The theme of the 55th session of the Commission on Population and Development is “Population and sustainable development, in particular sustained and inclusive economic growth,” which will provide an opportunity to explore human capital development, women’s economic empowerment, inequalities and investing in health and social protection systems – all important issues to UNFPA.
The Commission is the only United Nations forum devoted to reviewing the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, and negotiations on its main outcome can serve as a means of accelerating progress on the ICPD and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The CPD55 Bureau is chaired by H.E. Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo of the Philippines, with vice-chairs from the Netherlands, Moldova, Côte d’Ivoire and El Salvador.
The Nairobi Summit restated that sexual and reproductive health and rights are fundamental to sustainable development, but they have suffered setbacks the world over, not helped by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19. Family planning leads to better health outcomes, but it also can alleviate poverty by allowing women and girls to pursue education that improves their economic prospects and those of their communities. Maternal health, too, contributes to economic growth as healthy children born as a result develop into healthy adults.
Gender equality and women’s economic empowerment is another driver of the economy, so women must have access to opportunities, equal pay and social protection, and family-friendly policies must be put into place. Gender-based violence and harmful practices, which restrict women’s social and economic development, must end. And for truly inclusive economic growth, the value of unpaid labour including housework and caregiving borne largely by women must be recognized.
UNFPA has prepared Secretary-General’s reports for reference during Commission deliberations, advancing universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, women’s economic empowerment, human capital development, universal secondary school education with a focus on girls, addressing unpaid labour and data to inform policymaking.
As is custom, UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem will deliver opening and closing statements.
Side events, to be held virtually, will cover such topics as the importance of population data in development actions and advancing ICPD25 commitments and opportunities.