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September 23rd, 2014

Twenty years ago, 179 governments gathered in the Egyptian capital Cairo for the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), to agree on a blueprint for tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems at the time, including poverty, population growth and gaping inequalities between men and women.

The conference ended with the adoption of the ICPD Programme of Action, a remarkable document that reflected an unprecedented consensus among nations that human rights – including and especially the rights of women and girls, and access to sexual and reproductive health and rights – were prerequisite to sustainable development.

As the international community marked the 20​th anniversary of the ICPD, IPS took this opportunity to celebrate the successes, reckon with the failures and reflect on some of the most pressing challenges that still remain.


IPS-UNFPA Terra Viva Special Marks ICPD's 20th Anniversary

IPS-UNFPA TerraViva Special Marks ICPD’s 20th Anniversary


With support from UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, IPS’ editorial team produced a 16-page special edition TerraViva to explore regional trends and local issues pertaining to population and development, with a special focus on the ‘untold’ issues, which IPS has long sought to uncover: women in conflict situations, young people’s access to contraception and family planning, migration and its impacts on local communities, among others.

The TerraViva, which celebrates a relationship that spans decades, was distributed at the twenty-first Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Programme of Action of the ICPD, on September 22, 2014.

With its mandate to deliver “a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled”, UNFPA’s work has always featured prominently in IPS’ coverage of sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world. IPS’ own mission of giving a voice to the voiceless has prompted us to seek out those stories that fail to make front page headlines, stories of young girls taking their future into their own hands, or of grassroots initiatives to provide healthcare when government services do not reach the people.

As the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) draws near, and the United Nations draws up a fresh plan of action for the post-2015 era, IPS will continue to cover successes and challenges along the way to an equitable, sustainable world.

More about: Global, United Nations

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