To download: icpd-statement-and-commitments-of-fbas
We, representatives of Hindu, Muslim and Christian faiths attending the Religious Actors Pre-Summit on ICPD25.
We believe in the sacredness of life and affirm our responsibility to promote the wellbeing of humanity. We recognize that the dignity of every human being is fundamental in our respective religious beliefs and traditions. We, as religious leaders and faith actors, provide enormous opportunities for and contributions to accelerating the quest for a better world.
However, we are concerned that perspectives and alternatives provided by faith actors, especially from the majority world, are minimally included in global processes such as ICPD25. We are concerned on the use of terminologies and language that are unclear and prone to multiple interpretations, such as the terms ‘diversity,’ ‘inclusive’ and ‘comprehensive’. We are also alarmed at the intent to introduce underage girls and boys to contraception.
Nevertheless, we do recognize that ICPD25 has some items that are locally and contextually beneficial to our constituencies. In line with our Godly calling, we commit:
- To provide information and services on family planning/child spacing, to all persons, as is consistent with our faith values;
- To inform and educate our constituencies to eradicate all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, including child, early and forced marriage, as well as female genital mutilation;
- To inform and educate our constituencies to eradicate all forms of discrimination against any gender, especially women and girls;
- To hold our governments and political leaders accountable in allocation and utilization of resources for implementing relevant programmes on population and development.
- To ensure health services are affordable and available in fragile contexts, humanitarian settings and last mile communities.
- To participate in policy making forums and contribute to policy development, including budget processes, at sub-national, national, regional and global levels;
- To provide data from health facilities owned, or operated by faith groups, to national information systems in order to enhance planning for sustainable development;
- To harness the demographic dividend by complimenting and supplementing government and other actors investments in the health, education and employment opportunities of young people;
- We stand against all forms of human trafficking and forceful human migration and its causes; We shall always pray and advocate for peace and justice in our countries and the Globe at large.
Lastly we urge our African governments:
- To guard against prohibitive costs of access to services, and to expand the cover of national health insurance schemes;
- Not to impose additional or over taxation of citizens in the name of domestic resource mobilization and to curb corruption by strengthening public policies at all levels;
We therefore welcome our governments and the international community to partner with us toward the achievement of the ICPD Three Zeros by 2030 recognizing the protracted incidences of preventable maternal deaths, gender-based violence and inadequate quality reproductive healthcare.
In conclusion, we reiterate that life is a gift from God, and therefore sacred; it ought not to be taken away through preventable causes. We therefore call upon everyone to uphold this sacred gift that you are. Thank you and may God of Life continue to be our guide.
This Statement was unanimously adopted on the 11th day of November 2019 during the religious actors pre-summit on ICPD25.