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Beijing, China, 21 October 2019 - UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund organized a youth event in the UN Compound in Beijing today, to commemorate 25 years since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo adopted its landmark Programme of Action(POA), centred around the recognition that sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and women’s empowerment are essential to achieving sustainable development.

Opened by UNFPA China Representative Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi and Minister and Deputy Head of Mission of the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing Ms. Helle Meinertz, the event offered a forum for Chinese young people to share their perspectives on ICPD, and to articulate their goals for the Nairobi Summit, a high-level event co-organized by the Governments of Kenya, Denmark and UNFPA in Nairobi in November, for accelerating the implementation of ICPD PoA, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).

“There are 1.8 billion young people in the world aged between 10-24 today, the largest cohort the world has ever seen. Young people decide whether we could achieve our goal,” said Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi, “as UNFPA, we believe that when young people are empowered, they will have the knowledge and confidence to smoothly transit into adulthood, and have the capacity to bring positive changes to the society and to the economy”.  

The event launched UNFPA’s new global youth strategy-“My body, My life, My world” which emphasized young people realizing their rights to make informed choices about their own bodies, their own lives and the world they live in is a matter of justice and a driver of a lifetime of returns.

It also announced the designation of Mr. Hu Xianxu as UNFPA China Youth Champion. As a youth actor and university student, Xianxu has been supporting UNFPA in advocating for youth participation and leadership for the achievement of SDGs since 2018, and will be engaging more in UNFPA’s Youth Programme in China from 2019 to 2020.

Since 1979, UNFPA has been working with the Chinese government on demographic training, population data, maternal and adolescent health, gender equality, and women’s development. The 1994 ICPD reinvigorated UNFPA’s mission of ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, for fulfilling the potential of every woman and young person.

To gain momentum for the Nairobi Summit, the event exhibited 15 photo stories from 15 countries of Asia and the Pacific, named “Humans of ICPD-Rights and Choices for All”. Each story represented one principle from the ICPD PoA. 

Participants to the event include students from the UNFPA China “Belt and Road” Youth Leadership Workshop, representatives from diplomatic missions, national and international organizations, and UNFPA Youth Program partners.  

Download the ICPD PoA: