Zambia-chaired United Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD) 49th Session concluded its deliberations and adopted two resolutions on strengthening the demographic evidence base and on the methods of work for the Commission.
Several Members States, UN agencies, civil society organisations, academia and other stakeholders praised Zambia’s skillful diplomatic engagements that led to the earliest conclusion ever seen in the last decade as the deliberations have been dogged by inconclusive late night talks without reaching consensus on outcome documents.
Despite being tasked with a double mandate this year, Zambia concluded its chairing of the Commission by 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, breaking the record of the Commission as one of the most efficient and efficacious, and igniting more confidence in the body which at its 48th Session did not yield an outcome.
Closing the five-day meeting on Friday, Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the UN and Chair of the CPD49, Her Excellency Dr Mwaba Kasese-Bota, thanked the Member States and the Zambian Mission staff for their hard work and guidance in supporting the work of the session to conclude the deliberations in record time.
Dr Kasese-Bota said the session’s theme had been particularly relevant, as it had helped Member States to define indicators for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Zambian envoy thanked the Commission as well as its Bureau members for their support in the work of the session.
Dr. Kasese-Bota commended Zambian delegation experts, Mrs Theresah Luswili Chanda (Counselor Economic) and Silvester Mwanza (Counselor Political and Administration), for their sterling work in the multilateral negations.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said two forward-looking and important resolutions adopted during the session were a reminder that multilateralism was alive and well in the Commission.
He acknowledged that Member States were committed to ensure that every birth and death was registered and that national data systems were a cornerstone of development in each and every country.
Mr. Osotimehin said the cooperation of Governments, academia, civil society, private sector and development partners would be critical, going forward.
“On behalf of all of us at UNFPA, I would like to thank Ambassador Mwaba Kasese-Bota, especially, for her able and wise stewardship. Her leadership was instrumental in bringing all of us to this possible outcome of the session,” said Dr Osotimehin.
Delivering closing remarks of UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo, the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Lenni Montiel said a strong demographic evidence base would be essential for implementing many of the commitments made at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo and in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
He said it was critical that choices about policy interventions be informed by solid evidence.
Mr. Montiel congratulated the Commission for achieving consensus on a resolution on its methods of work and on the special theme. “You have persevered through sometimes difficult negotiations, and made space for a legitimate diversity of views,” said Mr Montiel.
In a congratulatory message to the Zambian envoy, an African diplomat wrote: “Congratulations Ambassador. The Mighty Chipolopolo have not only redeemed Africa, but the entire ICPD and the Commission.”
Head of the UN Population Division, Professor John Wilmoth, in congratulating the Zambian delegation, wrote: “ Zambia rocks the house! Everyone is amazed – and very happy.”
Ministry of National Development Planning Permanent Secretary Dr Simon Miti led the Zambian delegation to the CPD49.
Dr Kasese-Bota handed over the one-year rotational chairmanship of the CPD to Qatar Permanent Representative to the UN, Her Excellency Ms. Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani who was elected to chair the 50th Session.