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“ICPD: 25 years in China” thematic side event held at United Nations headquarters in New York

19 April 2019

The 52th session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development was held at headquarters in New York from 1 to 5 April 2019. Under the theme "Review and appraisal of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and its contribution to the follow-up of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development", the session focused on the global progress made in the 25 years since the Programme of Action was launched.

Over the past 25 years, through the implementation of the Programme of Action, China has made universally recognized achievements in the field of population and development and significantly improved the health of its people; at the same time, new problems have also emerged during this period, such as the continued decline in fertility, demographic changes, the intensification of ageing and large-scale population migration. In view of these problems, what measures has China and even the whole society taken? To what extent have these measures worked? What experiences can the international community draw on? In response to the concerns of the international community about China's population dynamics and to share China's development experience, a side event on the theme "ICPD: 25 Years in China" was held on the afternoon of 2 April. The side event was co-hosted by the National Health Commission and the United Nations Population Fund, with China Population and Development Research Center and China Family Planning Association as co-sponsors.

The side event was chaired by Mr. He Zhaohua, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Department, National Health Commission. Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, Mr. Dereje Wordofa, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, and Ms. Cui Li, Senior Adviser to the National Health Commission, delivered opening remarks. Ms. Cui Li recalled the course of China's active promotion of international cooperation, active practical cooperation with developing countries in the field of population and health, and joint implementation of sustainable development goals in the field of population and development with the international community. She also indicated that South-South cooperation in the field of population and health would continue to be promoted in the future to make a greater contribution to the implementation of the 2030 sustainable development goals.

In the keynote speech, Yan Hong, inspector of Population Monitoring and Family Development Department of the National Health Commission, shared China's concrete practices in actively addressing new challenges in the field of population and development; Yao Ying, full-time vice president of the China Family Planning Association, introduced the development of the Youth Health Project of the China Family Planning Association on the topic of "Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights"; and Liu Hongyan, Deputy Director of the China Population and Development Research Center, with a presentation entitled "Center of Excellence in South-South Cooperation in Population and Development: Progress, Challenges and Prospects", introduced a series of activities carried out within the framework of the Center of Excellence in South-South Cooperation in population and development, including the origin, role and position of the Center of Excellence, the themes and objectives of the first and second sessions of the Forum on Population and Development in central Africa, as well as information on the forthcoming third session of the forum to be held in Ghana.

In addition to holding regular meetings, in order to strengthen capacity-building in the field of population and development in developing countries, the Center of Excellence for South-South Cooperation regularly organizes training on population analysis techniques and population forecasting techniques, and a training course on "population data collection and population projections in developing countries" was held at CPD from 3 to 7 December 2018. She also informed the audience that CPD and the Ghana Council for Population and Development will jointly apply for the South-South Cooperation Fund on the theme "Supporting Ghana in the Establishment of a Comprehensive Population and Health Data Platform to Contribute to the Precise Development of Maternal and Child Health Programmes". Finally, Deputy Director Liu Hongyan looked forward to the future development of South-South cooperation, including continuing to deepen international cooperation, promoting the sustainable development of South-South cooperation, developing more areas of cooperation and establishing cooperation mechanisms.

 

During the review session, Mr. John Wilmoth, Director of the United Nations Population Division, fully affirmed the major achievements made by China in the field of population and development. It shows that China's experience in actively dealing with aging and achieving rapid population transition has a strong reference significance for all countries in the world; Dr. Babatonde Ahonsi, representative of the United Nations Population Fund China Office, gave a brief overview of the role of UNFPA in supporting China's implementation of the ICPD agenda through support for the operationalization and scaled-up adoption of certain key principles including client-centredness, integration, gender equality and youth empowerment; Mr. Adnene Ben Haj Aissa, Executive Director of Partners in Population and Development, briefly summarized the implications for developing countries from China's experience in implementing ICPD. He also indicated that member countries of Partners in Population and Development expressed their deep appreciation to China for its important contribution to PPD and its member countries over the past two decades and looked forward to the deepening of cooperation with China. In his concluding remarks, Mr. Bjorn Andersson, UNFPA Regional Director for Asia and Pacific, said that the event provided a wealth of information and views to enable participants to better understand China's experience in implementing the ICPD agenda over the past 25 years; at the same time, it can be used for reference and enlightenment from China's development experience.

This side event deepened the international community's understanding of China's experience and results in the implementation of the ICPD PoA and laid the foundation for further deepening South-South cooperation and promoting population development.