Executive Board UNDP-UNFPA-UNOPS.Annual Session 2013. UNFPA Segment.
Statement by the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). New York, 3-14 June 2013
I have the honor to speak on behalf Member States of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
We appreciate UNFPA Executive Director and his team for the valuable information and documentation that have been presented.
The International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994 marked a critical moment for the United Nations development agenda. The broad mandate and the principles agreed in the Programme of Action remain of critical importance for the international community, which is why the General Assembly determined that the Program should continue to be implemented beyond 2014, as reflected in the Resolution 65/234.
In that regard, CELAC countries strongly support the mandate of the ICPD beyond 2014, as well as the inclusion of population issues in the post-2015 development agenda
During these twenty years, the Latin American and Caribbean region has experimented significant progress regarding the objectives of the ICPD, thanks to national efforts and UNFPA´s contribution to national development strategies.
Tens of millions have been lifted out of poverty in recent years, there has been progress in gender equality and non-discrimination of women; public health programs have been influenced by a reproductive rights perspective and, instead of perceiving women's health just related to maternal and child health, a more comprehensive perspective has been introduced.
Moreover, access to modern contraceptive methods is much more prevalent and more women have been able to achieve desired fertility levels. Programs to combat violence against women have emerged in all countries, along with the mechanisms of women and violence laws have become more rooted in systems of police and justice.
There is, however, a lot of work to be done. MDG 5 –improvements on maternal health- is lagging behind. Gender pay inequity has not been resolved, while health and reproductive rights have not yet reached many women in vulnerable situations, such as those living in poverty and in rural areas, those facing discrimination and adolescents and youths. In this regard, it is important to highlight the necessity to continue working on specific programmes aimed to prevent early pregnancy, which continues to be a challenge in our region.
There are also considerable gaps in other issues addressed in the ICPD, such as international migrants and older people, these two issues are in line with UNFPA’s bull’s eye but are not referenced in the UNFPA’s draft of the Strategic Plan 2014-2017.
For a region composed mostly by middle-income countries, the role of UNFPA in the support of designing programmes aimed at overcoming its development challenges is critical. In this regard, with need the full support of the UN system, which can help our countries to change the perspective provided by public health services, making them more sensitive to gender and cultural diversity.
CELAC Members reiterate the importance of ensuring a continuing presence and activities of UNFPA in Latin America and the Caribbean, so it can support our countries in achieving these goals. CELAC countries will be actively engaged in the discussions of the new business model proposed by the UNFPA in its strategic plan. We will need transparent and accurate information of the direct implications and possible changes this business model might have on programme countries.
In this regard, allow me to conclude by expressing the full appreciation of CELAC Members with the Executive Director, who made it clear in a recent informal consultation that the Fund is fully committed with Latin America and the Caribbean and has no intention to reduce the human, technical and financial resources dedicated to our region. This should be adequately reflected in UNFPA’s new Strategic Plan.
We believe the United Nations Development System as a whole, and UNFPA in particular, will continue to have an important role to play in addressing our particular development needs and goals in the future.
I thank you.