Asia-Pacific governments gathered in October 2018 at UNESCAP in Bangkok to take stock of how far we’ve come in achieving ICPD, especially in the context of the 2030 Agenda. Governments agreed that women in the region have made significant gains under ICPD over the past 25 years, but progress cannot be taken for granted.

Maternal mortality, child marriage and teenage pregnancy all remain high. Up to 85,000 women in Asia-Pacific died while giving birth in 2015. In 2017, an estimated 132 million women had an unmet need for contraception, and one in seven girls had given birth and one-third are married before turning 18.

UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Director Bjorn Andersson noted that in listing these and other gaps that need to be bridged, governments reiterated that without ICPD, we would not have the SDGs. The Programme of Action is truly integral to the 2030 Agenda.

"Similarly, without fulfilling ICPD, we will not achieve the SDGs, whose ultimate pledge is to leave no one behind," Bjorn wrote. :For Asia-Pacific and the world, we cannot afford to fail."

All views are those of the original author. Originally published at World Economic Forum.