Every year since 1994, when the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was adopted in Cairo, the Commission on Population and Development has met to review the programme’s progress at the national, regional and international levels. Prior to that, the commission (formed in 1946 and comprising representatives of 47 member states) met every two to three years.
The ICPD Programme of Action established that sexual and reproductive health and rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality were fundamental to the well-being of nations and its citizens; its implementation is key to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
This year's CPD theme (main sessions can be viewed on UN Web TV) is “Population, food security, nutrition and sustainable development,” which will address how food insecurity and malnutrition has spiked under COVID-19, resulting in increased stress that exacerbates gender-based violence and child marriage. Poor maternal nutrition, too, can lead to poor pregnancy and newborn outcomes and compromised lifelong health.
UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem will deliver remarks at the opening, where UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Her Majesty Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck of Bhutan will deliver the keynote address, and closing of the session. Side events, which will be held virtually, will cover such topics as COVID-19’s impact on the ICPD agenda.