Friday, June 8, 2012

Burmese lawmakers attend international conference on poverty

Friday, 08 June 2012 14:40 Mizzima News

Lawmakers from 110 countries have reaffirmed their support to the principles and goals of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICDP), which focuses on efforts to reduce poverty and safeguard people’s health and rights, including sexual and reproductive rights.

A high level delegation of Burmese officials attended including Maung Maung Swe, chair of the Parliament committee on Population and Social Development; Dr. Nay Lin, secretary, Health Development Committee; and Su Su Hlaing, a Member of Parliament.

A group portrait of conference delegates. Photo:

The fifth International Parliamentarians Conference on poverty and development was held on May 24-25 in Istanbul.

“ICPD is about human beings, respect, rights, and what we can do to ensure that every individual can make his or her own decisions,” said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

With only two years until the Cairo agenda is expected to be complete, delegates committed themselves to advocate for increased national and external funding to reduce poverty, improve health and to achieve access to sexual and reproductive health, including family planning.

In particular, they committed to strive to “attain at least 10 per cent of national development budgets and development assistance budgets for population and reproductive health programmes.” That includes HIV prevention and reproductive health commodities.

They pledged to support policies that give special attention to the specific concerns and needs of young people by promoting and protecting their right to “access good quality education at all levels, health, sexual and reproductive services, including comprehensive sexuality education,” and to adopt measures to prevent all types of exploitation and abuse.

They also called upon the United Nations General Assembly “to play a key role in building support for the ICPD Programme of Action.”

The Istanbul conference, which concluded with an address by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was organized by the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development and UNFPA, under the auspices of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly.

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