UNITED NATIONS, New York - The High-level Commission on the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 Follow-up (HLC) concluded its first meeting of 2021. Conducted virtually 19 - 20 January, the meeting featured in-depth discussions on the core thematic issues under the commission’s purview and deliberations on its working arrangements and the roadmap ahead.

On the first day, the 29-member commission discussed the three zeros at the heart of the Nairobi Statement: achieving zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices, taking into account such issues as financing, data, demographic diversity, humanitarian support, inclusiveness, equality, human rights, participation and accountability.

“It was critical to discuss the key issues, including emerging ones, and also focus on key obstacles as well as accelerators to advance the ICPD agenda and Nairobi commitments, by diving deeper into the three zeros and the centerpiece of this agenda and its unfinished business,” stated HLC co-chair H.E. Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, former president of Tanzania.
The following day, the commission built off of the previous day’s deep dives, considering its working arrangements and annual reports, particularly its first public annual report to be submitted to UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem in November 2021.
In her closing remarks, co-chair H.E. Michaëlle Jean, former governor general of Canada, expressed confidence “that the work of this commission will bring hope to many people, and while we anticipate overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, during this difficult time of many uncertainties, the commission should be, will be and is sending the message that it continues to work on the important and urgent issues identified in the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 commitments.”
Established in September 2020, the HLC is charged with advocating for, and monitoring and reporting on the progress on the commitments to women’s health and rights made at the November 2019 Nairobi Summit on ICPD25. Drawn from a diverse range of stakeholders including governments, civil society, parliaments, youth and faith-based organizations, the private sector and others, members provide guidance and recommendations for advancing progress and removing bottlenecks so that the sexual and reproductive health and rights community maintains its momentum towards a world of rights and choices for all.
The commission is set to convene again in May/June 2021.