Like all transformational movements, the ICPD didn’t happen overnight.

In an op-ed published by the Bangkok Post, UNFPA Regional Director for Asia-Pacific Bjorn Andersson explains how the ICPD Programme of Action came from advocacy and negotiation, influenced significantly by major social shifts, especially women’s rights and civil rights movements that had emerged in prior decades. The stars were aligned in 1994, leading to consensus in Cairo.

The world of today is very different. At a time of increasing conservatism and polarisation, we are seeing significant pushback on women’s rights, including on essential health services, even in countries that have long been regarded as champions of women’s rights.

We urgently need to rebuild the ICPD movement.

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