Representatives of UNFPA and civil society organizations met for the first time at UNFPA HQ in New York to discuss priorities of the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25: Accelerating the Promise. The Summit will be held on 12-14 November at the Kenyatta International Convention Center.
During the 3 April meeting, participants expressed their hope that the Summit will become a hub for civil society. They are looking forward to the opportunity to review what has and has not worked in the past 25 years.
More specifically, civil society partners reaffirmed the importance of the recently concluded regional ICPD reviews to better build consensus around national commitments expected to come out of the Summit. Participants also asserted they would do their part to hold stakeholders accountable for decisions made at the national and regional level.
"For a girl in the Andes in Bolivia, it doesn't matter what happens in Nairobi – what matters is what happens in her real life."
Commitments announced at the Nairobi Summit should be well defined and have mechanisms to engage civil society, including proper mechanisms to track and report on progress.
Finally, participants stressed the need to be involved in feeding into the Nairobi process to identify priority issues, especially recognizing that no one is left behind in providing services and information related to sexual and reproductive health and rights. For both UNFPA and civil society, the ICPD agenda remains unfinished and the Nairobi Summit is the place where stakeholders can and should be able to report on what is happening on the ground to fulfill the promise of Cairo.
"While the global process is important, what is equally important is how civil society organizes itself down to the village where the real things happen," said Arthur Erken, UNFA Director for Communications and Strategic Partnerships. "For a girl in the Andes in Bolivia, it doesn't matter what happens in Nairobi – what matters is what happens in her real life."
All views are those of the original author. Originally published at UNFPA.org.