15th April 2023, NY, USA - The Parliamentary Caucus on SRHR has concluded its participation in the just-ended “Evolving Programme for the 56th Session of the Commission on Population Development at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States. The Conference was attended by Caucus Vice Chairperson Hon Mutinta Twaambo and Secretary General Hon Sunday Chanda.
And Hon Twaambo has commended all stakeholders at the who took part in the CPD stating that strides have been made and the negotiations must continue between now and the next engagement. “We advise that for a country such as ours, we need an inter-ministerial task-force which must work within the framework including the Parliamentary Caucus, UNESCO, UNAIDS and UNFPA as well as civil society organizations. Zambia must present a strong and credible voice at the 30th anniversary of the ICPD POA in 2024. So as the fruitful 56th Session of the CPD comes to a close, part of the take away is the role Parliamentarians ought to play in this agenda as it relates to inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels for all, eliminating gender disparities in education, lobbying for increased investment in public education systems, passing progressive laws and reforms”, Hon Twaambo mentioned.
And Hon Chanda has said the role of Parliamentarians must evolve from just enacting legislation and advocating and approving increased budgetary allocation towards Population, Education, Health and Sustainable Development to being part of the conversations at national, regional and global levels.
“Parliamentarians must not just be bystanders whose role is just confined to legislation and holding the executive accountable. They must become actively engaged in CPD processes by ensuring national implementation of global commitments such as the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD POA) adopted in 1984 by 179 Member States, which lays out a far-sighted plan for advancing human wellbeing, placing human rights of individuals, rather than numerical population targets, at the centre of the global development agenda. This is important as we work towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, he emphasized.
Hon Chanda also commented on the need for regional alliances around SRHR, the Zambia Parliamentary Caucus on SRHR Secretary General has called on Parliamentarians in Southern Africa to forge links and ensure they speak with one voice on the need for responsive policy frameworks in dealing with issues of youth and adolescents, sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. We must qualify that this has to take place within a cultural sensitive and age-appropriate framework”, he added.
“Parliamentarians have a huge responsibility on their shoulders to ensure adolescents and young people are not vulnerable to coercion, sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy. This is because these negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes have an impact on continuing with their education”, Hon Chanda has said.
The Parliamentary Caucus on SRHR Vice Chairperson and Secretary General participated in the 56th CPD Session focusing on ‘Population, Population, Education and Sustainable Development’ at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA from 9th to 14th April 2023.
Hon Sunday Chanda - MP
Zambia Parliamentary Caucus on SRHR,