2004 International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action
Strasbourg, France, 18-19 October 2004
In 2004, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) celebrates its 10th anniversary. Although much has been accomplished in a decade, much more has to be done to safeguard women's reproductive rights, improve access to reproductive health and family planning services, reduce maternal mortality and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Parliamentarians have a central role to play in creating the political will necessary to fill the existing gaps in law, policies and funding, in order to achieve the ICPD goals. The first International Parliamentarians' Conference, held in Ottawa, Canada, in 2002, created a global system of monitoring and follow-up for parliamentarians, and produced a strong Statement of Commitment that has become a point of reference in their work to support the ICPD Programme of Action (PoA).
This year's conference took place in Strasbourg, France, 18-19 October, and was organized by the Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (IEPFPD) and the UNFPA in collaboration with the Council of Europe.
In Strasbourg, over 130 parliamentarians and ministers from 90 countries reaffirmed their responsibility to uphold the right of individuals to decide the number and spacing of their children, to empower women and to eliminate all forms of violence against them. At the closing, participants endorsed a strong set of commitments to advance the Cairo goals. They recognized that "the decision to defend these principles is the difference between a life with hope and opportunity and a life of despair and desperation. And worse, it is the difference between life and death itself."