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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
IEPFPD's 4th Annual Council Meeting in Ankara, Turkey
ISSUE 21 - 08 April 2004
On 1 and 2 April 2004, the Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (IEPFPD) held its Fourth Council meeting in Ankara, Turkey, on the theme of “ Women in Society- Towards the 10th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women”.
Below is a press release on the event.
IEPFPD Press Release
“Women in Society -
“Towards The 10th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women”
Fourth Council of the IEPFPD
1-2 April 2004
Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Ankara, Turkey
Brussels, 6 April 2004
Parliamentarians from over 25 European countries met and discussed the subject of “Women in Society - Towards the Tenth Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women” upon the invitation of the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, His Excellency, Hon. Bülent Arinç, and the Chair of the Turkish Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, Hon. Dr Mafuz Güler, MP in the Senate Hall of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on 1 and 2 April 2004 in Ankara at the Fourth Council meeting of the Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (IEPFPD).
The meeting was opened by His Excellency, Hon. Bulent Arinç, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly, Dr Imelda Henkin, Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA and Dr Steven Sinding, Director General of IPPF who called on European parliamentarians to continue taking the leadership in reaffirming the Cairo Programme of Action. IEPFPD President, Hon. Ruth Genner, MP (Switzerland) opened the meeting by declaring “Over the next two days, we have a unique opportunity to make the link between our work on population and sexual and reproductive health and rights and women’s rights as European parliamentarians. We must be able to work together and take the lessons we learn here back home to inspire us in our work in our parliaments.”
The Hon. Güldal Aksit, Turkish Minister of State responsible for Women and Family and Hon. Recep Akdag, Turkish Minister of Health both addressed the delegates and reaffirmed Turkey’s commitment to the Cairo Programme of Action and the Beijing Platform of Action. A panel of the leaders of the women’s branches of the main political parties in Turkish politics debated the issue of women’s empowerment and women’s participation in political life. Keynote speakers included the Head of the UN CEDAW, Dr Feride Açar, the Vice-President of the European Women’s Lobby, Ms Denise Fuschs, the President of Catholics for a Free Choice, Ms Frances Kissling, the President of the International Women’s Health Coalition, Ms Adrienne Germain, Dr Lori Heise of the Global Campaign for Microbides, Dr Sema Kut, President of the Turkish Family Planning Association and Dr Rob Chase, Senior Economist at the World Bank.
The IEPFPD Council welcomed Parliamentary Groups on Population and Development from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Latvia as well as Germany as new member groups in the IEPFPD, bringing the total number of IEPFPD member groups to 21. The Council members elected the Hon. Carina Hägg, MP (Sweden) as the new First Vice-President of the IEPFPD and the Hon. Anne Van Lancker, MEP (Belgium-European Parliament) onto the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee also bid farewell to Hon. Ulla Sandbaek, MEP, out-going IEPFPD Vice-President, who has decided not to stand in the next European Parliament elections and inducted Hon. Sandbaek, MEP as an Honorary Member of the IEPFPD in recognition of her commitment and devotion to population and development issues. The IEPFPD Council also extended a warm welcome to Ms Safiye Cagar recently appointed to head up UNFPA Division of Information, External Relations, Resource Mobilisation and Executive Board. The IEPFPD Council unanimously amended the organisation’s Statutes changing the legal headquarters of the IEPFPD to 23 Rue de Luxembourg where the offices of the independent Secretariat will be established by end April 2004.
The Executive Committee presented the IEPFPD Activities over the past year and announced the activities scheduled for 2004, including participation in the Global Roundtable on ICPD at 10, hosting the International Parliamentarians Conference on ICPD Implementation, holding a meeting for Central and East European Parliamentarians, strengthening the Young Decision-Makers initiative and continuing to play a leading role in defending and reaffirming the ICPD PoA in UN regional meetings.
The meeting was attended by parliamentarians from 25 parliaments in Europe, representatives of parliamentary networks in Asia, Africa and the Arab World, the Parliamentary Network of the World Bank (AFPPD, FAAPPD, PNoWB), UNFPA, IPPF, the World Bank, international NGOs and inter-governmental organisations as well over 40 Turkish civil society representatives and NGOs, in total over 120 participants.
The IEPFPD wishes to place on record its sincere gratitude to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the Turkish All Party Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, UNFPA-Ankara Office, the Turkish Family Planning Association and the International Planned Parenthood Federation - European Network for having contributed to the success of this meeting. The IEPFPD also wishes to particularly mark its gratitude to the United Nations Population Fund for having provided the funding necessary for the IEPFPD Council and for its close partnership in all IEPFPD activities.
A report of the proceedings will be published shortly. For any additional information, please contact: Neil Datta, IEPFPD Secretary, at info@europarlyvoices.Org or 32 (2) 250 09 64.
This newsletter is issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in its capacity as secretariat for the biannual International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (the first conference was held in November 2002, in Ottawa, Canada). These dispatches are intended to highlight important developments taking place around the world so that parliamentarians can be kept informed of and learn from the successes, setbacks and challenges encountered by their fellow parliamentarians in other countries and regions in their efforts to promote the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (September 1994, Cairo, Egypt). It should be noted that UNFPA does not necessarily endorse all of the policies described in this newsletter.
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