A STAKEHOLDERS consultative meeting has been held in preparation of Ghana's participation at the Nairobi Summit on International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Kenya between November 12 and 14, 2019.
Under the auspices of the National Development Planning Commission, participants at the one-day meeting included Civil Society Organisations, the United Nations Food Programme, and development partners amongst others.
The ICPD, birthed in September 1994, is the United Nations coordinated programme on a variety of population issues, including immigration, infant mortality, birth control, family planning, the education of women, and protection for women from unsafe abortion services.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the ICPD when 179 governments in Egypt adopted a landmark programme of action which set out to empower women and girls.
At the consultative meeting in Accra yesterday, participants, who would be representing Ghana in Nairobi, Kenya, were told to make a strong case for Ghana as a foundation member of the ICPD.
The Acting Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr Grace Bediako, in a statement read on her behalf, urged the stakeholders to put in their best in crafting Ghana's commitment statement at the conference.
"As nations prepare to re-commit to the ICPD agenda with renewed impetus for galvanising partnerships and resources for its implementation, we anticipate that with your help, Ghana's commitment statement will reflect a strong CSO consensus, to reflect the collective will of diverse people and continue Ghana's traditional leadership role of the ICPD agenda," she said.
The combined actions of civil society, governments and development partners, Dr Bediako noted, was what "we" need to unlock the opportunities and possibilities to deliver for women, men, boys, girls, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Mr Koma Jehu-Appiah, Country Director of IPAS Ghana, an international organisation that works around the world to increase women's ability to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights, said there was the need for a paradigm shift from the decades old narratives which are backed with no action.
"Let us look for ideas that make this a reality because the future has changed. What we envisaged 10 years ago may not be the same because the dynamics and have changed and so, we must also change in our approach in implementing some of these protocols," he counselled.
In his view, governments, over the period, have failed in safeguarding the reproductive rights "but we must not fail the next generation. Let us speak differently from what we have been saying since 1994."