Civil Society Organizations Forum Meeting in Bangkok
The United Nation’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Asia-Pacific Regional Office, has scheduled the Midterm Review of the 2013 Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development from November 26-28, 2018. As a precursor to this meeting, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Forum was organised in Bangkok, Thailand on November 24 – 25, 2018, to chart the way forward and identify key priority areas to accelerate progress.
The Forum, which witnessed participation from 52 CSOs, was organized with the following objectives:
- To discuss the progress towards the implementation of the 6th Asian & Pacific Population Conference (APPC) and International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Program of Action (PoA), gaps as well as challenges as it relates globally and in the context of Asia and the Pacific
- To map the challenges and revitalize the ICPD PoA in the context of SDGs 2030 in Asia and the Pacific
- To develop joint CSO statements with recommendations to the member states at the 6th APPC Mid Term Review( MTR)
The CSO steering committee encouraged participation of different organisations from 24 Asia and Pacific countries in the Midterm Review (MTR) of the APPC conference to ensure the inclusion of the CSO voice. The Steering committee is comprised of representatives of key populations, including youth from sub regions.
Through various panels and sessions spread over two days, the CSO Forum focused on the status of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Asia Pacific and its link with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while discussing the progress, best practices, policies, gaps and challenges. It identified and prioritised focus areas for analysis and the recommendations it has for the MTR. The CSO steering committee will also ensure that Asia Pacific SRHR priorities are taken forward to the global level through ICPD@25 and High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2019 to influence the government delegation and ensure greater participation of CSOs.
Ms Sonali Gunasekera (Director Advocacy) and Ms Desiree Soysa (Youth Technical Advisory Chairperson) represented FPA Sri Lanka at this strategic event.