THE NATIONAL consultation on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was conducted at the Heritage park hotel yesterday.
It was cohosted by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Ministry of development and Planning and Aid Coordination.
The objectives of the forum is to provide feedback on the global review on ICPD and implications for Solomon Islands particularly as a small island developing state facing population and climate change vulnerabilities, and also to discuss Solomon Island’s position in relation to the unfinished business of ICPD and MDGP5b, and how best UNFPA can support Solomon Islands in realizing and promise of ICPD through the post 2015 development agenda.
The consultation was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister, Douglas Ete and senior officials of the government as well as invited partners and stakeholders that wished to contribute on the ICPD agenda.
Speaking at the opening of the program yesterday, Mr Ete said, perhaps the country may need to relook at some areas to be lagging and require further considerations beyond 2015.
He added that, the country need to assess more prudently where we are, where we would like to go, prioritize, set new targets for our existing indicators, and move forward.
“May I remind us that the issues and challenges that we are trying to address and made reference to are not issues and challenges that are merely endorsed and enforced to us from our regional offices or UN Headquarters through the ICDP PoA.
“These are real development issues that we as a country must take responsibility in addressing,” he said.
He added that he fully endorsed the decision taken by former leaders of this country in being part of the 179 countries who adopted by consensus the initial International Conference on population and development program of action (ICDP PoA) in Cairo, back in 1994.
“We can confidently say today that we have certainly progress on many of the areas in the PoA.
“However, as we may have seen from recent assessments, there are unfinished businesses to be done as well as ensuring that we do not move backwards on our achievements and to sustain our gains,” the Deputy Prime Minister highlighted.
In his final remarks, Mr Ete said that the consultations conducted yesterday is the beginning of the country’s dialogue in creating a way forward to integrating the ICDP agenda into the national development planning processes, including integration into our own nationally designed National Development Strategies right up to the global sustainable development goals.
By RONALD TOITO’ONA