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Mar-Apr 2008, Managing Population Growth is a Key Component to Stability and Sustainability

Mar-Apr 2008, Managing Population Growth is a Key Component to Stability and Sustainability

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Published by Philip Nalangan
The world population has increased from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 6.8 in 2007. Evidence highlights that human activity and conduct is producing significant global climate change, with serious implications on public health. To educate and inform on population growth, climate change and their impacts, the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) and AFPPD-Malaysia organized the 24th Asian Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Population and Development on April 26-27 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting was attended by 70 parliamentarians and policymakers from Asia-Pacific.
The world population has increased from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 6.8 in 2007. Evidence highlights that human activity and conduct is producing significant global climate change, with serious implications on public health. To educate and inform on population growth, climate change and their impacts, the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) and AFPPD-Malaysia organized the 24th Asian Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Population and Development on April 26-27 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting was attended by 70 parliamentarians and policymakers from Asia-Pacific.

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Managing Population Growth is a Key Component to Stability and Sustainability

24th APDA-AFPPD Asian Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Climate Change and Health at Kuala Lumpur

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are essential if we are to overcome these tasks and to create a society where every person can live in dignity”.

March - April 2008

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ewsletter

Publication of the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development

Left to right: Mr. Lakshman Singh, MP (India) and Vice-Chair of AFPPD; Mr. Garimella Giridhar, Representative of UNFPA-CST, Bangkok; Mr. Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadziah, Deputy Minister of Finance and Chair of AFPPD-Malaysia; Mr. Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Health in Malaysia; Ms. Kayoko Shimizu, acting Chair of APDA; and Ms. Wakako Hironaka, acting Chair of JPFP

The world population has increased from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 6.8 in 2007. Evidence highlights that human activity and conduct is producing significant global climate change, with serious implications on public health. To educate and inform on population growth, climate change and their impacts, the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) and AFPPD-Malaysia organized the 24th Asian Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Population and Development on April 26-27 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting was attended by 70 parliamentarians and policymakers from Asia-Pacific. G8 Summit will focus on climate change and its implications In her opening remarks, Ms. Kayoko Shimizu, acting Chair of APDA, said that the, “G8 Summit addresses global challenges, including the world economy and African issues; but this time, it will focus on environmental challenges by highlighting climate change and its implications. We should have an Asian consensus in this meeting to serve as the basis of discussion at the G8 International Parliamentarians’ Conference on Population and Sustainable Development, to be held in Tokyo by July”. International efforts and collaboration are essential to overcome future challenges A message from Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan, Chair of AFPPD, APDA, and the Japan Parliamentarians’ Federation for Population (JPFP), was delivered by Ms. Chieko Nohno, MP (Japan). He stated, “Mankind faces pressing challenges in the future: global warming, climate change, extreme poverty and the threat of new and reemerging pandemic. As globalization proceeds and the world population continues to grow, international efforts Mitigation measures in Malaysia Mr. Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Health in Malaysia, narrated that his government has taken mitigation and adaptive measures through various ministries, agencies and NGOs. “These efforts enable Malaysia to mobilize adequate food supplies, to provide shelters, and to reduce morbidity and mortality due to natural disasters and accompanying diseases. In Malaysia, our strength in mitigating the effects of climate change lies in our healthcare infrastructures and delivery network. With the commitment by the government, we will continue on the implementation of various mitigation measures”, he informed. Integrate demographic factors into environmental impact assessments Mr. Garimella Giridhar, Representative o f U N F PA - C S T, B a n g k o k u r g e d governments to integrate demographic factors into environmental impact assessments, to promote sustainable resource management, to modify unsustainable consumption and production patterns, and to pay particular attention to ecologically vulnerable areas where population, economic activity and environmental issues are concentrated.

Ms. Chieko Nohno, MP (Japan)

Discuss factors to ensure balanced population growth Mr. Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadziah, Deputy Minister of Finance and Chair of AFPPD-Malaysia, urged parliamentarians to discuss all factors and concerns to ensure balanced population growth that benefits every person. “There is shortage in food supply due to the conversion of land from agricultural to industrial. It is on your shoulders to find out prudent and practical ways to tackle the world issues on climate change, diseases and population”, he added.

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Interrelationship of global warming and infectious diseases Global warming and fluctuations in weather help to spread diseases. The temperature affects the growth and survival of microbes and vectors. Weather affects the timing and intensity of disease outbreaks. “Climate is the primary factor in the epidemic of malaria, cholera, dengue, meningococcal meningitis, Japanese encephalitis, leptospirosis and rickettsial infections”, highlighted by Mr. Hasan Abdul Rahman, Director of the Disease Control Division of the Ministry of Public Health in Malaysia.

Left to right: Ms. Puangpen Chanprasert, Senior Public Health Technical Officer from Thailand, Dr.Osamu Kusumoto, Secretary General/Executive Director of APDA, and Mr. James Dawos Mamit, MP (Malaysia)

Diseases associated with climate change I n a m e s s a g e f r o m D r. P r a t Boonyawongvirot, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health in Thailand and Secretary-General of AFPPD – delivered by Ms. Puangpen Chanprasert, Senior Public Health Technical Officer in Thailand – he highlighted that approximately 600,000 deaths occurred worldwide as a result of weather-related natural disasters in the 1990s. “Recent studies suggest that the record high temperatures of 2003 in Europe were associated with an estimated 70,000 deaths. Each year, diarrheal diseases, malaria and malnutrition kill 3 million people globally. Dengue fever is on the rise – it is estimated that up to 80 million individuals become infected annually”, he stated.

Increase in average global temperature impacts the climate, resulting in altered precipitation patterns, melting glaciers, intensifying storms and rising sea level. Adaptation measures in South Korea

“South Korea is drawing up detailed plans to build a low-carbon society; such as expanding the use of new and renewable energy, and enhancing energy efficiency. Many environmental experts and activists are taking part in urging the South Korean Ms. Darlene Custodio (left), MP (Philippines) and Treasurer of AFPPD; and government to take further Mr. Hasan Abdul Rahman (right), Director of the Diseases Control Division of reduction and adaptation the Ministry of Health in Malaysia actions”, said Ms. Han Unemployment fuels political Myeong Sook, MP, former Prime instability Minister, Environment Minister and Chair of the Committee on Population Mr. Jose Rimon, Senior Program and Development in South Korea. Officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Population, climate change and Foundation, presented the impacts of infectious diseases Climate change impacts in Japan population growth on the sustainability Mr. James Dawos Mamit, MP (Malaysia), Mr. Shuzo Nishioka, Senior Research and stability of societies. It is estimated presented an interesting overview on the Fellow of the National Institute for that nearly 1.5 billion men and women interrelationship between population, Environmental Studies in Japan, will be 20-24 years old by 2015; and if climate change and infectious diseases. discussed the possible impacts of these individuals are not able to find He said that climate change is the climate change in Japan. “Extreme daily jobs, the situation will fuel political greatest threat being faced by the planet precipitation, including that associated today, with rising temperatures causing with typhoons, will further enhance more droughts and floods. The main over Japan due to the increase in human influence on global climate is likely atmospheric moisture. Rice yield in to be emissions of greenhouse gases, irrigated lowland areas is projected to such as carbon dioxide and methane. decrease up to 40 percent”. In Japan, coastal lowlands are located below high water level, mainly in large cities; a 1 meter rise in sea level could put up to Mr. Jose Rimon, Senior Program Officer of the Bill and 4.1 million people Melinda Gates Foundation at risk. It is also p r o j e c t e d t h a t instability. “Most urban growth is about 90 percent occurring in slum areas. Countries with of the habitat of bulging youth population are likely to f o r e s t s p e c i e s experience civil conflicts. Competition in Left to right: Mr. Shuzo Nishioka, Senior Research Fellow of the National Institute for Environ- could disappear the declining crop land and fresh water mental Studies in Japan; Ms. Wakako Hironaka, MP (Japan) and acting Chair of JPFP; and by the end of this is also associated with civil conflicts”, Ms. Han Myeong Sook, MP (South Korea), former Prime Minister, Environment Minister and Chair of the Committee on Population and Environment in South Korea century in Japan. he informed.

Left to right: Mr Jose Rimon, Senior Program Officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Ms. Kerry Nettle, MP (Australia); Mr. Chiaki Takahashi, Deputy Secretary-General of JPFP; Mr. Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiataua, Speaker of Samoa, Vice-Chair of AFPPD and Chair of PPAPD; and Ms. Tuti Indarsih Loekman Soetrisno, MP (Indonesia)

Impacts of population in stability and sustainability Managing population growth is a key component to stability and sustainability. Almost all surveys worldwide show that the approval and support for voluntary family planning is high. Between 1960 and 2008, contraceptive prevalence in developing countries increased from 9 to 45 percent among married women of reproductive age. However, more than 200 million women worldwide of reproductive age continue to have an unmet need for family planning. “Addressing population growth will have a significant impact on poverty, mortality, diseases and conflicts. Communities are less sustainable if living with high levels of conflict. Societies are more sustainable when health and social needs of the most vulnerable are met”, underlined Mr. Rimon. Prevention approaches against STIs STIs are associated with serious health, social and economic consequences; and they cause considerable morbidity and mortality. A successful approach usually involves comprehensive sex education programmes, adoption of safe sex practices, and early detection and treatment. Mr. Ho Pak Chung, Regional Chair of the International Planned Parenthood Federation - East, South East Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF-ESEAOR), urged governments to target young people and women in the prevention strategy, “It is important that policy-makers adopt a realistic and non-judgemental approach”.

APDA-AFPPD statement A panel to discuss the adoption of an APDA-AFPPD Statement for the G8 Summit followed – with Mr. Jose Rimon, Senior Program Officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Ms. Kerry Nettle, MP (Australia); Mr. Chiaki Takahashi, MP (Japan) and Deputy Secretary-General of JPFP; Mr. Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiataua, Speaker of Samoa, ViceChair of AFPPD and Chair of the Pacific Parliamentary Assembly on Population and Development; and Ms. Tuti Indarsih Loekman Soetrisno, MP (Indonesia)

clear objective to start with. Without the contributions of parliamentarians from Asian countries, we could not attain this outcome”.

AFPPD Executive Committee Mandated Parliamentarian Mobilization for ICPD+15

Survey Parliamentarians’ Performance on Reproductive Health Issues
AFPPD’s Executive Committee meeting, under the chairmanship of Ms. Wakako Hironaka, MP (Japan) – representing Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan, Chair of AFPPD – decided to mobilize parliamentarians for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)+15 in 2009. A working group of parliamentarians will be setup to draft a programme for ICPD+15 in 2009.

Ms. Raj Karim, Regional Director of IPPF-ESEAOR

Closing remarks In her closing address, Ms. Raj Karim, Regional Director of IPPF-ESEAOR, said, “This clearly demonstrates the need for us to be involved in the population field; and to be sensitive, vigilant and prepared to manage both immediate and prolonged effects of any environmental changes that may end up in crisis”. Ms. Wakako Hironaka, MP (Japan) and acting Chair of JPFP, said, “We have adopted an inspiring APDAAFPPD Declaration. While declarations tend to lack focus, ours has a very clear message because we had a

One of the important decisions was to survey the performance of parliamentarians on ICPD issues – Philippines and India already conducted such a survey. The meeting reviewed the AFPPD’s report on advocacy techniques in working with parliamentarians. Mr. Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiatau, Speaker of Samoa and Chair of the Pacific Parliamentary Assembly on Population and Development (PPAPD), was elected as the Vice-Chair of AFPPD. The meeting was attended by Mr. Garimella Giridhar, Director of UNFPACST, Bangkok; Ms. Raj Karim, Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation-East, South East Asia and Oceania Region; and Dr.Osamu Kusumoto, Secretary General/Executive Director of APDA – apart from member parliamentarians of Australia, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.

Ms. Donya Aziz, MP (Pakistan) and Mr. Ho Pak Chung, Regional Chair of IPPF-ESEAOR

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Effective Advocacy Techniques in Working with Parliamentarians
AFPPD Reviewed

Over the past 27 years, AFPPD has used a variety of advocacy strategies to keep parliamentarians engaged on population and development-related issues. The key strategies that the AFPPD employs to achieve these objectives are to hold conferences, workshops, study visits, focus groups and parliamentarian participation at the regional and international levels. Other important strategies employed were the Person to Person Advocacy Projects (PPAP) and capacity development of parliamentary staff. On March 26-28, AFPPD, in collaboration w i t h U N F PA - I n d o n e s i a a n d t h e Indonesian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IFPPD), organized a workshop in Bali, Indonesia to review which of these techniques are effective in motivating parliamentarians and how their role can be enhanced. Twenty two parliamentarians and national committee staffs from 10 Asia-Pacific countries attended the workshop. Parliamentarians’ role in eradicating extreme poverty in Asia-Pacific Reproductive Health (SRH) are translated into policies for implementation. Global Survey of UNFPA He further said that the 2006 global survey of UNFPA revealed that parliamentarians were personally involved in proposing 157 bills, approving 67 policies and enacting 250 laws in different countries. Most of these laws dealt with gender equality, women empowerment, genderbased violence, SRH, human rights, HIV/ AIDS, population and development. Further improve collaboration with parliamentarians far partnerships with parliamentarians have created a difference in our efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the Programme of Action (PoA) of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). I hope this meeting can further improve our collaboration with the parliamentarians to ensure their active participation in meeting the MDGs and the ICPD PoA”, he added. PPAP is in line towards reaching the fulfilment of the MDGs and the ICPD principles

To commence the workshop, Mr. Zahidul Huque, Representative of “As we are getting closer to 2015, we UNFPA-Indonesia, said in his opening need to examine the effectiveness of remarks, “Asia Pacific has progressed the ongoing processes, especially in in lowering the number of people living working with parliamentarians; and how in extreme poverty, from 1 billion in 1990 to 641 million a decade later. To some extent, the progress is attributable to contributions of parliamentarians.” The role of the parliamentarians is to create a political environment where views on poverty eradication, sustainable development, gender equality, population and Mr. Zahidul Huque (left), Representative of UNFPA-Indonesia; and Ms. Aisyah Baidlowi Sexual a n d (right), MP (Indonesia), Vice-Chair of AFPPD and Chair of IFPPD

Ms. Aisyah Baidlowi MP (Indonesia), Vice-Chair of AFPPD and Chair of IFPPD

Ms. Aisyah Baidlowi – MP (Indonesia), Vice-Chair of AFPPD and Chair of IFPPD – was involved during the implementation of PPAP in Indonesia. She narrated, “I was engaged in the discussions on reproductive health, gender and population issues. My involvement with this project in 2002 reminded me on the core principles of our national development goals on the issues that aim in creating better quality of life through sustainable development. PPAP is also in line towards reaching the fulfilment of MDGs and ICPD principles.” Parliamentarians are among the important key figures to make the enacting of laws on reproductive health, gender, and population urgent. She stressed, “The outcome of this meeting can provide us with opportunities to improve our future engagements with advocacy”.

of the Cambodian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, informed that from 2002 to 2003, 183 Cambodian parliamentarians and senators were interviewed f o r P PA P. T h e project assessed the current level of awareness and involvement of Mr. Samidjo (left), Programme Officer for Advocacy of UNFPA-Indonesia; and Mr. P J parliamentarians on Kurien (right), MP (India) reproductive health, family planning and HIV/AIDS. Experiences with advocacy in working with parliamentarians Throughout the workshop, participants were given the opportunity to share their experiences in working with parliamentarians. A session to build understanding on advocacy was facilitated by Mr. Samidjo, National Programme Officer for Advocacy of UNFPA-Indonesia. Ms. Carla Benham, Programme Associate of AFPPD, p r e s e n t e d t h e e ff e c t i v e n e s s o f conferences, workshops and panel discussions as techniques in motivating parliamentarian action. PPAP helped to establish a databank of ‘human development’ legislators in the Philippines
Ms. Emmylou Mendoza MP (Philippines)

supported; while the use of contraceptives and sex education were more opposed by the parliamentarians”. PPAP laid out the basic foundation of IFPPD’s current programmes “Mobilizing support in forms of political commitment and will towards a concrete plan of action lead to the formation of policies, increase in budget allocation and effective implementation. PPAP, one of IFPPD’s early projects, laid out the basic foundation block of its current programmes”, said Mr. Umar Zulkarnain Aziz, National Project Coordinator of IFPPD. The key findings from IFPPD suggested that 95 percent of the elected representatives had heard about population and reproductive health issues, and they mostly support gender issues. Although the local parliamentarians had good knowledge on the issues, their understanding on specific topics still need improvement – such as the way to treat HIV/AIDSinfected persons, interventions on domestic violence against women, population mobility and family welfare development. Gender issues and unattended child delivery remain as main problems in Laos

PPAP in the Philippines provided a venue for discussing important social issues, especially reproductive health; and it helped to establish a data bank of ‘human development’ legislators. Ms. Emmylou Mendoza, MP (Philippines) underlined that 84 percent of the legislators favored the integration

Mr. Phonethep Pholsena MP (Laos)

Mr. Gerard de Kort, Consultant and former Manager of PPAP in AFPPD

Ms. Emmylou Mendoza, MP (Philippines)

PPAP’s concept and impacts An overview of the PPAP – its concept and impacts – was highlighted by Mr. Gerard de Kort, Consultant and former Manager of PPAP in AFPPD. He informed that under PPAP, parliamentarians met to discuss ICPD issues, and their level of knowledge was assessed. All the interviews were also recorded. Key impacts, challenges and lessons learned from PPAP in Cambodia Reports from 5 Asian countries on the key impacts, challenges and lessons learned from PPAP were presented at the workshop. Mr. Hap Omaly, Deputy Director for International Relations of the Cambodian Parliament and in-charge

of population management in the government’s development planning while 87 percent supported the national policy that provided reproductive health services to poor communities. She informed, “Measures for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and SexuallyTransmitted Infections (STI), provisions on safe motherhood, and male involvement in reproductive Mr. Phonethep Pholsena (left), MP (Laos); and Mr. Albertus Budi (right), MP (Indonesia) health were more

“During the PPAP in Laos, less than 50 percent of the interviewed parliamentarians are familiar with reproductive health, AIDS, STI and gender issues”, stated Mr. Phonethep Pholsena, MP (Laos). Many of the parliamentarians expressed that the age of marriage must be more than 18, men should be involved in family planning and women should be empowered. As a result, the Lao Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development organized a workshop, concerned at population, development, reproductive health, HIV and gender issues.

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Importance of media in advocacy campaigns Ms. Jane Singleton, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Reproductive Health Alliance, presented the importance of media in advocacy campaigns and she provided tips for effective ways in which the media can be engaged. She informed that it is one of Senator Pum Sichan (left) of Cambodia and Ms. Jane Singleton (right), Chief the most powerful ways to Executive Officer of ARHA advocate parliamentarians Indian parliamentarians agree that who wish to influence their peers and the male involvement in reproductive policies, and for national committee staff to influence parliamentarians. health needs emphasis Under PPAP, the Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development released a survey on “Involvement of Elected Representatives for Advocacy on Population, Reproductive Health, HIV/ AIDS and Women Empowerment”. The survey found out that nearly all elected representatives agree that population increase is a barrier to economic growth and poverty alleviation. “It was noted that 96 percent of parliamentarians had been aware of STI but only some of them knew on its transmission methods”, said Mr. Manmohan Sharma, Executive Secretary of IAPPD Study tours and field visits as methods in advocacy Ms. Joanna Spratt, Manager of the New Zealand Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development, discussed motivational techniques for parliamentarians on study tours and field visits. Study tours are effective techniques to share experiences on certain issues, in contrast, field visits are used to observe the implementation of programmes and to have direct contact with target audiences – such as HIV/AIDS infected people. “They are both good techniques to increase the empathy of parliamentarians”, she highlighted. Political advocacy on maternal health, youth, HIV/AIDS and gender issues

Mr. Deepak Gupta, Senior Health Specialist of UNICEFIndonesia

Alternative approaches in building alliance Mr. Azrul Mohd. Khalib, Advocacy Officer of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), discussed on what alternative approaches could be used in the future to motivate parliamentarians on population and development issues. He suggested, “We need to build an alliance with organizations dealing with

Speaking on the experiences gathered and tools developed for political advocacy on maternal health, youth, HIV/AIDS and gender issues, Mr. Deepak Gupta, Senior Health Specialist of UNICEFIndonesia, emphasized that the essential ingredient for success in developing h e a l t h programmes is sustained p o l i t i c a l advocacy. Various effective advocacy tools that can be e m p l o y e d Ms. Barbara Stewart (left), MP (New Zealand); and Mr. Azrul Mohd. Khalib (right), Advocacy f o r e l e c t e d Officer of IPPF-Malaysia representatives were consultations, HIV/AIDS and women development, and meetings, national dailies, TV and radio develop clear policy statements”. Mr. K S forums, and study tours. He underlined, Seetharam, Consultant, summarized the “I urge everyone to integrate political findings of the workshop. It was found advocacy with an over-all programme out that there are several advocacy approach, make a reality check in an techniques that can be applied in issue, arrange media advocacy with working with parliamentarians; and parliamentarians, engage young leaders there is no single technique appropriate and assist them in evidence-based for all situations, thus a combination of techniques is necessary. research”.

Mr. Ramon San Pascual (left), Executive Director of PLCPD; and Ms. Joana Spratt (right), Manager of NZPPD

Mr. K S Seetharam (left), Consultant; and Mr. Handoyo Ojong (right), MP (Indonesia)

FACE TO FACE

“Religion Plays a Positive Role in Promoting Family Planning in Samoa”
Mr. Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiataua Speaker of Parliament (Samoa), Vice-Chair of AFPPD and Chair of the Pacific Parliamentary Assembly on Population and Development
making efforts to uphold the reproductive rights of the people. What steps have been taken to check the growing violence against women in your country? What are the achievements and aberrations of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) movements in your country? The Human Rights Protection Party gives importance to the health services in our country and the government increased the budgetary allocation for the last three consecutive years. Still, most people in rural areas have little access to health services. Absence of qualified doctors and trained nurses adds to this problem. These are the two key areas where efforts need to be made. Had your government fully implemented the International Conference on Population and D e v e l o p m e n t ’s P r o g r a m m e o f Action? An increase in budgetary allocation for health is an indication of the government’s intention. The recently launched project to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, with the financial support of the Samoa Telecom Corporation, is another step towards that direction. Religious beliefs have always come in between in the implementation of policies relating to family planning and reproductive health. How can the reproductive rights of people be protected? Contrary to the public belief, religion plays a positive role in promoting family planning and reproductive health in our country. Christianity promotes healthy discussions between the Church and the people on issues such as these. I would rather say that the information on the internet on sex and related issues is trash and has left young people confused. However, the government is The government has taken several initiatives to check violence against women in all forms by suggesting heavy penalties for the guilty. Are women and youth really empowered in your country? Yes, both women and youth are empowered in our country. In fact, there are many NGOs helping women to raise their voices against any oppression. At the local level, the government is trying to help women through village councils. SRHR of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people are important, the same with other ‘normal’ men and women. What are your comments? I totally agree that health care providers should take care the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, equal with other ‘normal’ men and women. But I cannot say much of this. How active is media in SRHR advocacy programmes? Media has been playing a critical role in advocacy programmes of SRHR in Samoa. Both print and electronic media are playing an active role on the issue. The Ministry of Women Affairs is promoting SRHR in rural areas. Are SRHR programmes on women and youth friendly in your country? Yes. Should sex education be added in the curriculum of schools? The government is trying to bring together the ministries on health and women affairs, and NGOs for the better management of health services in the country. Regarding the education of youth, we have started imparting sex education in the secondary education’s curriculum. Do you agree that the lack of political commitment has always pushed back efforts of programmes relating to SRHR? The political commitment to support SRHR issues is very much in place but we need to create awareness about it. However, the government should enact a legislation to make it implemented and monitored. What message are you taking from the Hyderabad Conference, which has dealt with SRHR issues at length? I will tell the government to involve legislatures in promoting SRHR issues and in providing safety for women. - Interviewed by Ms. Anju Grover

PhilippineParliamentariansUrgedGovernmenttoUtilize Family Planning Budget
Reproductive health and family planning advocates, including the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD), urged all government health offices to mobilize and request fund to continue with the family planning efforts in the Philippines. “The budget for family planning is the money allocated for the people; and government health offices must take the initiative to use it where it is really targeted. It is a huge opportunity that they must immediately grab because if the amount is left unused, the fund will be realigned to other projects, and this sends a wrong message that funds on family planning is not needed after all”, said Mr. Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director of PLCPD. In 2008, 50 million USD was allotted for the procurement of contraceptives but remains unused. Source: Sun Star

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Ms. Thoraya Obaid Urged to Develop Capacities for Sustainable Urban Growth Management
family planning, was underlined. Ms. Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, focused her opening address on the role of urbanization in social and economic development, and the need for governments to develop capacities for sustainable management of urban growth. She highlighted the insufficient level of funding for the implementation of ICPD’s Programme of Action (PoA) and called on countries to increase their investments in all areas of ICPD to promote economic growth, poverty reduction and gender equality. New York, April 7-11: The 41st session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) adopted a resolution on “Population Distribution, Urbanization, Internal Migration and Development”, in which the importance of implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), particularly the access to reproductive health and The commission addressed the benefits of urbanization, and underscored the links between the implementation of ICPD PoA and the achievement of internationally agreed development goals. In a final resolution, it recalled the commitment to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015, acknowledged the lack of funding for ICPD, and urged the international community to mobilize resources.

41st Session of the Commission on Population and Development

“Parliamentarians Should be Active in Saving Girl Child”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, India
New Delhi, April 29: “Every elected representative must actively participate in the campaign for saving girl child”, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India while addressing the National Meeting on “Save the Girl Child”. Describing the practice of female feticide as inhuman, uncivilized and reprehensible; Mr. Singh underlined that the discrimination against women begins at home. “The patriarchal mindset and preference for male children are compounded by an unethical conduct on the part of some medical practitioners who illegally offer sex determination services”, he added. Stressing the need for awareness, he urged all concerned to put an end to female feticide. He asked the Ministry of Health to focus on orienting elected representatives and to use them as medium in fighting the practice. He told the Ministry of Women and Child Development that it should support women leaders to strengthen the nutrition programme in India. Urging the participation of every citizen in empowering the girl child, the Prime Minister said that the action must begin at home. The meeting on “Save the Girl Child” was organized by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The inaugural session was addressed by Mr. Anbumani Ramdoss, Minister of Health and Family Welfare; Ms. Renuka Choudhury, Minister of State for Women and Child Development; and Ms. Panabaka Lakshmi, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare.

Parliamentarians at the Population, Peak Oil and Climate Change Conference in Australia
Canberra, March 14-15: Scientist and policymakers from United K i n g d o m , Philippines, New Zealand and Australia gathered at the conference, “Population, Peak Oil and Climate Change”, to discuss the impacts of these Ms. Jill Pettis (left), Chair of NZPPD, and Senator Claire Moore of Australia (right). Photo: i s s u e s o n t h e NZPPD Millennium Development Goals (MDG). A report released at the conference Speakers at the conference included from UK All Party Parliamentary Group Mr. Bob McMullan, Parliamentary on Population, Development and Secretary on International Development Reproductive Health highlighted that Assistance; Mr. Andrew McNamara, eradicating hunger is going to be almost Minister for Sustainability, Climate impossible. Seventy-six million mouths and Innovation in Australia; and Mr. are to be fed every year, changing Mal Washer, Chair of the Australian weather patterns, rising oil prices and Parliamentary Group on Population and competition for land to grow biofuels Development. Ms. Jill Pettis, Chair of the are making it harder to grow enough New Zealand Parliamentarians’ Group on food. As food supplies become scarcer, Population and Development, attended people are forced to find other areas to the conference on behalf of AFPPD. farm for food and to grow biofuels. In The conference was organized by the the process, they cut down forests and exacerbate biodiversity loss. Sustainable Population Australia.

New Zealand Forum Briefed Parliamentary Staff on Population and Development Issues
Wellington, April 30: The New Zealand Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development (NZPPD) organized a session and a debate on population and development issues – participated by officials, advisors and representatives of the Inter-Parliamentary Unit of parliament. Ms. Naomi Williams, Information and Parliamentary Coordinator, discussed the background information of NZPPD. She also provided some overview of the population and development challenges in the Pacific region.

“We Must Mobilize Political Commitment and Financing in Making Concrete Advances to Achieve Health-Related Millennium Development Goals”
Ms. Purnima Mane, Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA, addressed the Countdown to 2015 Parliamentarian Conference in Cape Town, South Africa
this happens.” Ms. Mane added. Represent the voice of women Mr. Francisco Songane, Director Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, urged the parliamentarians, “From your experience, leadership and commitment, I encourage you to represent the ‘voices’ of women and children. I ask you to ensure that MDGs are priority on the agenda and to allocate money to address the situation”. At the event, AFPPD-associated parliamentarians – Princess Sisowath Santa from Cambodia; Ms. Aisyah Baidlowi, Ms. Angelina Sondakh and Mr. MH Fansarullah Asa from Indonesia; Mr. Phonethep Pholsena from Laos; Mr. Nandor Tanczos from New Zealand; Ms. Ahn Myung Ock from South Korea; Mr. Nimal de Silva, Minister for Healthcare and Nutrition of Sri Lanka; and others attended the assembly. The parliamentarians who attended the 118th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union joined with global health experts and policy makers at the Countdown to 2015 Conference in Cape Town, South Africa on April 17-19, organized by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, to discuss the role they can play in accelerating actions to achieve the Ms. Purnima Mane (right), Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA. Photo: WHO Millennium Development / Giacomo Pirozzi Goals (MDG) 4 and 5 on reducing child Invest in women death and improving maternal health, respectively. Investing in women improves the wellbeing of their family and the nation. It is No woman should die giving life estimated that the economic impact of In her speech at the opening session maternal and newborn deaths amounts of the conference, Ms. Purnima Mane, to 15 USD billion per year in productivity Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA, lost. She underlined, “It has been said said, “No woman should die giving that a society can be judged by how it life and no newborn or child should treats women and children. I say, let us die when we know what needs to be be judged by what we do to improve done to save their lives. All partners maternal, newborn and child health” should reaffirm their determination to A milestone to mobilize action improve maternal, newborn, child and reproductive health. We must mobilize The conference served as a milestone political commitment and financing, and to mobilize global commitment and make concrete programmatic advances action in maternal, newborn and child to achieve success”. health. It also served as a major push to all actors and stakeholders to do rapidly, Reach beyond health partners to effectively and in better coordination. achieve MDGs “Let us countdown to success, and to a She urged participants to reach beyond world where women and children enjoy health partners to achieve MDGs 4 life, health and opportunity; and where and 5, adding that, “All actors have all of us can say with conviction that we to work together to support nationally did everything we could to ensure that driven plans, strategies and health systems. We must develop common 64th Session monitoring and evaluation frameworks for our programmes, and we must bring our collective will and motivation to accelerate actions”. Bangkok, April 24-30: The Commission Train health workers session, which was attended by ministers “To achieve our goals, we need and senior officials from 50 countries, functioning health systems with strong adopted a resolution to cooperate supply chains, well-equipped facilities proactively on the development of and skilled health workers. We must renewable energy, in an effort to reduce focus our efforts to train health workers dependency on fossil fuels and to in communities where they are needed. enhance long-term energy security. In If there are shortages of doctors, other addition, the session adopted several clinical health workers can be trained to other resolutions on issues such as perform key life-saving functions”. Ms. the Millennium Development Goals, resilience to disasters and transport. Mane emphasized.

Mr. Francisco Songane, Director Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. Photo: WHO / Giacomo Pirozzi

Develop Renewable Energy for Long-Term Energy Security
Speakers of the event included Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej of Thailand; Mr. Shigeru Mochida, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNESCAP; and Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of UNESCAP. AFPPD was represented by Ms. Carla Benham, Programme Associate. The findings from a joint report by the United Nations and Asian Development Bank, entitled “A Future Within Reach 2008”, were also discussed at the session.

of UNESCAP

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Commission on AIDS in Asia Report

Without High Level of Political Support, it is Impossible to Control HIV/AIDS
Important Role of Parliamentary Networks and Parliamentarians Highlighted
“Stronger leadership and political commitment on AIDS is urgently needed in Asia”, highlighted by a recent report “Redefining AIDS in Asia – Crafting an Effective Response” of the Commission on AIDS in Asia – where Mr. JVR Prasada Rao, Director of UNAIDSAsia-Pacific, and Ms. Nerissa Corazon Ruiz, MP (Philippines) and Chair of the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development, were members. Globally, successful HIV responses have been driven by strong commitment and leadership The key findings and recommendations of the report suggest that without high levels of political support, it is impossible to overcome the obstacles that block effective programmes from controlling the pandemic. Effective leadership tackles difficult issues and mobilizes action Addressing AIDS brings to the fore controversial issues which mainstream society prefers to avoid – like sex work, drug use and homosexuality. Social taboos go hand-in-hand with the stigma and discrimination which people infected with HIV experience and which sabotage HIV responses. In few places, courageous leadership from political and social leaders has challenged these taboos, defused stigma and mobilized the public. Asian countries with strong leadership have reversed the growth of their HIV epidemics Asian leaders in places such as Thailand, Hong Kong, Cambodia and Tamil Nadu in India had the foresight to recognize the threat of AIDS early on; they provided leadership that proves vital for reversing their epidemics. But such cases are the exception to what has been until quite recently a generalized lack of high-level commitment and leadership with respect to AIDS programmes in Asia. More Asian leaders are now acting on HIV, but much more is needed Evidence gathered by the Commission shows that more political leaders in Asia are taking up the AIDS agenda. Many national leaders have begun to provide some leadership support to AIDS programmes. This is evident in the larger commitment of resources, the creation of stronger governance structures for programme delivery, and the more meaningful involvement of affected communities in some places. At the same time, current responses in most countries are still too limited to reverse the epidemics. Leaders should and can do more. do not reach the provincial and local levels, leading to uneven, unpredictable and inefficient HIV programmes. Moreover, few government bureaucrats recognize the importance of the active involvement of communities. Resource commitments still fall short of the levels needed to halt and reverse the epidemic. Role of parliamentarians in AIDS advocacy in Asia The Commission acknowledges the important role of parliamentarians in AIDS advocacy in Asia. Some politicians have made valuable efforts to build awareness among their constituencies, lobby for HIV-related legislation, ensure that intellectual property laws support equitable access to medicines, press for more HIV resources, and hold their governments accountable for their countries’ HIV responses. Parliamentary committees on HIV have been set up in a number of countries. The report indirectly mentioned AFPPD at few places by stating, “Increasingly, regional networks of parliamentarians are also focusing on issues related to HIV and sexual and reproductive health”. Leadership and political commitment are the most important prerequisites Asia’s countries have the opportunity to reverse the HIV epidemics and undo the damage being done. Seizing that opportunity requires stronger leadership across the board. Leaders should begin by clearly demonstrating their support for HIV strategies that are pragmatic and of proven effectiveness. Source: Report of the Commission on AIDS in Asia

Ms. Nerissa Corazon Ruiz (left), MP (Philippines), and Mr. JVR Prasada Rao (right), Director of the UNAIDSAsia-Pacific

There are still serious gaps in addressing AIDS Few leaders in Asia have made AIDS a genuine national priority. Efforts to create a supportive environment for HIV interventions remain scarce. In the past five years, hardly any country in Asia has brought its laws in line with the urgent need to provide those people most at risk of infection with HIV-related services. In many countries, the rights of people living with HIV are not yet explicitly safeguarded. Where top level commitment does exist, resources often

Indonesian Forum Working on Regional AIDS Legislation
West Nusa Tenggara, April 30: The Indonesian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development organized a meeting, funded by AFPPD’s small grant, in preparation of a local regulation on HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Full article will be issued in AFPPD’s May-June 2008 newsletter.

Mr. Hakim Pohan (left), MP (Indonesia) and Vice-Chair of IFPPD; and H. Muharrar (right), Chair of the Commission of West Nusa Tenggara

Repositioning Family Planning on the Development Agenda
by Jyoti Singh Permanent Observer to the United Nations of ‘Partners in Population and Development’, and former Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA
United Nations, March 12: Family planning is a central component of reproductive health, as defined by the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). But the Conference gave reproductive health a broad-based character – by linking family planning with the treatment and prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), the reduction of maternal mortality, and the promotion of maternal health and sexual and reproductive health of both men and women. Within this comprehensive framework of reproductive health, ICPD’s Programme of Action proposed that all countries should strive to make reproductive health accessible as soon as possible and no later than the year 2015. Reproductive Health and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Subsequent to the ICPD, the goal of universal reproductive health was endorsed by a number of other major international conferences. However due to the political manoeuvring by a small group of countries, the goal of universal reproductive health by 2015 was not included among the goals of the Millennium Declaration, adopted by the heads of states and governments at the UN summit in 2000. This situation was only rectified in 2005 when the MDG+5 Summit agreed to include reproductive health as an additional target to be achieved. Problem of integration While the goal of universal reproductive health services, including family planning, is clearly a priority for the international community; the progress towards implementing this goal at the national level has run into several obstacles and difficulties. First of all, there is a problem of integrating separate services in the area of reproductive health. Family planning and treatment of STDs have been traditionally provided through other sections of the health system and HIV/AIDS-related services. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNFPA take the position now that family planning and HIV/AIDS services should be integrated as far as possible, and they are urging countries to move in this direction. However, there is a resistance to such integration from separately entrenched programme managers and civil servants, as well as from international donors. Cultural and religious traditions There are problems relating to cultural or religious traditions. What kind of sexual or reproductive health information should be provided to adolescents? And further on, what kind of access should adolescents have to contraceptive supplies and services? The international consensus, as outlined at Cairo on this subject, is in favor of giving adolescents should be treated as such at the national level. Whether abortion should be legal or not, it is ultimately a question to be resolved by laws and regulations under the national jurisdiction. This consensus has held at the international level despite acrimonious debates in several international meetings. Resource mobilization Costs become a paramount consideration when the governments, in partnership with the private sector and the civil society, seek to achieve the goal of providing universal reproductive health services by 2015. Over all, developing countries are allocating large amounts to provisions of health services, including family planning; but the total allocations in this sector hide the fact that a few countries in Asia account to the major part of these allocations and most of the countries remain woefully short of the resources required to make the ICPD goal a reality. Problem of inadequate funding The problem is further aggravated by the fact that the international assistance for the sector presents a very distorted picture compared to what was envisaged at Cairo. Since Cairo, the percentage of international assistance allocated to family planning has gone down from 55 to 9 percent. While the support for HIVAIDS services is now running at 10-12 USD billion a year, the support for family planning has not grown much and has remained stagnant. Similarly, the support for maternal health services remains quite low while the estimates for maternal deaths that can be attributed to pregnancy-related causes have not gone down in 20 years. The basic research, data and population policy analysis programmes also suffer from totally inadequate funding. Strengthening political commitment and support Our goal in the immediate future should be to refocus both the national and international attentions on strengthening political commitment and support for the achievement of the ICPD goal of universal reproductive health services by 2015, including family planning. The achievement of this goal must be seen as part of the comprehensive efforts to implement the MDGs. Source: IPS

Asia-Pacific is home to 3.7 billion people, which amounts to 60 percent of the world population. The share of AsiaPacific, in terms of the number of people living in social and economic poverty, is larger than the share of the world population. Little progress has been made and a large number of people have become newly impoverished, as social and economic supply systems are dismantled with integration in the global economy. Mr. Jyoti Singh’s article from IPS is a reminder to the need for family planning. greater access to information and services. But the interpretation of the consensus at the country level depends on how a national consensus on this question is developed. Civil society organizations should play a major role in building up such a consensus that takes due account of cultural sensitivities. Should abortion be legal Abortion is another subject that arouses serious debate and passion. Cairo agreed that abortion is not to be regarded as a method of family planning, but it is a serious health concern and

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International Women’s Day in Thailand

Investing for Women Empowerment for Economic Growth Highlighted
Development Goals. Mr. Shigeru Mochida, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNESCAP, and Ms. GwiYeop Son, UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand, opened the Women’s Day celebration. The event featured the keynote remarks on “Financing for Gender Equality” of Ms. Thelma Kay, Chief of the Emerging Social Issues Division of UNESCAP. A dialogue on “Investing in Gender Equality and Freedom from Violence” was chaired by Ms. Jean D’ Cunha, Regional Programme Director of UNIFEM-East and Southeast Asia. AFPPD was represented by Programme Associates: Ms. Passawee Tapasanan and Ms. Carla Benham.

Ms. Thelma Kay, Chief of the Emerging Social Issues Division of UNESCAP; Ms. Gwi-Yeop Son, UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand; Mr. Shigeru Mochida, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNESCAP; and Ms. Jean D’ Cunha, Regional Programme Director of UNIFEM-East and Southeast Asia.

Bangkok, March 7: “Investing in Women and Girls”, which highlights the importance of financial and other resources for the promotion of women empowerment, and the effects of investing in women on the economic

growth and development of the country, was the theme of the International Women’s Day. Increasing resources for women empowerment has benefits to families and societies, and it contributes to the achievement of the Millennium

European Forum Discussed Public Health Policies for Reproductive Health and Women Rights
Stockholm, April 28-30: The European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF) and the Swedish All-Party Parliamentary Group organized a conference to discuss public health policies and attitudes toward reproductive health and women rights in Europe. With 70 participants from parliaments and NGOs, the conference discussed the underlying issues that drive toward restrictions in reproductive health and women right policies. In addition, EPF launched the “Political Party Mapping” that helps to influence the sexual and reproductive health and rights’ positions of political parties.

Threat of Increasing Population to the Environment
Thai Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Bangkok, March 8: “The best way to protect the forests is birth control”, said Ms. Anongwan Thepsuthin, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment in Thailand. Increasing population in communities near forests has led to increasing deforestation. “I don’t think birth control violates human rights. We have to do this because increasing population is posing a serious threat to forests”, she underlined. There are more than one million families of forest dwellers living in protected forests. “A serious birth control scheme should be implemented among communities. Overpopulated villages lead to sanitation problems and untidiness, which could have a bad impact”, she added. Source: Bangkok Post

Left to right: Ms. Cecilia Wikstrom, MP (Sweden) and Chair of the Swedish All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; Ms. Anne van Lancker, MP (Belgium) and President of EPF; and Mr. Neil Datta, Secretary of EPF. Photo: EPF

AFPPD Office Bearers Chairman Vice-Chairpersons
Mr. Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiatau,MP SAMOA Dr. Guowei Sang, MP CHINA Mr. Lakshman Singh, MP INDIA Ms. Truong Thi Mai, MP VIETNAM Ms. Aisyah Hamid Baidlowi, MP INDONESIA PRIME MINISTER Yasuo Fukuda JAPAN Dr. Prat Boonyawongvirot, MP THAILAND

Editor: Shiv Khare Assistant Editor & Layout Design: Philip Nalangan
The AFPPD Newsletter is a sequential publication. Copies can be obtained by contacting:
AFPPD: Phyathai Plaza, Suite 9-C, Phyathai Rd. Ratchathewi, Bangkok, 10400, THAILAND Tel: (662) 219 2903 / 4 th Fax: (662) 219 2905 E-mail: afppd@afppd.org year On the Web: www.afppd.org

Secretary-General

Deputy Secretary-General
Sen. Beksultan Tutkushev KAZAKHSTAN

Ms. Darlene Custodio, MP PHILIPPINES

Treasurer

Executive Director
Mr. Shiv Khare THAILAND

Chairwoman, the Standing Committee on Women
Ms. Steve Chadwick, MP Minister for Women Affairs NEW ZEALAND

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