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"Enhancing the Role of Parliamentarians in the Interlinkage between Population Issues and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - Part III " Delhi Declaration September, 14, 2017
15 September, 2017
New Delhi, India
1 Preamble 1.1 To realize the “Future We Want” it is imperative to work towards sustainable development. In this context, the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) with its 17 goals and 169 targets by the world leaders was accorded as an epitome of positive change in the human history .
1.2 The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in 1994, addressed population issues within the context of sustainable development. The Declaration adopted at the International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (ICPPD), was largely reflected in the Preamble and Principle that constituted the guiding philosophy of the ICPD Programme of Action (PoA). This demonstrates the pioneering work of parliamentarians in this area.
2 Population Issues and 2030 Agenda 2.1 In order to realize the SDGs, addressing population programmes is of utmost significance. It will be critical to implement in full the people-centered and rights-based ICPD PoA which serve as a platform for the SDGs. Cutting across all these goals are - balancing population growth with pace of development, with in the carrying capacity of our mother earth; gender equality; and focus on serving the under-served population group, leaving no one behind. Also, health as a fundamental human right is an essential pre-requisite in achieving sustainable development and to that end ensuring Universal Health Coverage (UHC) will be critical. Equally, the full implementation of the African Health Strategies, which includes the revised Maputo Plan of Action, is central to attaining the SDGs in Africa.
2.2 Harnessing the demographic dividend for country’s economic development necessitates establishing a UHC system, investing in young people on the basis of gender equality in the form of educational opportunities, skill development and employment generation.
3 Conditions for Promoting the 2030 Agenda 3.1 In order to achieve the SDGs, a paradigm shift in national policy framework is essential, which promote social inclusion and involves externality of economies such as environment protection into economic activities.
3.2 While promoting economic and social development to achieve the SDGs is fundamental, generating required resources to implement them is also equally critical.
3.3 Young people are future protagonists and sources of vitality. Investing adequately in youth, such as ensuring health including sexual and reproductive health (SRH), and education, skill and job opportunities, is indispensable for building a vibrant future. In order for young people to be active and contribute to social development, it is extremely important to create job opportunities. To do so, it is necessary to introduce foreign capital investment, promote entrepreneurship, encourage innovations and start-ups and provide basic facilities such as credit facility, fair and transparent legal system and state-of-the-art infrastructure.
3.4 Ensuring food security including nutrition security is a foundation for building a sustainable society, including health and employment. To that end, it is important to introduce agricultural methods with low environmental impact, improve the productivity of small-scale farmers, provide agricultural technical education that includes production, distribution, and storage, build value chains, and organizing small-scale farmers, especially in a way to empower women. Furthermore, efforts are needed to reconsider the value of traditional crops, enhance international marketability through branding, and promote fair trade.
3.5 Countries around the world have different population structures and are at different stages of the demographic transition. In order to realize sustainable development, it is necessary to utilize such diversity, strengthen cooperation among countries, promote global partnership, and build a society that is economically viable and sustainable.
3.6 In addition, in order to promote and facilitate the role of industries for SDGs, support through legislation will be necessary so that corporate activities are consistent with the SDGs. In that sense, in addition to promoting public-private partnerships and civil society’s involvement, the role of parliamentarians as legislators is decisively important.
4 Role of Parliamentarians 2.4.1 We the parliamentarians reconfirm that addressing population issues, maintaining a balance between population growth and development, constitutes a foundation for achieving the SDGs and further efforts will be made based on the Cairo agreement in each country.
4.2 We the parliamentarians duly recognize the critical importance of rights-based and human-centered engagement with people and communities in strengthening the behavior-change communication and community mobilization interventions, which offer informed-choices to women, men and young people in rightfully addressing their sexual & reproductive health.
4.3 To prevent global pandemics of infectious diseases and in achieving universal access to health services including sexual and reproductive health services, we will strengthen health and social resilience by promoting health workforce and improving rapid response to emerging health issues, in particular strengthening primary health care that is affordable and accessible to the poor and the marginalized sections of the society. The critical investments shall be made in the area of health systems strengthening, especially in the vulnerable, hard-to-reach and socially-excluded areas.
4.4 Prepare adequate counter measures in each country to tackle ageing issues. We, the parliamentarians shall strive for promoting dedicated and rights-centered national policies on Elderly People and the issues of Ageing.
4.5 Global partnership is indispensable to generate internal, bi-lateral, multilateral and international resources for national development. In order to realize this, common standards are necessary, which can be developed by ensuring accountability and transparency for citizens in each country. Our activities have seen such development in many countries, including legislation of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) report to the parliament. In a country where such ODA reporting is not in place, we encourage fellow parliamentarians to commit themselves to its realization.
4.6 In order to provide employment opportunities to young people, it is necessary to promote foreign capital investment and domestic entrepreneurship. It will require innovations, initiatives, need based skill improvement and credit facilities. Regardless of party affiliations, we strive to build a stable and fair social order based on law. And ensure that immigrant workers can receive equitable and fair treatment under the law.
4.7 In order to improve food security, we will promote minimum water use technology for agricultural production, reconsider the value of traditional products of native species, and enhance marketability in cooperation with the private sector.
4.8 We the parliamentarians will work closely with the national governments and civil society to promote necessary legislative support and mobilize resources to achieve the SDGs.
4.9 We will also share responsibilities with governments on monitoring implementation of the policies and programmes.
4.10 We will also do advocacy among fellow parliamentarians, other elected representatives at different levels and people in own constituencies. The country Associations of Parliamentarians will ensure that they sustain interest and motivation of the parliamentarians.
5 In Conclusion
5.1 In order to undertake the above mentioned activities, formulating concrete policies based on scientific knowledge and evidence is necessary. Respective governments should collaborate with research institutions to examine possibilities objectively. In addition, the governments should support the Associations of Parliamentarians at national, regional and global levels to involve the parliamentarians to play their expected role by adequate sensitization and building necessary sustained motivation. This will help the independent institutions such as APDA to make concrete evidence-based recommendations in the field of parliamentary activities and ensure involvement of the national associations of parliamentarians.