SANTIAGO, Chile – Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries have reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development.
It is regarded as the region’s most important intergovernmental agreement in this area and a comprehensive road map that constitutes one of the most advanced instruments in the world for promoting the population’s rights within a sustainable development framework, during a commemoration of the tenth anniversary of its adoption.
At the special session “10 years of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development” – held ahead of Wednesday’s opening of the fifth meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Population and Development, LAC countries agreed on the need to concentrate efforts to extend and further carve out the path already traveled, as well as to enhance the strengths that have made the Montevideo Consensus such a powerful instrument in the course of the last decade.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Executive Secretary, Joseì Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, said “a decade after its adoption, we can affirm with full conviction and evidence that the Montevideo Consensus has helped promote and consolidate public policies in the region’s countries geared towards reducing inequality with an intercultural, intersectional and intergenerational approach based on human rights and a gender perspective”.
However, he warned, much remains to be done, and greater efforts are needed to guarantee the exercise of sexual and reproductive rights, to achieve gender equality, as well as to fight poverty and inequality, and to include those population groups that historically have been the most neglected and excluded in development patterns.
“We continue to work on transforming development models into more productive, inclusive and sustainable ones,” he said, insisting on the need to get behind sectors that would not only invigorate growth, but also make it more inclusive and sustainable, allowing for the reduction of poverty, labor informality and inequality.
“Although there is still much progress to be made, it is necessary to recognize and appreciate what we have been able to forge so far along this path. The Montevideo Consensus has become a powerful instrument in the course of this decade
“Participation, diversity and dialogue are extremely valuable assets of this journey, which we must enhance in order to contribute to building more democratic, more inclusive and more just societies,” Salazar-Xirinachs said.
The Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Susana Sottoli, said that in a context of multiple crises that are endangering decades of progress, the Montevideo Consensus is the road map providing guidance for ensuring well-being and equality in the countries.
Sottoli said the Montevideo Consensu reaffirms that the rights of all people must be at the center of development, as the International Conference on Population and Development’s Programme of Action recognized in 1994.
“We must work together with urgency to take advantage of every opportunity to move towards a more inclusive, equitable and just world. That will only be possible when we ensure that women, girls, adolescents and young people can fully exercise their rights, including their sexual and reproductive rights,” she added.
During the event on Tuesday, a high-level panel discussion entitled “Challenges of stepping up implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development, 10 years after its adoption” was held, bringing together representatives of government, civil society and international organizations that play a key role in the process of institutional consolidation of the Montevideo Consensus.
Meanwhile, delegates attending the Wednesday’s meeting will present voluntary national reports on the implementation of the Montevideo Consensus, and the technical secretariat – held by ECLAC – will report on the progress made in the development of the virtual platform to contribute to regional follow-up of the Consensus.
The event will also feature two thematic panels on which government, civil society and academic presenters will analyze progress and challenges with respect to public policies on population and development, and on gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights.