Lao parliamentarians meet to promote ICPD25 action plan — Global issues
Participants at a workshop on leveraging demographic dividend through Laos’ roadmap to 2030. Credit: APDA
  • By IPS correspondent (vientiane)
  • interpress service

The workshop on Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Laos’ Roadmap to 2030 aims to provide parliamentarians with the knowledge and strategies needed to address the key population and development challenges facing Laos. I was there.

In her opening remarks at the workshop, Thumaly Vongpachan, Member of Parliament and Chair of the Committee on Social and Cultural Affairs, said collective action is key to addressing population and development challenges.

Philippine Congressman and Acting AFPD Chairman Edsel Lagman noted the ICPD’s emphasis on individual rights, gender equality, and the interconnectedness of development and women’s empowerment. With this in mind, he called on parliamentarians to incorporate demographics into development plans and enact rights-based policies that promote gender equality and social justice.

UNFPA Laos Representative Dr. Bakhtiyor Kadyrov reiterated the organization’s commitment to supporting parliamentarians and government efforts to address population and development challenges, building on inclusive policies and partnerships to leave no one behind. emphasized the importance of

DoP/MPI representative Karuna Nantavongduansi gave an overall overview of the ICPD and its POA, as well as Lao PDR’s national commitment to ICPD25, at the 2019 Nairobi Summit. He said that commitment is based on five pillars.

  • Manage and leverage demographic advantages and invest in young people.
  • Tackling climate change and its impact on the public sector and social protection.
  • Promoting health and well-being, including the right to sexual and reproductive health.
  • Enhancing the availability and use of demographic information.
  • Strengthen partnerships and mobilize resources.

Latdavan Songvilai, Director of the Macroeconomics Institute of the Lao Academy of Social and Economic Sciences, outlined the various challenges that hinder the realization of the demographic dividend in Laos. These challenges can include barriers to education and employment, inadequate health infrastructure, and sociocultural factors that impact women’s empowerment and reproductive health.

Her presentation provided valuable insight into the complex interactions between demographic change, socio-economic development, and policy development in Laos. By identifying opportunities and addressing challenges, her analysis is invaluable in helping legislators make informed decisions and identify targeted interventions that can maximize the benefits of demographic change. It was important.

Dr. Soupun Sayavon, Executive Director of the Lao Family Welfare Promotion Association, said that in order to effectively combat SGBV, a comprehensive approach that combines legal frameworks, law enforcement, survivor support services and community involvement is needed. emphasized its importance.

She also targeted efforts to raise awareness about harmful practices such as child marriage and other forms of gender-based violence, provide support to survivors, and change social norms that perpetuate harmful practices. It was pointed out that intervention was necessary.

Ms Sayavon also said there are socio-economic impacts of gender inequality and SGBV, highlighting the negative impact on individual well-being, community development and national progress.

Dr Maephon Maesai, Member of the Lao Ministry of Health Parliament and Vice-Rector of the University of Health Sciences, said it was important to identify and address the various problems faced by young people, such as drug addiction, dropping out of school and early marriage. , adolescent pregnancy, nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy.

He said additional problems such as drug abuse, smoking and alcohol consumption require targeted interventions, such as prevention programs and awareness campaigns. The problem of dropping out of school is often a socio-economic problem, so to ensure that young people are able to receive an education and pursue their aspirations, we need to provide scholarships, vocational training opportunities, community-based support systems, etc. It was important to find a strategy.

In his presentation, he highlighted the risks associated with early marriage and adolescent pregnancy, which pose serious health risks to both mothers and children.

Mr. Meiksay stressed the importance of comprehensive sex education, access to reproductive health services and legal reform to address these issues and protect the rights of girls.

He emphasized the importance of promoting maternal and child health, including the need for nutritional education, antenatal care services and support systems to address malnutrition and its negative effects on maternal and child health.

The solutions he proposed included a holistic approach that included education, health care, community support, and policy reforms to empower young people and ensure their health and well-being.

In his closing remarks, AFPPD Interim Director-General Dr. Usmonov Farouk reiterated AFPPD’s determination to support parliamentarians’ advocacy on population and development in the Asia-Pacific region and emphasized collective action and partnership.

Mr Vongpachan’s closing remarks summarized the priorities agreed at the 14 national commitments meeting at the first National Conference on Population, Development and Demographic Change to be held in 2023, including the demographic dividend. , described the opportunities, challenges and policy instruments to achieve women’s empowerment. These include preventing and responding to GBV and harmful practices, addressing the 2030 family planning program, and addressing the health and future of young people, particularly drug use, school dropouts, early marriage, and social issues facing young people. Adolescent pregnancy was of great importance.

Note: This workshop was supported by AFPD and APDA, UNFPA, and the Japan Trust Fund.

© Inter Press Service (2024) — All rights reservedSource: Interpress Service

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