues of SRHR, gender equality, financing, accountability and monitoring, climate change and shrinking space of CSOs. A consolidated CSO statement was formulated highlighting the SRHR needs and rights of the most marginalized groups in Asia Pacific, read it here

Midterm Review and SRHR

CSOs had three main consolidated interventions at the MTR based on the CSO statement, under agenda items of Review of Progress, Emerging Issues and Gaps in Implementation, and Indicator framework for Monitoring Progress.

APA member Lloyd Nunag from Youth Coalition was nominated to deliver the first consolidated CSO statement on review of progress towards SRHR, and he passionately shared structural barriers that lead to implementation gaps, stressing patriarchal ideology, violence, stigma and discrimination, regressive policy and legislation, and lack of accountability. Key recommendations for moving forward focused on actions to contribute to the creation of an enabling environment and achieving universal access to SRHR for everyone.

Governments

Governments from across the region shared country statements under the Review of Progress, Agenda item 2. Out of the 33 Statements, a quick scan shows that 9 countries highlighted universal access to SRH with another 8 mentioning “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in full. 13 countries reported on CSE/adolescent sexuality; 4 mentioned SOGI/E and only 2 mentioned safe abortion.

New Zealand delivered one of the strongest statements, including mention of all of the above mentioned priority issues - SRHR, safe abortion, SOGI/E, CSE – and led by APA member Jackie Edmond from Family Planning New Zealand.

APA countries stressing universal access to SRH included India, Nepal and Australia, while others such as China and Sri Lanka emphasized adolescent SRH and CSE.

Outcomes

An MTR Meeting Report, with an annexed Chair’s Summary are the outcomes from the meeting. The final report and Chair’s Summary (as well background documents theregional overview report and synthesis report) will serve a regional input to the 52 nd Commission on Population and Development, and the 75 th ESCAP Commission session in 2019.