Countdown 2015 Europe is pleased with the strong outcomes of the recent session of the UN Commission on Population and Development and welcomes the progressive positions taken by the European Union and European governments throughout the negotiation process.
The European Union and several European governments advocated for ambitious commitments to be taken up in the Commission’s resolution on its special theme – “Strengthening the demographic evidence base for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” – including in relation to sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment. This, paired with the progressive positions taken also by several other governments from across regions, ensured a successful outcome to this year’s session.
Countdown 2015 Europe partners advocated for strong positions of the European Union and European governments throughout the negotiations. Several partners of the consortium were members of their governments’ delegations to the Commission, which gave them close access to the negotiations among governments and allowed them to advise government representatives during critical stages of the process.
The Commission’s resolution on its special theme emphasises the importance of high-quality, accessible, timely and reliable disaggregated demographic data for the development and implementation of sustainable and inclusive population and development policies and calls upon governments to step up efforts for collecting, analysing and disseminating data.
The resolution in particular encourages data collection, analysis and dissemination on adolescents and women and girls between the ages of 10 and 14 and over the age of 49 to fill critical data gaps for these age groups and inform effective policy development. This will be essential for understanding and addressing the particular challenges and needs of girls and women in these age groups, including in relation to sexual and reproductive health and family planning.
The Commission also stresses that health-related data are among the most critical for the achievement of universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights and urges governments to strengthen health systems, including health information systems, to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, among other key objectives.
The Commission’s resolution comes at an important moment in the follow-up process to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted last September. A first group of 22 UN Member States, including several European countries, will be reviewed on their progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda at the upcoming session of the High Level Political Forum in July. At the same time, the global indicators which will monitor country progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals are still being developed.
The Commission’s recommendations provide useful input to both processes and can give important guidance to governments as they take first steps in implementing the 2030 Agenda at national levels.