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ASIAN

PARLIAMENTARIANS’ NETWORK

for CHANGE A 30 - Year Review

Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development


Editor: Jyoti Shankar Singh AFPPD is a coordinating body of national parliamentary committees and groups on population and development in Asia and the Pacific working to generate support and perpetuate cooperation among Asian parliamentarians in the area of population and development and related fields. The Asian Forum is committed to informing, educating and motivating parliamentarians on the linkages between population and issues such as reproductive health and rights, family planning, food security, water resources, sustainable development, environment, ageing, urbanisation, migration, HIV/AIDS, and gender equality. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of AFPPD or any of its affiliated organisations. Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review Š 2011 Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development

All rights reserved ISBN 978-974-8230-38-2 Copies of this publication may be obtained from

Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) Payathai Plaza, Suite 9-C, Payathai road, Bangkok, 10400, THAILAND Tel: (662)219-2903, 219-2904 Fax: (662) 219-2905 E-Mail: afppd@afppd.org Website: http://www.afppd.org http://www.afppd-populationpolicies.org


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

5

Acknowledgements

6

Overview

8

Chapter 1

A Regional Network for Global Issues................................................................................................................ 11 1.1 The Vision: Why Parliamentarians?......................................................................................................... 12 1.1.1. UNFPA.................................................................................................................................................. 12 1.1.2. Asian Parliamentarians............................................................................................................. 14 1.2. The Network: How Was It Formed?........................................................................................................... 17 1.2.1. Early Parliamentarians’ Movements............................................................................... 18 1.2.2. The Birth of AFPPD..................................................................................................................... 19

Contents

Preface

Chapter 2

The Three Decades 2.1 The First Decade (1981-1991): Creating the Web.......................................................................... 23 2.1.1. Spreading the Norm.................................................................................................................. 23 2.1.2. The Pioneers................................................................................................................................... 25 2.1.3. Permanent Secretariat............................................................................................................. 26 2.2. The Second Decade (1991-2001): From Kazakhstan to Fiji................................................... 27 2.2.1. AFPPD and the ICPD................................................................................................................. 29 2.2.2.Reaching the Pacific................................................................................................................... 31 2.2.3.Connecting Central Asia.......................................................................................................... 32 2.3. The Third Decade (2001-2011): New Faces of Networking.................................................... 34 2.3.1. Person-to-Person Advocacy............................................................................................... 34 2.3.2. Women Parliamentarians and Ministers.................................................................... 36 2.3.3. Young Parliamentarians......................................................................................................... 38 2.3.4. Indigenous Parliamentarians.............................................................................................. 39 2.3.5. Male Parliamentarians on Prevention of Violence against Women....................................................................................................... 40 2.3.6. Policy Tracking and Monitoring........................................................................................ 41 2.3.7. Capacity Development............................................................................................................ 41 2.4. Connecting beyond the Network................................................................................................................ 43 2.4.1. Partnership with Other Regional Parliamentary Groups............................................................................................................................................... 43 2.4.2. Partnership with UN Agencies and Other International Organisations................................................................................................. 44 2.4.3. Partnership with NGOs and International Donors............................................................................................................................................... 46

Chapter 3

Reproductive Health and Rights 3.1. Family Planning and Reproductive Health and Rights................................................................ 47 3.2. HIV/AIDS..................................................................................................................................................................... 49 3.3. Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health...................................................................................................... 51

Contents


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

Chapter 4

Gender Equality 4.1. Elimination of Violence against Women................................................................................................. 56 4.2. Women’s Empowerment.................................................................................................................................. 59

Chapter 5

Poverty Alleviation and Sustainability 5.1. Food Security............................................................................................................................................................. 64 5.2. Poverty Alleviation................................................................................................................................................ 66 5.3. Climate Change....................................................................................................................................................... 69

Chapter 6

National Committees and Their Achievements Afghanistan.......................................................................................................................................................................... 72 Australia................................................................................................................................................................................. 73 Bangladesh........................................................................................................................................................................... 74 Cambodia.............................................................................................................................................................................. 74 China......................................................................................................................................................................................... 75 Fiji............................................................................................................................................................................................... 76 India........................................................................................................................................................................................... 76 Indonesia................................................................................................................................................................................ 77 Iran............................................................................................................................................................................................. 78 Japan........................................................................................................................................................................................ 79 Kazakhstan........................................................................................................................................................................... 80 Kyrgyzstan............................................................................................................................................................................ 81 Lao PDR.................................................................................................................................................................................. 82 Malaysia.................................................................................................................................................................................. 82 Maldives................................................................................................................................................................................. 83 Mongolia ................................................................................................................................................................................ 84 Nepal......................................................................................................................................................................................... 85 New Zealand........................................................................................................................................................................ 85 Pacific Islands..................................................................................................................................................................... 86 Pakistan.................................................................................................................................................................................. 87 The Philippines.................................................................................................................................................................. 88 South Korea.......................................................................................................................................................................... 89 Sri Lanka................................................................................................................................................................................ 90 Tajikistan................................................................................................................................................................................ 90 Thailand.................................................................................................................................................................................. 91 Vietnam................................................................................................................................................................................... 91

Chapter 7

The Tasks Ahead 7.1. Consolidating Network........................................................................................................................................ 93 7.2. Integrating Linkages............................................................................................................................................. 95 7.3. Enhancing Capabilities....................................................................................................................................... 96 Acronyms and Abbreviations................................................................................................................................... 97 Chronological List of Key Events........................................................................................................................... 100 Contact Information of AFPPD National Committees............................................................................ 109 Contents


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

Preface

O

ctober 2011 is the month when the world’s 7 billionth person is born in Asia. It is also the month that marks the thirtieth anniversary of the launch of the organisation that has devoted the past three decades to ensuring that her country’s legislation and policies will enable her mother to survive the childbirth, make it a national priority for the baby and her friends to live well beyond their fifth birthday, and assure that they can access services and resources necessary for their sexual and reproductive health and rights. The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD), the world’s first regional parliamentarians’ group on population and development, is that organisation. It has been doing that job even before the 5 billionth and 6 billionth persons were born. Over the past thirty years, the Asian Forum has created and consolidated a network of parliamentarians from more than 25 countries in Asia and the Pacific as well as Central Asia who are working for the cause of population and development. This report, entitled Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-year Review, is an enterprise to highlight the achievement that the Asian Forum has made through its activities and programmes. The networking approach of the AFPPD is underscored throughout the report. The report is published along with its companion volume, entitled Meeting the Population Challenge in Asia: The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) (1981-2011).

Yasuo Fukuda, MP (Japan)

AFPPD Chairman and former Prime Minister of Japan

Preface


Acknowledgements

Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

I

t would be a paradox if this book project on networking were a one-man or one-agency endeavour. The AFPPD would like to thank the following persons and organisations for their great contribution to this 30-year report.

The AFPPD is grateful to Mr. Jyoti Shankar Singh, former UNFPA Deputy Executive Director, for his kind guidance and inputs. With his kind permission, the narratives of the early history of the Asian Forum, particularly in the first three chapters, are mainly drawn from his The Population Challenge in Asia: Parliamentarians as Advocates and Policy Makers. With great care, Mr. Singh, who himself was the UNFPA focal point during the first decade of the AFPPD, also reviewed the manuscript of this book throughout all the phases. The blog entries on Akiomatsumura.com, written by Mr. Akio Matsumura, former AFPPD Executive Coordinator, also provided us with first-hand accounts of the early years of the parliamentarians’ movements in Asia. As the book draws on information from previous AFPPD publications across the past three decades, we are grateful for the services of our editorial associates, who have captured the development of the AFPPD over the years. We would also like to thank the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) for giving us suggestions and comments at various stages of the manuscript. The AFPPD also appreciates cooperation from our national committees. Their inputs for the national committee profiles in chapter 6 are invaluable and illustrate the impact of AFPPD’s programmes of work at the national level. The Asian Forum is now 30 years of age, and I have had the privilege to establish a secretariat in Bangkok in 1993 under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Prasop Ratanakorn and to serve 18 years of it. Since then, AFPPD has developed as a major and most active parliamentarians’ forum. To its credit, AFPPD has initiated several innovative approaches to reach and involve parliamentarians such as the Person-to-Person Advocacy Project (PPAP), sector-wide approach (engaging parliamentarians with medical, educational, legal, and indigenous backgrounds), the Population Policy Tracking and Monitoring Database as a unique platform for finding legislation

Acknowledgements


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

and policies, and several standing committees dedicated to specific issues in population and development that require greater advocacy emphasis, namely Standing Committees on Women, on Food Security, and on Male Parliamentarians’ Involvement in Elimination of Violence against Women. Parliamentarians’ participation in events organised by other agencies has also been useful. Now all parliamentary committees in Asia and the Pacific (except Singapore) are AFPPD members. Myanmar has also decided to join. The Asian Forum was a prime force in the establishments of other regional parliamentary groups on population and development. AFPPD communication campaigns are worth mentioning. AFPPD bi-monthly newsletters (in English and Russian), monthly E-news (in English and Russian), and policy roundup have strong outreach. Thousands of parliamentarians around the region have been part of AFPPD programmes; many of them have attained important positions, from deputy speakers to prime ministers and presidents. This is in itself an indicator of the accomplishments. We should continue to work with them to promote ICPD PoA and MDGs. In light of these achievements, my gratitude especially goes to UNFPA’s Information and External Relations Division (IERD), UNFPA’s Asia and the Pacific Regional Office (APRO), and their staff for their faith in AFPPD and strong political and financial support and to the Senate of Thailand for its cooperation in maintaining the secretariat in Bangkok. The same also goes to IPPF, Government of Japan, IFAD, AusAID, Hewlett Foundation, and UNAIDS. Personally, I would like to acknowledge the support given by Mr. Jyoti Shankar Singh, Mr. Hirofumi Ando, former Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA, Ms. Safiye Çağar, Director of IERD, UNFPA, Ms. Nobuko Horibe, Director, APRO, UNFPA, Ms. Ragaa Said, Parliamentary Affairs Specialist, IERD, UNFPA, Ms. Galanne Deressa, Programme Specialist, APRO, UNFPA, Mr. Neil Datta, Secretary, EPF, Mr. K. S. Seetharam, population expert formerly with UNESCAP, staff members of national committees and UNFPA country offices, and especially AFPPD staff. Without them, AFPPD would not be what it is today.

Shiv Khare

Executive Director AFPPD

Acknowledgements


Overview

Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

T

hirty years ago, a group of Asian parliamentarians and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) officials met, and the world has suddenly become a better place for every man and woman to be born, live and pass to their children. No more emerging diseases, gender discrimination, food shortage, etc. If that were the case, today, there would be no need to celebrate the first three decades of AFPPD, the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development. Although it is all about politicians, the story of AFPPD features no quick claims or promises for rapid remedies. Instead, it is a rare story of an endeavour to connect parliamentarians across the nations in Asia and the Pacific to form a regional network of champions for the cause of population and development – one step at a time. The first 30 years of AFPPD have been a period of massive changes on a global scale. At the time when AFPPD was established in 1981, it was just six years after the world population had reached 4 billion. Now, in its 30th year of existence, 7 billion people are sharing the Earth, and the number of population in Asia has just exceeded 4 billion. Against this backdrop, the field of population and development has grown far beyond the figures of population growth. The world and Asia alike have seen an amalgam of emerging complex issues related to population and development, from HIV/AIDS to climate change. Goals and promises have been made. And this regional network of parliamentarians has been an active part of the efforts to achieve these goals and make the world a better place. Even in the age when network has become a metaphor for any entity grouping people together, network is not just a metaphor for the AFPPD. The past three decades of the AFPPD have demonstrated the core meaning of the concept. As a coordinating body, the AFPPD has connected national parliamentary committees on population and development in 25 countries through its international, regional, and national programmes. On the auspicious occasion of the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Asian Forum, this report outlines the achievements of AFPPD over the past 30 years from the perspective of its networking experience. It traces how this pioneering network of parliamentarians was created and how the network has evolved and expanded in terms of both geographical and issue linkages over the decades. The report highlights the world’s challenges in population and development and how the Asian Forum has contributed to the global efforts to tackle them. This anniversary report also provides a list of the tasks facing AFPPD in the near future. The first two chapters delve into the 30-year history of AFPPD to delineate the rationale and trajectory of the Asian parliamentarians’ movement on population and development. Chapter 1 takes a look at the vision that defines the very purpose of AFPPD – networking with Asian parliamentarians on population and development-related issues. It demonstrates why the UNFPA and the Asian parliamentarians decided it was the time, in the 1970s and early 1980s, to espouse the approach that recognises the vital impact of legislators across the region on population and development. It also describes how this approach grew further into a stage when the connection between members became frequent and substantive enough to form a network. By using the term “network”, this anniversary report embraces a concept of network in the social

8

Overview


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

sciences. Here, network is defined as a loose organisational structure comprising voluntary members (nodes) which link to each other and to a secretariat (core) and are connected for a specific purpose. The AFPPD would perfectly fit such definition of network. The nodes, which are member national committees, are independent and have their own national agenda to pursue in the course of their respective national politics. However, they are connected to each other in order to form the network with a purpose to put forward the specific cause of population and development. They are also connected to the secretariat, performing the duty of a hub in terms of distribution of information and resources. The consolidation of AFPPD’s network spanned the time before and after its actual establishment into its early years, thanks to great efforts made by its founding figures and the widespread perception about the urgency of population and development issues. The chapter discusses how these early parliamentarians’ movements transformed into the AFPPD network, but it does not imply that these movements just evolved on their own. Rather, it recounts the compelling endeavour made by the pioneers of these movements from both the UNFPA’s and parliamentarians’ sides, throughout the years particularly during the preludes to the 1979 International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and the 1981 Asian Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development in Beijing, China. On the UNFPA’s side were Mr. Rafael M. Salas, UNFPA’s first Executive Director, Mr. Akio Matsumura, and Mr. Jyoti Shankar Singh. On the parliamentarians’ part, participants included Mr. Takeo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Takashi Sato, MP (Japan), Dr. Ranjit Atapattu, MP (Sri Lanka), Ms. He Liliang, MP (China), Mr. Sat Paul Mittal, MP (India), and Prof. Dr. Prasop Ratanakorn, MP (Thailand). As the AFPPD was born at the Beijing Conference, which took place from 27 to 30 October 1981 at the Great Hall of the People, the chapter looks at this this giant step –the birth of AFPPD – in connecting and mobilising Asian parliamentarians in the process of network consolidation. Along the narrative of network consolidation and expansion, Chapter 2 deals with the question of how the AFPPD has tackled the issues of population and development over the three decades of its existence, highlighting key achievements and innovations in terms of advocacy. The chapter is divided into three main parts, with each based on the respective decade. The first decade, from 1981 to 1991, saw the early development of institutional characteristics of AFPPD. This part also identifies the pioneers who strengthened such interactions and guided the work of AFPPD in the first decade. The first decade of AFPPD was also marked by the establishment of the permanent secretariat by then Secretary General Mr. Sat Paul Mittal at the Parliamentarians’ Centre in New Delhi, before it was relocated to Bangkok at the invitation of the next Secretary General, Prof. Dr. Prasop Ratanakorn, in the second decade. During its second decade, from 1991 to 2001, the Asian Forum firmly secured the status of one of the main players in the global field of advocacy for population and development. At the international level, the most outstanding achievement in this period would be the contribution of AFPPD to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt. The AFPPD was a co-organiser of the International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (ICPPD), which was held on the eve of the ICPD and attended by more than 300 parliamentarians from 107 countries. The AFPPD significantly expanded the reach of its regional network during the 1990s. This geographical expansion was centred on two sub-regions – Central Asia and the Pacific. As many challenges have emerged and the network has become more mature, the third decade of AFPPD, from 2001 to 2011, has ushered in several of innovative techniques in terms of networking as well as programme and advocacy work. These approaches include, among others, the work on capacity development, person-toOverview

9


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

person advocacy, women parliamentarians and ministers, young parliamentarians, indigenous parliamentarians, male parliamentarians on prevention of violence against women, policy tracking and monitoring, etc. Beyond the regional network, over the past 30 years, the AFPPD has also worked closely with its partners across various sectors and regions, and the programmes have been diversified to cope with the challenges of today’s globalisation that have considerable effects on population and development. The main prongs of partnership have taken place in the following three categories. First, partnership with other regional parliamentary groups has been a core activity of AFPPD. The Asian Forum has been instrumental in establishing its counterparts in other regions, namely the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF), the Forum of African and Arab Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FAAPPD), and Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (IAPG). Apart from the UNFPA, the AFPPD has fostered solid partnerships with various United Nations agencies and international organisations throughout several programmes, such as UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), UN Development Programme (UNDP), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Bank, etc. The Asian Forum has also had collaborative projects with several non-governmental organisations, such as International Planned Parenthood Association (IPPF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, etc. These partnerships have resulted in many innovative projects, including the person-to-person advocacy programmes. The next three chapters of the book outline three main areas of AFPPD’s work over the past 30 years. Family planning and reproductive health, gender equality, and poverty elimination and sustainability comprise the core themes of AFPPD’s work. Under each theme, there are issues that AFPPD has put at the top of its priority. Each chapter deals with a particular theme, demonstrating the breadth and depth of AFPPD’s activities. Reproductive health and rights constitute a core area of AFPPD’s work. In line with the theme, chapter 3 discusses the Asian Forum’s work on the issues of population growth, HIV/AIDS, and maternal, newborn, and child health. Chapter 4 deals with the issues of gender equality, particularly elimination of violence against women and women’s empowerment. The issues of poverty and sustainability are discussed in chapter 5. It outlines AFPPD activities in the areas of food security, poverty alleviation and climate change. Chapter 6 provides a profile of the organisation and achievements of each of the national committees of parliamentarians on population and development which are AFPPD members. The tasks facing the AFPPD in the future are identified and discussed in chapter 7.

10

Overview


Issues

Asian Parliamentarians’ NetworkforforPopulation Change: Aand 30-Year Review AFPPD and Networking of Parliamentarians Development

O

n the horizon, the sun is rising over the placid sea, painting a perfect reflection in the water. The dawn has come, it is now a new day, and clearly we are now looking to the East.

That is not only how the world’s most populous nation would remember hosting its first major international conference under the auspices of the United Nations through the memorability of a commemorative postage stamp and the publication of a special issue of China Daily (the only English language newspaper in China at that time) devoted to the 1981 Conference. But, it is exactly how the new enterprise of engaging parliamentarians in population and development has risen: The dawn breaks in the East before the Sun shines throughout every quarter of the globe.

Chapter

A Regional Network for Global

1

In 1981, there were three regional conferences of parliamentarians on population and development in Africa, Asia, and Europe, respectively, with the support of the UNFPA. These meetings were the follow-ups to the 1979 International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Among these three regional conferences, only the Asian Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, held in Beijing, China, from 27 to 30 October 1981, saw the birth of an entity that coordinates the regional network of parliamentarians dedicated to the cause of population and development. And that coordinating entity is the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD). The Asian Forum was a culmination of the efforts made by the Asian parliamentarians who were pioneers of population and development and the UNFPA throughout the 1970s and the early 1980. This chapter recites the stories of those efforts, which were guided by a vision shared among the pioneers, during the years that led up to the birth of the Asian Forum in 1981. These are the stories about what constituted the mutual conviction held by the Asian pioneers and the UNFPA executives and how the groundwork had been laid for the network of parliamentarians which was still in its inchoate stage at the time. Besides the tangible components of nodes and hub in a network, norms and interactions, albeit intangible, are a crucial part of its composition, particularly in its developmental stage. In the first place, it is the norms that unite the network’s voluntary members together and move them towards the same goal. Regardless of how diverse the backgrounds of members in the network are, the norms must be of a common denominator which is shared among them. The interactions among the members also play a pivotal role in connecting each member of the network. Through interactions, the linkages among the members are woven, and such linkages somehow determine the direction of the network. Each of the two parts of the chapter deals with the role of norms and interactions in Overview

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Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

the development of the AFPPD network, respectively. The first part establishes the rationale for the role of parliamentarians in population and development – a commitment jointly pursued by the Asian parliamentarians and the UNFPA. The second part investigates the early movements of parliamentarians on population and development, both at the global and regional levels, and demonstrates how they led to the launch of the AFPPD in 1981 and contributed to the early development of the Asian Forum.

1.1. The Vision: Why Parliamentarians?

Nowadays, the idea of engaging parliamentarians is now well entrenched in the field of population and development. International agencies and non-governmental organisations have embraced partnerships with parliamentarians in order to advance advocacy for the cause of their issues. But such partnerships had not existed before the early 1970s. Several population and development issues, especially family planning, were too sensitive to discuss in the parliament of various countries. Now, it has been nearly four decades since the UNFPA first reached out to a group of distinguished Japanese parliamentarians to collaborate with them in an effort to promote the cause of population and development. Beyond the traditional framework of cooperation in which government officials and bureaucrats were key partners, a new web of collaboration has emerged. Its members are not representing the government of a nation, but they do represent its people. A substantial number of them hail from individual constituencies; they know their people. They hear their people’s voices and speak for – or, at least, reflect– those voices in the deliberation of laws and budgets. They are also opinion leaders who articulate their ideas for the cause they believe in – right in the parliament and in the public sphere. They can start debates over the pressing issues of population and development and put them in the limelight of national importance in the mass media. Their terms in office might be limited and transient. But it is the parliamentarians who inhabit the political arena where new ideas are put to tests and changes are made.

1.1.1. UNFPA

The potential of parliamentarians as partners for population and development was well appreciated by the UNFPA, since its early years. The initiative to involve them was a brainchild of Mr. Rafael M. Salas, the first Executive Director of UNFPA. Mr. Salas, who had served as Executive Secretary of the Republic of the Philippines, had never been a parliamentarian, but he understood the necessity for having the parliamentarians, who deliberate legislation and approve budgets, involved in population and development. The United Nations Fund for Population Activities, as it was called then, was founded in 1969 and, until 1972, operated under the overall umbrella of the UNDP. During the Fund’s incipient years, Mr. Salas, with the Fund’s limited staff and budget, had many foreseeable constraints to overcome in his effort to bring the UNFPA and its lofty mission to the world’s attention. The situation was an awkward one. It was a time when the world was living in fear of the population time bomb, but it was also a time when nations and agencies shied away from the enterprise to work together on the solutions to such impending population issues. In its very first year, the UNFPA was still finding a country to sign its first multi-year country programme with, and the amount of voluntary contributions it received stood at less than US$4 million. At that time, the most formidable challenge facing Mr. Salas was how to raise the profile of UNFPA and raise more funds in terms of voluntary contributions from governments. To Mr. Salas, it was clear that the fledging UNFPA was in need of political support for the cause of population and development. With the help of his senior adviser, General William H. Draper, Jr., Mr. Salas tackled the challenge with finesse. General Draper was a former Under-Secretary of the Army of the United States who had extensive connections with the post-war generation of leaders in Japan and Western Europe, thanks to his previous role as a supervisor 12

Chapter One: A Regional Network for Global Issues


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

of the economic recovery of Japan and Germany. General Draper helped the UNFPA to reach out to parliamentarians in the U.S., Japan, and Europe. The outreach efforts culminated in a 1973 Asian study tour of Japanese parliamentarians, which was co-sponsored by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). The objective of the study tour was to provide the decision-makers with first-hand experience in the standards of living of the population in the developing world, underscoring the gravity of population and development issues in Asia and beyond. The destination countries were India, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, respectively. Apart from former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, who headed the mission, the Japanese delegation was composed of seven Members of Parliament, including Mr. Takashi Sato, who later became a driving force in parliamentarians’ movements on population and development and the first chairman of AFPPD. There were also three distinguished American citizens on the mission, namely former Senator Joseph Tydings, Mr. James McDonnell, Chairman of the UN Association of the United States, and General Draper himself. With such strategy and efforts in place, Mr. Salas was able to raise the volume of voluntary contributions to the UNFA from under US$4 million in 1969 to US$14 million in 1970, US$28 million in 1972, and US$50 million in 1974. By the end of 1972, the UNFPA had received voluntary contributions from 52 governments. Standing at the forefront of those donor countries were the United States, Japan, and major European nations. At the same time, the operation of the Fund started to take root in various recipient countries. The UNFPA signed its first batch of multi-year recipient country agreements with Pakistan, Mauritius, and Egypt in 1970 and 1971. In the following three years, another twelve countries signed the multi-year agreements with the UNFPA. The advocacy capacity of the UNFPA considerably expanded in 1972 when it was assigned the task of hosting the secretariat of the World Population Year, which was to be observed in 1974, when World Population Conference also took place in Bucharest, Romania. In the process of advocating the World Population Year, Mr. Salas emphasised that the secretariat should pay significant attention to the parliamentarians in information dissemination and awareness-building activities for the World Population Year. Mr. Jyoti Shankar Singh, who had served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the World Population Year secretariat, wrote in The Population Challenge in Asia: Parliamentarians as Advocates and Policymakers that Mr. Salas believed that the parliamentarians in developed countries could be effective in contributing to the UNFPA’s fund-raising efforts through working in the national budgetary process.1 Mr. Singh also noted that Mr. Salas had a conviction that the parliamentarians in developing countries would be an essential partner for appropriate policy formulation in their countries.2 Apart from networking with groups of distinguished parliamentarians in developed world, the UNFPA also fostered collaboration with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the international organisation of parliaments, and was represented at the IPU semi-annual meetings.3 Thanks to this early experience in engaging with the parliamentarians, the UNFPA, by the latter half of the 1970s, developed an idea about organising international parliamentarians’ conferences on the issues of population and development.4 In 1977, Mr. Akio Matsumura, the man who had served as a key person in the 1973 Asian study tour of Japanese parliamentarians, joined the UNFPA from the IPPF. Under the leadership of Mr. Salas, Mr. Matsumura and Mr. Singh worked together to create plans for the International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development in 1979 and organised a series of study visits for parliamentarians from European donor countries, namely Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Nordic countries.5

Chapter One: A Regional Network for Global Issues

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Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

1.1.2. Asian Parliamentarians “Mother and child consumed by malnutrition. Look into the emptiness in those big eyes. Children born on the street only to die there. Can we allow this misery on this earth?”6 These are the words of Mr. Takashi Sato, MP (Japan) and first Chairman of AFPPD, recounting the human faces of population and development issues he had seen in Kolkata, India, during the Asian study tour of Japanese parliamentarians in 1973. From the UN Headquarters to a bus loaded with parliamentarians roaming in the middle of nowhere, his words and conviction have been echoed throughout almost four decades after Mr. Sato and his fellow Japanese parliamentarians witnessed the plight of population in the developing countries firsthand. Although Japan had already taken its first step in international cooperation in the field of population and development since 1968, when former Prime Minister Kishi founded the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP) at the suggestion of General Draper, the 1973 study visit was a watershed for the formation of parliamentarians’ movement on population and development in Japan. After returning to Japan, Mr. Kishi, along with Mr. Takeo Fukuda, Mr. Sato, and other Japanese parliamentarians, constituted the Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) in the following year. The JPFP then became the world’s first national parliamentarians’ group on population and development with 143 members from across the aisle, except members of the Japan Communist Party. Mr. Kishi himself was the first Chairman of JPFP. The Federation, a founding member of AFPPD, would continue to be a major force for the parliamentarians’ movements at the regional and international levels throughout the following decades. The commitment stemming from the 1973 study tour has guided the JPFP well into the 21st century. Dutifully, the torch has been passed from Mr. Kishi to the parliamentarians of distinguished calibre, namely Mr. Takeo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shintaro Abe, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Taro Nakayama, also former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan and current Chairman of AFPPD. The JPFP founding members and their successors have held that it is a mission for parliamentarians to take care of population problems despite the fact that the issues are said to of limited values in terms of budget or votes. They have believed that this sense of mission is based on their idealistic values, because the conscience of those who represent people cannot tolerate a situation as described by Mr. Sato, and it was a mandate for people’s representatives to bridge the gap between government’s policy and the people’s need.7 Mr. Takeo Fukuda was of the opinion that a solution to the population problems would be a key to world peace. In his 2009 Rafael M. Salas Memorial Lecture at the UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan and AFPPD Chairman, recited the belief of his father Takeo that the world must prevent both nuclear and population bombs from exploding if humankind is to have a bright future.8 Since its inception, the Federation has operated upon the conviction that the issues of population and development are strongly linked with human rights and humanism, and that it is an imperative to improve the level of happiness of individual families through social and economic development. The successful formation of the JPFP also comprised a model that could be replicated in other countries. One of them was India. The Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IAPPD) was 14

Chapter One: A Regional Network for Global Issues


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

China Post’s two commemorative postage stamps, Enlightenment (top) and Harmonizing (bottom), mark the 1981 Asian Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development Chapter One: A Regional Network for Global Issues

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Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

established in 1979 by a group of Indian parliamentarians led by Mr. Ramlal Parikh, who served in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) at the time. The initiative was in line with the Colombo International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, which was also held in 1979. With an aim of containing the trajectory of population growth in order to achieve social and economic development, the IAPPD has seen parliamentarians, in league with a popular mass movement, as potential champions of a developmental policy framework that is amicable to the cause of population and development. After the end of Mr. Parikh’s term in the Parliament, Mr. Sat Paul Mittal, who later became a founding figure and first Secretary General of AFPPD, succeeded him in 1980 as the Chairman of IAPPD. China, the world’s most populous nation whose population during the 1970s approached the 1 billion threshold, has shared the notion of parliamentarians’ roles in population and development. Like several other member countries of AFPPD, however, the movement took place within the structure of the parliament, especially in the Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC). Several members of the NPC took part in the early international and regional movements of parliamentarians on population and development, particularly Mrs. He Liliang, who later became a founding figure and Vice-Chairman of AFPPD. The shared vision that has been translated into the parliamentarians’ movements on population and development in Asia was a centripetal factor that led to the convergence of norms among the emerging parliamentary groups and individual parliamentarians in countries across Asia. The vision was already there, and the next step would be to draw resources in order to make it possible for these groups and individuals from across the regions to interact more frequently in an institutional setting. That was exactly how the AFPPD network was formed.

1.2. The Network: How Was It Formed?

The postage stamp featuring the rising sun over the ocean, entitled “Enlightenment”, was just one of the two items that had been issued by China’s State Post Bureau to mark the 1981 Asian Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development in Beijing. The other one, entitled “Harmonizing”, illustrated a tree whose trunk is made of a convergence of streams of various different colours that join together above its unobserved root and make up its thickly branched leaves. The denomination of Harmonizing is a little more than one-tenth that of Enlightenment, but the idea that it suggests is no less true for the formation of the network of parliamentarians in Asia and the Pacific that was born at the 1981 Beijing conference. The 1970s witnessed the efforts made by the UNFPA and Japanese parliamentarians to create a momentum for the parliamentarians’ movements on population and development. At the international level, it was sustained by the voluntary contributions from various countries, particularly Japan, and the UNFPA’s representation at a series of international parliamentary conferences held by the IPU. The major breakthrough in this development was the International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, which was held by the UNFPA, in cooperation with the IPU, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 28 August to 1 September 1979. The conference, the first of its kind for the UN system, was the precursor of the 1981 Beijing conference. It should be noted that the AFPPD is a network that was born in the context of these early parliamentary movements with the support of the UNFPA and Asian parliamentarians. Drawing upon the initial connections formed by these early movements, the decision to launch the Asian Forum in 1981 took one step further and created the world’s first regional network of parliamentarians on population and development.

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1.2.1. Early Parliamentarians’ Movements

With the advent of the JPFP in 1974, the world of population and development started to appreciate the significance of having parliamentarians as a partner in the efforts to ameliorate population problems. Likewise, the parliamentarians in various countries realised that population was a problem of global concern which demanded concerted efforts among policy-makers at the national, regional, and international levels. There was still a gap in population policy-making that UN or government officials alone could not address, and it was the mission of people’s representatives to fill in the gap. The UNFPA and JPFP members encouraged the growth of these movements, resulting in the establishment of national groups of parliamentarians on population and development in 25 countries around the world by the end of the 1970s. Besides the JPFP, the early ones among them were those in the US, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Canada, the UK, and West Germany.9 As the role of parliamentarians in population and development started to take root in some countries, Mr. Salas decided that it was the time to move it to a new height: organising the first international parliamentarians’ conference in the UN system. Preparation for the conference, scheduled to take place in 1979, was arranged across the continents Tokyo in March 1978. Parliamentarians from Japan, India, and Sri Lanka represented Asia at the Tokyo meeting, where the committee approved an offer made by a Sri Lankan parliamentarian, Dr. Ranjit Atapattu, who later became Minister of Health, to host the conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The committee subsequently met in Tunis in October 1978 and in Mexico City in March 1979. More than 200 parliamentarians from 58 countries around the world attended the Colombo conference. Former Japanese Prime Minister Kishi was the Honorary Chairman of the conference, while Mr. Kenneth Baker, MP (United Kingdom), was the Secretary General. Mr. Edward Heath, former British Prime Minister, gave the keynote address. Among the 58 countries participating in the conference, there were 13 countries which later became members of the AFPPD, namely Australia, Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Thailand. In its 1979 Annual Report, the UNFPA indicated that the conference’s purpose was for the parliamentarians to “acquaint themselves with current demographic trends and define areas of action by which parliaments could supplement and enhance the population efforts of governments”. 10 At the conference, the parliamentarians discussed the issues of population and development and issued the Colombo Declaration, a set of recommendations for the concerned parties. The Colombo Declaration on Population and Development was initially drafted by a committee of parliamentarians from Bolivia, France, India, Malaysia, Sweden, the UK, the US, and Zambia. The Declaration urged the international community to double the volume of international population assistance from US$500 million to US$1 billion annually by 1984. It also called for the organisation of a UN world population conference in 1984 to review the progress made since the 1974 Bucharest conference and to propose further actions. This proposal contributed to the momentum that eventually led to the UN International Conference on Population, held in Mexico City, in 1984. It also called for empowering the role and functions of the UNFPA. This particular recommendation was echoed by the General Assembly in its resolution made at the end of 1979 to strengthen the UNFPA. One month after the conference, Mr. Baker and Mr. Salas had a meeting with Mr. Kurt Waldheim, who was the UN 18

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Secretary General at the time, to present him with a copy of the Colombo Declaration. One of the prominent recommendations in the Colombo Declaration was a proposition that paved the way for the regional conferences of parliamentarians on population and development. The Declaration stated that it would be “useful for parliamentarians to meet at the regional level to exchange information and experience gained in their countries”. The UNFPA and Asian parliamentarians promptly followed up on this initiative. A steering committee consisting of parliamentarians from China, India, Japan, Malaysia and Sri Lanka was set up to organise an Asian follow-up to the Colombo conference. Dr. Ranjit Atapattu, MP (Sri Lanka), was selected the convener of the steering committee meetings. Members of the steering committee were the distinguished parliamentarians who would later serve as the driving force behind the formation of the AFPPD in 1981, namely Mrs. He Liliang, MP (China), Mr. Sat Paul Mittal, MP (India), Mr. Takashi Sato, MP (Japan), Mrs. Rahmah Osman, MP (Malaysia), and Dr. Atapattu. The steering committee met in Tokyo in February 1981, in Beijing in June 1981, and in Beijing again during the conference. On the UNFPA side, Mr. Matsumura and Mr. Singh were the conference’s coordinator and secretary, respectively. An incident that ultimately attested to the high spirit of harmony that made the Beijing conference possible was the successful resolution of a state of deadlock over granting a visa for an Indian parliamentarian, Mr. T.L. Rajkumar, Speaker of the State Assembly of Arunachal Pradesh which is located on the Indian-Chinese disputed border. The deadlock seemed to be on the verge of derailing the whole conference at first, as the Chinese authorities had refused to issue the visa, and the Indian delegation announced that it would withdraw its participation in the conference if Mr. Rajkumar’s visa to China is not granted. Several efforts were made to break the impasse, as the absence of representatives from the world’s second most populous nation would also mean that a substantial number of people’s voices would also be left out from the conference. It was Mr. Takeo Fukuda and Mr. Sato who brought a successful end to the impasse. At the initiative of Mr. Fukuda, Mr. Sato took an evening flight to Beijing to discuss the issue with Mr. Huang Hua, Vice Premier and Foreign Minister of China, and his spouse, Mrs. He Liliang, who was also the parliamentarian representing China on the conference’s steering committee. The issue was then solved and Mr. Rajkumar was issued a visa to enter China although it was in a different form and he did not use the title of the Speaker of the Arunachal Pradesh State Assembly during the Beijing conference.11

1.2.2. The Birth of AFPPD

When 185 parliamentarians from 19 countries attended the Asian Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, from 27 to 30 October 1981, it was the time when the AFPPD network was about to be formed. The chairman of the conference was Mr. Liao Chengzhi, Vice-Chairman of the National People’s Congress of China. Among the key figures at the conference were Mr. Takeo Fukuda, former Prime Minister and MP (Japan), who headed the 22-member Japanese delegation, and Mr. Rafael M. Salas, UNFPA Executive Director. The parliamentarians who attended the conference represented Bangladesh, China, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Kampuchea, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand and Japan. There were also representatives from UN agencies and other international organisations. The conference was a major event in China. Apart from the two commemorative stamps, a special edition of China Daily, the country’s only English-language daily newspaper at the time, was issued for the conference. The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) and the Beijing Declaration were born out of the Beijing conference. The latter was a document that represented the conference’s collective views in Chapter One: A Regional Network for Global Issues

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addressing the issues of population and development and called for greater cooperation in the region. It contained detailed recommendations for the parties involved, namely the parliaments in Asia, the governments in Asia, all governments, the UN, NGOs, press and other media, and religious leaders. The declaration urged the parliaments in Asia to form national groups of parliamentarians on population and development with an aim to increase the parliamentarians’ awareness and enhance interactions among parliamentarians from different countries and regions. It also called on the government of all countries in Asia to revise the existing population and development programmes to be in line with the target of achieving one-per cent population growth in Asia by 2000. The conference recommended that the UN support the organisation of the conference of its kind at least once in every three years and support the activities of parliamentarians at the regional and sub-regional levels to coordinate the activities of the national groups. In the text of the declaration itself, there was no specific mention of the establishment of the coordinating body of those national groups, however. The initiative to establish the Asian Forum was a result of the ideas among the parliamentarians at the conference that there should be a regional entity which would organise the triennial regional parliamentarians’ conferences and to coordinate the work of national parliamentarians’ groups in the region to fulfil the vision which would be set forth by the declaration. During the course of the Beijing conference, the parliamentarians decided that a pro tem committee of Asian parliamentarians should be established in order to be responsible for the establishment of the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development. The conference assigned its steering committee to undertake the task in the capacity of the pro tem committee, with the support from the UNFPA. The steering committee met on 30 October 1981, the last day of the Beijing conference, to serve as the pro tem committee of the Asian Forum. In this meeting, four parliamentarians were elected to the steering committee of the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development. Mr. Takashi Sato, MP (Japan), was elected Chairman of the Asian Forum, while Mr. Sat Paul Mittal, MP (India) became Secretary General. The Vice-Chairmen were Mrs. He Liliang, MP (China), and Dr. Ranjit Atapattu, MP (Sri Lanka). Australia and Malaysia were added to the committee later on. After the Beijing conference, the status of the newly founded AFPPD was to undergo an official inauguration in the following year. On 10 February 1982, the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) was established as the supporting agency of AFPPD and as the AFPPD Chair’s office and the secretariat to the JPFP. The meeting of the steering committee of the AFPPD took place on 8 and 9 March 1982 in New Delhi, India. Member countries represented at this meeting were Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. Representatives from the UNFPA, the IPPF, and the Asian Youth Coalition on Population (AYCP) also participated in the meeting. The 38-year-old Rajiv Gandhi, MP (India), who would become India’s youngest ever Prime Minister two years later, also addressed the meeting. The steering committee officially inaugurated the AFPPD. The Constitution of AFPPD was approved at this meeting. Article V of the Constitution states that the objectives of the Forum shall be: “To contribute to the establishment of lasting world peace, to encourage and promote parliamentary activities aimed at facilitating population and development policies designed to improve the living standard and welfare of the people of Asia, as well as those parliamentary activities aimed at obtaining the support of the government and the people towards this cause.” 12 20

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The preamble of the first Constitution also states that: “The headquarters of the Asian forum shall be in Tokyo, with a regional office in New Delhi. The forum shall also maintain a liaison office in New York”. The vision of lasting world peace and better living standard and welfare of the Asian people seems common enough for several of the enterprises that envisage a better world for people to live in. Explicitly stated in Article V of the AFPPD Constitution, the crux of what is unique about the AFPPD is that its total dedication to policy advocacy – both for and by the parliamentarians – that would make it possible to attain this vision. After leaving the UNFPA in 1982, Mr. Akio Matsumura, the conference coordinator, would continue to serve as AFPPD Executive Coordinator in his new capacity as the Executive Director of the New York-based Global Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (GCPPD). This pattern of interactions among Tokyo, New Delhi, and New York would define the first decade of AFPPD. When its first General Conference was held in New Delhi in February 1984, the AFPPD network was starting to expand, creating a regional web of interactions among parliamentarians on population and development. This was further expanded, in both breadth and depth, with many accomplishments after the secretariat was moved to Bangkok and Mr. Shiv Khare took over as AFPPD Executive Director in the second decade.

The AFPPD has had a long history of active contributors to population and development policies in this region. It is my hope that AFPPD, through this 8th session of its General Assembly, will enhance its role as a forum for legislators, to monitor, review and assess the implementation of internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, particularly those related to population and development, at the national, regional and international levels. We count on the AFPPD, to help monitor policy trends, and to promote greater public awareness of population and development issues.

Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia, Opening Speech delivered at the eighth General Assembly of AFPPD, Jakarta, 12 November 2005

NOTES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Jyoti Shankar Singh, The Population Challenge in Asia: Parliamentarians as Advocates and Policy Makers (Washington D.C., Population 2005, 2006), p.11. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid., p.12. Ibid. Asian Population and Development Association, Population Issues: The Conditions of Human Survival and the Future of Our Society (Tokyo, APDA, 2002), p.91. “Japanese Parliamentarians Group Celebrate 30 Years of Dedicated Work,” Asian Forum Newsletter, November – December 2004, p.9. Yasuo Fukuda, Challenges for Sustainable Development in a New Era: Population, Climate Change and Global Security (Bangkok, AFPPD, 2009), p.3. National Survival, April 1982, p.7.

10 11

United Nations Fund for Population Activities, 1979 Report (New York, UNFPA, 1980), p.15.

Tsuguo Hirose, “A Twenty-Year History of APDA,” in Population Issues: The Conditions of Human Survival and the Future of Our Society, Asian Population and Development Association (Tokyo, APDA, 2002), p.99-100. 12

AFPPD Const., article V.

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Decades

Chapter

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2

The Three

W

ith its origin as an organisation whose initial task was to organise triennial regional conferences, the resolve of the parliamentarians in Asia and the Pacific, with the support of UNFPA, has made AFPPD grow into an outstanding regional network of parliamentarians on population and development. From the mission of consolidating the network in its first decade, the AFPPD network has moved onto its second and third decades with greater expansion both in the breadth and depth of its reach, addressing the global challenges of population and development issues. This chapter outlines the history of AFPPD through its work in the first three decades. Each decade-based account in the chapter highlights the accomplishment made during the particular period. During the first decade (1981-1991), the spread of norm that parliamentarians have a central place in population and development was the key to the consolidation of AFPPD network. Such spread was made possible by the early interactions among founding member countries and the countries that joined the network after the 1981 Beijing conference. The first ten years of AFPPD were marked by the dedication of several pioneers among Asian parliamentarians who were the pivotal force behind the activities of the Asian Forum. The establishment of the permanent secretariat in Bangkok, Thailand, at the end of the first decade, paved the way for more coordinated functions of the AFPPD. During the second decade (1991-2001), the international profile of AFPPD increased tremendously, as it co-organised the second international conference of parliamentarians on population and development on the sideline of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt, in 1994. In this period, the countries in Central Asia and the Pacific started to join AFPPD. The third decade (2001-2011) saw a variety of new advocacy initiatives pursued by the AFPPD in response to numerous emerging challenges facing the field of population and development. From person-to-person advocacy to young parliamentarians, these strategic advocacy techniques brought the AFPPD to a new level of multifaceted strategic advocacy. The AFPPD had various achievements during the latter half of this century. The Asian Forum, along with the UNFPA, organised the 2006 International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, in Bangkok. In 2010, the AFPPD received the United Nations Population Award in recognition of its contribution to the field of population and development. Throughout these three decades, the Asian Forum has been a model for other regions to follow in the formation of their regional groups of parliamentarians on population and development. The AFPPD has collaborated with the Inter-American, European, and African forums in various international and regional projects. Apart from working closely with the UNFPA and the IPPF, the AFPPD has been networking with several other partners in various sectors in order to broaden and diversify its outreach and resource mobilisation

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efforts. UN agencies, international agencies, and international NGOs working on population and development have assisted the AFPPD’s enterprise to expand the breadth of its programmes, resulting in various advocacy projects.

2.1. The First Decade (1981-1991): Creating the Web

Only six countries were members of the Asian Forum when its steering committee met for the first time in March 1982. Within the following two years, however, the network started to take root in the region. When the AFPPD held its first General Conference in New Delhi, in 1984, more than 131 parliamentarians from 16 official member countries attended the conference. As the interactions among the parliamentarians became more frequent and more substantive through a series of regional conferences and study visits, the norm of the AFPPD network was also gaining ground across the region. The spread of the norm of parliamentarians’ important role in population and development among members of parliament in the region generated this momentum of growth for the AFPPD network itself. During the first decade, the main mechanism that generated interactions among the parliamentarians was the face-to-face meetings: AFPPD held three triennial general conferences, and APDA organised seven parliamentarians’ meetings on population and development. A number of parliamentarians’ study visits to Japan, Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Ghana were conducted. These happened during the 1980s when information and communication technologies were still limited. These face-to-face meetings fostered a strong basis for further interactions among the parliamentarians and provided a primary model of activities that have been carried out in the AFPPD programmes of work throughout the decades. Until the end of this decade, the founding figures of AFPPD continued to serve as pioneers in the activities of AFPPD. Mr. Takashi Sato, MP (Japan) and Mr. Sat Paul Mittal, MP (India) represented the generation of AFPPD leadership in its formative years. The activities of AFPPD during this decade also enjoyed the privilege of constant support from Mr. Takeo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan, and Mr. Rafael M. Salas, UNFPA Executive Director (until his untimely death in March 1987). Another milestone in the development of the Asian Forum was the establishment of its permanent secretariat in Bangkok, Thailand, after the election of Dr. Prasop Ratanakorn, Senator (Thailand), as Secretary General at the Third General Conference in 1990. The permanent secretariat in Bangkok has served as a coordinating hub of AFPPD activities under the general guidance of the Chairman’s office in Tokyo.

2.1.1. Spreading the Norm

If it was the 1979 Colombo Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development that created the norm of the parliamentarians’ roles in population and development in Asia, a series of early conferences and study visits conducted by the AFPPD during its first decade were the main channel that propagated the norm at the regional level. The function of the first three general conferences, the triennial meeting which became known as General Assembly from 2002 onwards, was important in this regard. Almost 300 participants attended the First General Conference of AFPPD, which was held in New Delhi, India, from 17 to 20 February 1984. Among these participants were 131 parliamentarians from 16 countries which were official members of the AFPPD, 29 parliamentarians from countries with observer status, and 43 officials representing the partner institutions such as UNFPA, UN Development Programme (UNDP), World Health Organization (WHO), etc. The list of speakers highlighted the stature of the conference. Mr. Balram Jakhar, Speaker of Chapter Two: The Three Decades

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the House of Representatives of India, presided over the conference. Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, delivered a welcome speech. In the capacity of President of the Council of Global Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (GCPPD), Mr. Takeo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan and a founding figure of AFPPD, also gave a welcome speech. Mr. Helmut Schmidt, former Chancellor of West Germany, was the keynote speaker. Mr. Salas, UNFPA Executive Director, Mr. Huang Hua, former Vice Premier and Foreign Minister of China, Mr. James P. Grant, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director, and Mr. Bradford Morse, UNDP Administrator, also addressed the conference. Nine major themes were discussed by the Conference, namely population trends and prospects in Asia, enhancement of human resources in population and development, population and issues of development, migration and urbanisation in Asia, contraceptive research, delivery of programmes in Asia, community participation in family planning, and the future role of parliamentarians in the movement on population and development. The New Delhi Declaration, which demonstrated the political commitment of the parliamentarians participating in the Conference, outlined three specific goals for the Asian Parliamentarians to pursue. In line with the key recommendation of the 1981 Beijing conference, the first goal was a decrease in population growth in order to attain a one per cent population growth rate for Asia by the year 2000. The second goal was a decrease in mortality rates throughout Asia, particularly among infants, by 50 per cent by the year 2000. The third goal was a balanced distribution of population in Asia through policies aimed at accommodating planned urban growth and retaining population in the rural area. In the year when world population reached the 1 billion milestone, the Asian Forum revisited its birthplace, Beijing, the capital of the world’s most populous country, for its Second General Conference, from 23 to 25 September 1987. The conference was attended by 104 parliamentarians from 23 countries and 81 observers and officials from UN agencies and partner organisations, particularly the UNFPA. At this time, the number of AFPPD’s official member countries stood at 18. Bhutan, Cyprus, Indonesia, Kiribati, and Tonga, were represented by parliamentary observers. Representatives from the regional parliamentarians’ groups on population and development in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe which were formed after the 1979 Colombo conference also attended the conference. Mr. Zhao Ziyang, Premier of China, Mr. Takeo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan and President of GCPPD, Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of UNFPA who had succeeded Mr. Salas, and Ms. Avabai Wadia, President of IPPF, addressed the conference. It was the first time for the issues of population and food as well as aging to be included on the agenda of the General Conference. The Asian Forum Beijing Declaration reaffirmed the three goals stated in the New Delhi Declaration and further recommended three specific goals, namely mechanisms providing necessary supports for Asia’s aging population, improving the status of women, and observing the “Day of Three Billion in Asia” to raise the awareness of population and development among the general public in Asia in 1988. Echoing the Day of 5 Billion observed by the UN on 11 July 1987, the Day of Three Billion in Asia was a major effort to reach out to the societies of Asia in highlighting the urgency of the issues of population and development at the global and regional levels. The AFPPD, JPFP, and APDA collaborated on the project. Mr. Sato, Chairman of AFPPD, told the press conference held in Tokyo on 1 July 1988, that population in Asia would reach the 3 billion milestone 24

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at 0.47am (GMT) on 10 August 1988. The date of the 3 billion mark had been decided by the UN Population Division at the request of the UNFPA and Mr. Sato. During the press conference, Mr. Sato pointed out that the importance of this Day of Three Billion is far beyond the date itself. “However, what I would like to speak to you about on behalf of the Asian Forum here today is not when and where our population will reach 3 billion. I would rather like you to think again whether Asian people will be able to live happily when the population reaches 3 billion, whether the sufficient measures to enable people to do so are taken or what kind of further measures are required.”13 The organisation of the third General Conference of AFPPD, which took place in Bangkok from 15 to 18 October 1990, not only foreshadowed the establishment of AFPPD permanent secretariat in the capital of Thailand, but also added more recommendations to the ongoing take of the issues of status of women that had been earlier set forth by the Asian Women Parliamentarians Conference on Population and the Status of Women in March. More than 160 parliamentarians from 21 countries and officials from UN agencies and related agencies participated in the Bangkok General Conference. Mr. Takeo Fukuda and Dr. Sadik also addressed the Conference. It affirmed the goals made by the previous two general conferences and elected Dr. Prasop Ratanakorn, Senator (Thailand), as AFPPD Secretary General, succeeding Mr. Sat Paul Mittal, who assumed the post of Vice-Chairman. The Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) launched its series of Asian parliamentarians’ meetings on population and development (APDA meeting) in 1985. The first meeting, held in Tokyo, Japan, from 5 to 7 February 1985, drew 20 parliamentarians from 11 Asian countries and 50 non-parliamentarian participants. Since then the APDA has continued to provide parliamentarians in Asia and the Pacific with annual research-based discussions on a wide range of population and development challenges connected to various emerging socioeconomic and ecological issues. Following the first meeting, APDA has been conducting its annual meeting for 27 years, in close cooperation with AFPPD.

2.1.2. The Pioneers

The force behind the success of the formative decade of the Asian Forum was the first generation of AFPPD leadership which was composed of several AFPPD founding figures. Each member of this core group of distinguished Asian parliamentarians significantly contributed to the collective effort to consolidate the AFPPD network through the activities at the regional and national levels. It was unfortunate that, by the end of this decade, the Asian Forum lost three personalities who played a pivotal role in its formation. Mr. Rafael M. Salas, Executive Director of UNFPA, passed away on 4 March 1987, Mr. Takashi Sato, founding Chairman of AFPPD, on 17 April 1991, and Mr. Sat Paul Mittal, first Secretary General and Vice-Chairman, on 12 January 1992. All three of them passed away while they were in office. Since assuming the post of UNFPA’s first Executive Director in 1969, Mr. Salas, along with his advisor General Draper, was the architect of the UNFPA’s efforts to engage parliamentarians in population and development. Through his commitment, his vision for partnership with parliamentarians was engraved into the norm of UNFPA. This has become an exemplary model for advocacy by international agencies. He attended all AFPPD major conferences since the Asian Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development in Beijing in 1981. His

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association with the Asian parliamentarians went well beyond these meetings. He travelled from New York to present the UN Peace Award to Mr. Nobukuse Kishi and Mr. Takeo Fukuda, former prime ministers of Japan, who were the trailblazers of parliamentarians’ movements on population and development. In the 2009 Rafael M. Salas Lecture, Mr. Yasuo Fukuda extolled his vision and called him “a true friend of Japan”. Mr. Salas was also an accomplished haiku poet. Complimenting the places he had been to during his tenure at the helm of the UNFPA, he wrote a number of the traditional Japanese poems that were compiled into two published books. He passed away in Washington D.C. at the age of 58. Mr. Sato was the strength of the AFPPD and APDA during their formation and throughout their early years. With great effort, he successfully solved the issues that might have been a check to the progress of the parliamentarians’ movement in the region. He raised the fund that constituted a prerequisite for the establishment of the APDA. A man known for his networking finesse, Mr. Sato made his vision shared by Mr. Salas, Mr. Kishi, and Mr. Fukuda come true. The words of fellow parliamentarians working on population and development provided a succinct praise for his legacy in the field. Mr. Hironori Inoue, MP (Japan), spoke of Mr. Sato in the Diet of Japan, “Without the successful diplomatic negotiations of Mr. Sato, Asian parliamentarians would not have been able to address the challenging issue of population with one mind.” In a message of condolence, Mr. Mittal, who worked as Secretary General under Mr. Sato’s chairmanship, described him as “the chief spokesman of the population cause in Asia”. Mr. Mittal’s message attested to his pivotal role in the AFPPD network, “The credit for creating the widest possible understanding of the aims, objectives and achievements of the Asian Forum belongs to him in great measure.” Mr. Sato passed away in Tokyo at the age of 63. Mr. Mittal, who had given up his position as Secretary General and was elected Vice-Chairman at Bangkok in 1990, became Acting Chairman after Mr. Sato’s death in 1991. Apart from hosting AFPPD secretariat and the first General Conference, India was one of the most active member countries in population and development under Mr. Mittal’s leadership. He was the “spirit behind the mission” of the Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IAPPD), AFPPD’s founding member. It hosted the Asian Women Parliamentarians Conference on Population and the Status of Women in New Delhi from 12 to 14 March 1990. More than 100 women parliamentarians and participants from 25 countries in Asia attended the conference. Mr. Mittal was also an active pioneer for parliamentarians’ movements in other fields. He served as co-chairman of the Global Committee of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival, which was a brainchild of Mr. Akio Matsumura. Mr. Mittal died from a heart attack in Ludhiana, Punjab, India, at the age of 61. In his preface to AFPPD’s 10th anniversary publication, which was the last thing he wrote, Mr. Mittal praised the late Mr. Salas and the late Mr. Sato for their immense contribution to the AFPPD and the parliamentarians’ movements on population and development.14 After his death, Mr. Wang Wei, MP (China) and Vice-Chairman of AFPPD, served as Acting Chairman until the election of Mr. Shin Sakurai, MP (Japan), as Chairman at the fourth General Conference of the AFPPD in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in October 1993. Although the immense void created by the departure of the first generation of leaders was difficult to fill, the accomplishments made by the next generations of AFPPD leadership have proved that the following decades could be as great as the first one, thanks to the norm and foundation of AFPPD which were the legacy of these three gentlemen.

2.1.3. Permanent Secretariat

At the end of the first decade of AFPPD, Bangkok replaced New Delhi as the city hosting its secretariat, after Dr. 26

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Prasop Ratanakorn, a founding figure of AFPPD and Senator (Thailand), had been elected AFPPD Secretary General at the third General Conference in October 1990. Before the relocation which took place in 1991, the work of the AFPPD had been coordinated between Tokyo, New Delhi, and New York. At the time of assuming the position, Dr. Prasop had long been one of Thailand’s most famous psychiatrists and public health administrators. He began his tenure in the Thai Senate in 1981 and was elected Chairman of the Senate Public Health Committee. Dr. Prasop represented Thailand at the 1981 Beijing Conference and actively participated in AFPPD’s early activities. He was elected AFPPD Vice- Chairman at the second General Conference of the AFPPD in Beijing in 1987. By the early 1990s, Bangkok, Thailand, had already become the region’s hub for United Nations agencies and other international organisations. Since the ECAFE, the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East, which was the predecessor of the UNESCAP, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, was relocated to Bangkok in 1949, the capital of Thailand has been at the centre of the UN system’s regionalisation efforts. The city now hosts the Asia and Pacific Regional Office of the UNFPA, among several regional offices of the UN agencies. The AFPPD Secretariat was first situated in the building in which Dr. Prasop’s workplace was also located: The Neurological Foundation Building on the compound of Prasat Neurological Institute. It was registered with the Thai government as a non-governmental organisation, with tax exemption and work permit for non-Thai staff members. The secretariat was moved to its current location in Phyathai Plaza Building in 2001. Mr. Shiv Khare, former Secretary General of the Copenhagen-based World Assembly of Youth (WAY) who had also served as Executive Coordinator of the IAPPD in its initial stage, was chosen to be the first full-time Executive Director of the AFPPD in 1993. Mr. Khare was originally assisted by a handful of full-time support staff handling clerical and secretarial work. The newly-established permanent secretariat was soon to meet its first tests when it took up the task of organising the fourth AFPPD General Conference in Kuala Lumpur in October 1993 and the International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (ICPPD) on the sideline of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt, in September 1994.

2.2. The Second Decade (1991-2001): From Kazakhstan to Fiji

Upon the groundwork laid in the first decade, the Asian Forum considerably broadened and deepened its outreach to parliamentarians in the field of population and development in the second decade. The breadth of the AFPPD work from 1991 to 2001 was defined by the scope of its international programme and geographical outreach, while its depth manifested in the programmes that delved into the issues of population and development which had not been explored thoroughly during the first decade. The depth of issues in the AFPPD programmes will be discussed in detail in the subsequent chapters. The AFPPD proved to be a regional body that was capable of organising the world’s largest international conference on population and development at the time. The International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (ICPPD), held in Cairo, Egypt, on 3 and 4 September 1994 was the first international conference to be organised by the AFPPD. The geographical expansion of AFPPD membership and programmes was a major breakthrough in this decade. Chapter Two: The Three Decades

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Fiji became an AFPPD member in the mid-1990s, highlighting the importance of population and development issues in the region. With the birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) due to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, CIS countries in Central Asia formed parliamentary groups on population and development and joined the AFPPD at the turn of the millennium. During this decade, the AFPPD triennial General Conferences took place in Malaysia, Australia, and Japan, respectively. The fourth General Conference, held in Kuala Lumpur from 26 to 28 October 1993, bypassed its first three predecessors in terms of number of attendants. It was the first General Conference to be organised by the permanent secretariat. Inaugurated by Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, then Minister of Finance of Malaysia, the Conference was attended by 122 participants from 31 countries, UN agencies, and NGOs. The main topics of the plenary session were the Asian challenges in population and development and improving the status and health of Asian women. At the end of the Conference, the parliamentarians issued the Kuala Lumpur Declaration that highlighted the population input from the perspective of parliamentarians for the ICPD which was to be held in the following year. In line with the World Food Summit, which was to take place in November of the same year, the fifth General Conference, held in the Parliament House of Australia, Canberra, Australia, from 25 to 27 September 1996, embraced the theme of food security and its linkages to population and development. Mr. Garry Nehl, Acting Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia, Mr. Shin Sakurai, MP (Japan) and AFPPD Chairman, Dr. Prasop Ratanakorn, Senator (Thailand) and AFPPD Secretary General, Mr. Hirofumi Ando, UNFPA Deputy Executive Director, and Mr. Colin Hollis, MP (Australia) and AFPPD Treasurer, who was chairing the local organising committee, welcomed 96 parliamentarians from 29 countries and a number of officials and representative from UN agencies and NGOs to the conference. Various dimensions of food security were discussed by the parliamentarians and experts who spoke at the conference. They included population growth and food security, food production and accessibility, the role of civil society and gender equality in food security, etc. Five years after the ICPD and one week before the Day of 6 Billion, the sixth General Conference was held in Niigata, Japan, from 4 to 6 October 1999. It was attended by more than 100 parliamentarians from 28 countries as well as parliamentary staff and representatives from the UN agencies and NGOs. Mr. Soichiro Ito, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan, opened the conference. It was addressed by Mr. Sakurai, Dr. Prasop, Dr. Taro Nakayama, MP (Japan), JPFP Chairman and former Foreign Minister, Dr. Nafis Sadik, UNFPA Executive Director, and Ms. Ingar Brueggemann, IPPF Director General. Mr. Yoshio Yatsu, a member of the House of Representatives of Japan, became AFPPD Chairman in August 2000, succeeding Mr. Shin Sakurai, whose electoral campaign was not successful in the June 2000 general election. During the first year of his leadership, Mr. Yatsu served as Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries from December 2000 to April 2001. As Dr. Prasop’s term in the Thai Senate ended in March 2000 and he decided to retire from the Parliament, the AFPPD Executive Committee met on 19 March 2000 and elected Mr. Colin Hollis, MP (Australia) and AFPPD ViceChairman, to be AFPPD Secretary General. Mr. Hollis held the post until he retired from the Australian Parliament in 2001. Ms. Napsiah binti Omar, MP (Malaysia) and AFPPD Deputy Secretary General, served as Acting Secretary General.

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2.2.1. AFPPD and the ICPD

The fact that the ICPD Programme of Action, along with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), has been central to the programmes of work of the AFPPD and the regional parliamentary groups on population and development worldwide is well appreciated by the international community in the field of population and development. It should also be noted that the parliamentarians from around the world made a contribution to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), through a meeting that significantly transformed the landscape of population and development policy and programmes, by issuing the Cairo Declaration on Population and Development on the eve of the ICPD. More than 300 parliamentarians from 107 countries attended the International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (ICPPD), which was held in conjunction with the ICPD. The AFPPD collaborated with five other parliamentarians’ groups, namely the GCPPD, the Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (IAPG), the International Medical Parliamentarians Organization (IMPO), Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), and the IPPF, to organise the conference. The AFPPD served as the Secretariat of the conference. Mr. Shin Sakurai, AFPPD Chairman, was the Chair of the conference steering committee and Secretary General of the conference, while Mr. Shiv Khare, AFPPD Executive Director, was Executive Coordinator of the conference. The inaugural address of the conference was delivered by Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the UNFPA and Secretary General of ICPD. Dr. Mustafa Kamal Helmy, Speaker of the Shoura Council of Egypt, addressed conference as its Chairman. A message from Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, UN Secretary General, was delivered by Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima, Director General of the WHO. In her speech, Dr. Sadik stressed the importance of parliamentarians’ roles in the ICPD and implementing its Programme of Action. Asia was well represented at the ICPPD. Over 80 parliamentarians from 20 countries in Asia, namely Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and Vietnam, attended the ICPPD. The conference was divided into four thematic working groups and four regional working groups. On day one of the conference, the parliamentarians discussed the themes of gender equality and empowerment of women, health and mortality, resource mobilisation, and reproductive health and family planning. The four themes, along with the over-arching issue of population and sustainable development, constituted the main portion of the Cairo Declaration on Population and Development. The regional working groups on day two were based on geographical divisions, namely Africa and the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Apart from the fact that several parliamentarians attending the ICPPPD were also national delegates to the ICPD, the parliamentarians’ conference also contributed its ideational elements to the ICPD. The Cairo Declaration on Population and Development was presented to a plenary session of the ICPD by Mr. Sakurai on 8 September. The points made in the Declaration were reflected in the ICPD Programme of Action, issued at the end of the conference. In the Declaration, the parliamentarians pledged their unique role in implementing the ICPD Programme of Action. The Declaration also called for the parliamentarians to establish and strengthen parliamentary committees on population and development at sub-national, national, regional, and global levels.

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As the ICPD was a global conference that set the benchmark for the progress of its implementation in which parliamentarians are expected to play a central role, there have been several follow-ups to support its Programme of Action and the AFPPD has been an active participant in this regard at national, regional, and global levels. Before the advent of the International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD) series of conferences, the first international parliamentarians’ conference on the ICPD Programme of Action took place in The Hague, the Netherland, five years after the ICPD. With the mandate and support from the UNFPA, the AFPPD organised the International Forum for Parliamentarians (IFP) on ICPD Review, from 4 to 6 February 1999, in conjunction with the International Forum for the Operational Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Programme of Action of the ICPD, which was held from 8 to 12 February 1999. The Working Group on Population, Sustainable Development and Reproductive Health in the European Parliament, the Forum of African and Arab Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FAAPPD), the IAPG, and the GCPPD were cooperating organisations for this parliamentarians’ forum. It was attended by 184 parliamentarians from 104 countries. The IFP Hague Declaration highlighted the progress in implementing the ICPD Programme of Action in terms of policy, programmes, partnerships, and resource allocation, and pointed out the challenges. It also placed a great emphasis on the roles of the parliamentarians’ networks. Mr. Sakurai, as Chairman of the IFP Steering Committee and Secretary General of the IFP, presented the Declaration to the International Forum for the Operational Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Programme of Action of the ICPD and the Preparatory Committee for UN Special Session of the General Assembly for Population. During the third decade of the AFPPD, as the global community reinforced its support for the ICPD Programme of Action, the Asian Forum continued to be a prime force in working with parliamentarians in the region and from around the world on the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. The principal venue where the progress of the implementation has been discussed is the IPCI/ICPD, organised by the UNFPA. The Asian Forum has been instrumental in organising the IPCI/ICPD in Ottawa, Canada, in 2002; in Strasbourg, France, in 2004; and in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2009. The AFPPD and the UNFPA organised the 2006 IPCI/ICPD in Bangkok, Thailand, in cooperation with the UNESCAP, the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand, the PGA, and the other three regional parliamentarians’ groups. Besides contributing to the ICPD and the implementation of its Programme of Action, the AFPPD constantly provided input on population and development from the perspective of parliamentarians to the major international conferences on the pressing global issues in the 1990s. In 1995, the Asian Forum organised two international meetings of parliamentarians prior to the UN World Summit for Social Development, which was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 5 to 12 March and the Fourth World Conference on Women, which was held in Beijing, China, from 4 to 15 September, respectively. The International Meeting of Parliamentarians on Population and Social Development took place in Copenhagen on 4 and 5 March. It drew 73 parliamentarians from 53 countries who pledged their support for the commitment to be made at the World Summit, as well as the ICPD Programme of Action. The AFPPD also organised the International Meeting of Parliamentarians on Gender, Population and Development in Tokyo, Japan, on 31 August and 1 September. The meeting, attended by 91 parliamentarians from 57 countries, covered the topics listed on the agenda of the Fourth World Conference on Women, which was to take place in the following week. The Tokyo meeting’s declaration reaffirmed the recommendations related to the issues of gender as made in Cairo and proposed that they be incorporated in the deliberation of the Beijing conference.

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Food security was one of the issues that have been high on the AFPPD agenda since its early years. The AFPPD, in cooperation with other regional and international parliamentarians groups on population and development as well as the UNFPA and the IPPF, organised the International Meeting of Parliamentarians on Food Security, Population and Development in Geneva, Switzerland, on 10 and 11 November 1996. It was held in conjunction with the World Food Summit, which was convened in Rome, Italy, later in the same week. Similar to those of the two international meetings in 1995, the purpose of the Geneva meeting was to provide a venue for parliamentarians who were en route to Rome to share information and discuss the issues of food security before participating in the Rome Summit. The capability of a regional parliamentarians’ group to network with various partners, mobilise resources and organise these international conferences, at times not in its own region, attested to the institutional capacity of the AFPPD network in relations to the global movements on population and development and the competency of the AFPPD itself. This capability would continue to be strengthened in the decade that followed.

2.2.2. Reaching the Pacific

“The whole world is changing; even in a small island state like Fiji, we are part of the global village”, wrote the late Dr. Apenisa Kurisaqila, former Speaker of the House of Representatives of Fiji and AFPPD Vice-Chairman, to Mr. Shin Sakurai, MP (Japan) and AFPPD Chairman, in a 2000 handwritten letter confirming the place of Fiji and other island states in the international community in spite of the twists and turns of domestic political situations.

From 1981 to 2010, AFPPD engaged more than 4,000 parliamentarians

from 65 countries in Asia and the Pacific in AFPPD meetings, conferences, and workshops.

Not until 1995 did Fiji become the first Pacific island country to form a national committee of parliamentarians on population and development and join the Asian Forum. However, the island state has had long-standing association with the AFPPD since the 1981 Beijing conference where it was born. Dr. Kurisaqila was the key person from Fiji who had participated in the AFPPD conferences and activities since the First AFPPD General Conference in New Delhi in 1984, long before he was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives of Fiji in 1992. In a letter dated 9 May 1995, Dr. Prasop Ratanakorn, AFPPD Secretary General, formally requested that Dr. Kurisaqila constitute an all-party national committee of parliamentarians on population and development in Fiji under his patronage and establish a formal affiliation with the AFPPD. The result of this mutual enterprise was the National Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development in Fiji, which was chaired by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Under the leadership of Dr. Kurisaqila, the National Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development was formed that year. The first AFPPD conference to take place in the Pacific islands was the Pacific Regional Meeting of the Parliamentarians on Food Security, Population and Development, held on 13 and 14 August 1996 in Coral Coast, Fiji. With financial and technical supports from the UNFPA, the Parliament of Fiji hosted the conference. Thirty-five parliamentarians from 15 countries in the region attended the conference. The countries in the region represented by the parliamentarians at the meeting were Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Western Samoa. It was chaired by Dr. Kurisaqila and inaugurated by then Prime Minister of Fiji, Mr. Sitiveni Rabuka. The AFPPD Chapter Two: The Three Decades

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was represented by Mr. Colin Hollis, MP (Australia) and AFPPD Treasurer, and Mr. Shiv Khare, Executive Director. In the meeting, the parliamentarians discussed the linkages between food security and population and development in the areas of population dynamics; food requirements and population growth; environment and food production; women’s empowerment; the roles of civil society and community; and the upcoming World Food Summit as a framework for national policies on food security. At the end of the meeting, the parliamentarians adopted the Pacific Parliamentarians Statement on Food Security, Population and Development. It contains a clause that states that the parliamentarians will “take measures to establish a Pacific Parliamentary Assembly for Population and Development”. The effort came to fruition at the Pacific Parliamentarians Consultative Meeting on Population and Development, which was held in Nadi, Fiji, on 27 and 28 October 1997, as a follow-up to the 1996 meeting. Twenty-six parliamentarians from 11 countries in the Pacific, namely Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, attended the meeting. They adopted a formal resolution to establish the Assembly and elected Dr. Kurusaqila pro tem Chairman of the Pacific Parliamentary Assembly for Population and Development (PPAPD). The PPAPD, whose secretariat with full-time staff support was based in Suva, Fiji, was a Pacific branch of the AFPPD. In November 2009, the PPAPD was merged with the Forum of Presiding Officers and Clerks (FPOC) into the Pacific Legislatures for Population and Governance (PLPG). Dr. Kurisaqila’s tenure as Speaker of the House of Representatives of Fiji and Vice-Chairman of AFPPD ended in May 2000, following the coup in Fiji. In both the House and the AFPPD, Dr. Kurisaqila was succeeded by Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, another well-known champion of population and development. Dr. Kurisqila passed away on 22 January 2001. Ratu Epeli served on the AFPPD Executive Committee from 2001 to 2006 and, as of August 2011, is President of Fiji, assuming the office in 2009. In this decade, all-party parliamentarians’ groups were also constituted in Australia and New Zealand. Australian parliamentarians formed the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (PGPD) in 1995. The New Zealand Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development (NZPPD) was established in 1998. With full-time staff support, they participated in a wide range of AFPPD activities.

2.2.3. Connecting Central Asia

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to the birth of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and put the sub-region of Central Asia on the international spotlight again. High levels of fertility rate and young population continued to define Central Asia’s demographic pattern, while the issues of gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, and migration have emerged as grave challenges facing the sub-region. Despite the fact that the development of national political institutions has been in flux in some countries, Central Asian parliamentarians have consistently demonstrated their sheer commitment to the cause of population and development. At present, the AFPPD programmes in population and development in Central Asia encompass five Central Asian countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Only Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan have national parliamentary committees on population and development which are official members of the AFPPD. With the independence of the CIS countries, the AFPPD adjusted the scope of its framework of Asia and the Pacific to encompass the five CIS countries in Central Asia in order to be in accordance with the membership framework of the UNESCAP. Central Asian countries have participated in the AFPPD’s activities since 1993. In that year, 32

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Uzbekistan was represented by a parliamentary observer at the fourth General Conference of AFPPD in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Parliamentarians from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan participated in the fifth General Conference, held in Canberra, Australia, three years later. Kyrgyzstan was the first country in Central Asia to join the AFPPD. The Association of Kyrgyz Parliamentarians on Population and Development was formed in the Legislative Assembly of the Jogorku Kenesh in December 1997. It was originally composed of eight members of the parliament and headed by Mr. Jamgurbek Bokoshev, a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Kyrgyzstan. The AFPPD Executive Committee approved its membership, along with that of Mongolia, at the Executive Committee meeting on 5 April 1998 held at the Parliament House of India, in New Delhi. From 1999 to early 2000, Mr. Bokoshev represented Central Asia in the capacity of a member of the AFPPD Executive Committee. He was succeeded by Mr. Alymbay Sultanov, a deputy of the Legislative Assembly, who served on the AFPPD Executive Committee from 2000 to 2002. The AFPPD has been working with Kazakhstan since the days of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the predecessor of the Parliament of Kazakhstan. Mr. Valentin I. Makalkin, Chairman of the Supreme Council’s Committee on Social Protection of Population, and Mr. Suerbae H. Rahmetulla, a Council member, joined their fellow parliamentarians from around the world at the ICPPD in Cairo in 1994. With intensified efforts to create stronger ties with Central Asia, Kazakhstan’s affiliation with the AFPPD was formally established when a national parliamentary group in the Parliament became an official AFPPD member in 2001. Dr. Beksultan S. Tutkushev, a distinguished Senator who led the Parliamentarians’ Group on Family and Population in Kazakhstan, spearheaded the effort to seek AFPPD membership for the 33-member all-party group. Its membership was officially approved by the AFPPD Executive Committee at its meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, on 3 May 2001. The National Committee on Family in Tajikistan has been a member of the AFPPD since 2001. In 1999, Mr. Bozorov Davlatali, a deputy of the National Parliament of Tajikistan, attended the sixth General Conference of AFPPD in Niigata, Japan, from 4 to 6 October 1999. The first major programme initiative by the AFPPD in Central Asia was the Sub-Regional Parliamentarians Meetings of CIS States and Far East Countries, held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, from 1 to 3 August 1999. Given its location in the middle between Central and East Asia, Ulaanbaatar was chosen as the venue for the meeting that sought to engender dialogues and exchange of ideas between the two sub-regions. Parliamentarians from Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and Mongolia attended the meeting. Mr. S. Lambaa, Chairman of the Standing Committee of Social Policy of the State Great Hural (Mongolia’s unicameral parliament), Mr. Hirofumi Ando, Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA, and Mr. Shin Sakurai, AFPPD Chairman, addressed the conference. Biskek,the capital of Kyrgyzstan was the venue for the first AFPPD meeting in Central Asia. Parliamentarians from seven CIS countries, namely Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine, met in Bishkek on 22 and 23 September 2001, to discuss the issues of population and development and poverty alleviation at the CIS Regional Conference on Population and Development – Poverty and Ways of Its Alleviation. The workshop was addressed by Mr. Abdygany Erkebaev, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Altay Borubaev, Speaker of People’s Representatives’ Assembly, Mr. Osmonakun Ibraimov, State Secretary of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Nikolay Tanaev, Kyrgyzstan’s First Vice Prime Minister, and Mr. Yoshio Yatsu, MP (Japan) and AFPPD Chairman. The parliamentarians pledged their commitment to poverty alleviation and its linkages to population and development.

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The advocacy programmes of the AFPPD in Central Asia have also been enhanced by the publication of a newsletter in Russian since 2002 and the launch of the Russian version of AFPPD e-news service and website since 2008.

2.3. The Third Decade (2001-2011): New Faces of Networking

The third decade has taken the Asian Forum to a new horizon in advocating population and development issues among parliamentarians. In order to cope with the complex issues emerging in the field of population and development, new advocacy tools and techniques have been employed. From person-to-person advocacy to policy tracking and monitoring, the AFPPD diversified the focus of its programmes to target specific groups in the parliament and to deepen its reach to individual parliamentarians. In recognition of its contribution to the field of population and development advocacy over the past three decades, the AFPPD was selected the recipient of the 2010 United Nations Population Award in the institutional category. Prime Minister of Japan from September 2007 to September 2008. In 2006, the AFPPD and the UNFPA, with the support of the UNESCAP and the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand, organised the third International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD), on 21 and 22 November. More than 300 parliamentarians and participants from over 100 countries attended. The 2006 IPCI/ICPD was inaugurated by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, Chairman of AFPPD, Ms. Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director, UNFPA, and Mr. Meechai Ruchuphan, President, National Assembly of Thailand, also addressed the conference. The ninth AFPPD General Assembly met in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 13 and 14 December 2008. It highlighted the linkages between population and the issues of climate change and food security under the theme of “addressing climate change and food security: linking population as a factor”. It was opened by Ms. Tong Thi Phong, Vice Speaker of the National Assembly of Vietnam. Mr. Fukuda, Mr. Garimella Giridhar, Special Adviser for the UNFPA Asian Pacific Regional Office and UNFPA Representative in Thailand, Dr. Raj Karim, Regional Director of the IPPF East & South East Asia and Oceania Region, and Mr. Ian Howie, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam. Over 80 parliamentarians from 23 countries, along with representatives from the UN agencies and NGOs, attended the Assembly. After Dr. Malinee’s term in the Thai Senate ended in 2006, she was succeeded by Dr. Prat Boonyawongvirot, Member of the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health. Dr. Prat served as AFPPD Secretary General until the term of the National Legislative Assembly expired in February 2008, when he was succeeded by Dr. Pinit Kullavanijaya, Senator (Thailand).

2.3.1. Person-to-Person Advocacy

A new frontier in AFPPD advocacy was reached in November 2001, when the AFPPD started the Strengthening Population and Development Advocacy with Parliamentarians and other Elected Representatives in Asia Project, also known as Person-to-Person Advocacy Project (PPAP), with the generous financial support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The main objectives were to engage the maximum number of parliamentarians and, at the same time, to have meaningful discussions on population and reproductive health with the parliamentarians. It was also the first time of the AFPPD and the participating countries to have a national programme that sheds light on the state of awareness on population and sexual and reproductive health among the parliamentarians. This innovative advocacy project targeted individual parliamentarians to assess their level of knowl34

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edge, attitude, and commitment in the field of population. A trained local discussant met the parliamentarian on a person-to-person basis. Each discussion lasted between 30 and 90 minutes and was recorded on tape. The session contained two components, namely a research component for assessment and an action component for advocacy. With the cooperation from the national committees, six AFPPD member countries participated in the PPAP, namely Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, and the Philippines. With new elections in project countries, the five-year, multi-phase project also targeted newly elected parliamentarians. In Cambodia, the PPAP was launched in March 2002 by the Cambodian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (CAPPD), with technical support from the UNFPA. In its first phase, a basic questionnaire and, later, a comprehensive general survey questionnaire were distributed to all 183 members of the National Assembly and the Senate. Subsequently, four interviewers conducted the discussions with 91 members of the National Assembly and 40 members of the Senate. The second phase was carried out at the provincial level, involving 736 commune council members. After the July 2003 election, the third phase, targeting 41 of the 52 newly elected members of the National Assembly, was conducted in the latter half of 2004. The survey demonstrated that level of awareness of the national parliamentarians and the council members interviewed in the first and second phases was very high, particularly in the issues of safe motherhood and HIV/AIDS. Most of them agreed that the most critical challenge for population and development in Cambodia was the prevention of HIV/AIDS. It also indicated that the parliamentarians were committed to taking action to improve the conditions of population and reproductive health in Cambodia. In 2005, the PPAP was extended to India, with additional financial support from the UNFPA. The project was conducted by the Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IAPPD). Ten trained discussants interviewed 87 members of the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) and 163 members of the Lower House (Lok Sabha) – half of the total number of members of the Parliament of India. Eighty-five per cent of the parliamentarians in the survey acknowledged that population growth was a barrier to economic growth and poverty alleviation, and 97 per cent of the parliamentarians said that they were aware of all modern methods of family planning. Almost all the parliamentarians in the survey had heard about HIV/AIDS, but the findings demonstrated that their knowledge about its routes of transmission needed to be improved. Many of the parliamentarians still mentioned several myths and conception about the transmission; more than half of the parliamentarians indicated that the HIV transmission was possible through sharing clothes (64 per cent) and food and utensils (56 per cent). Thanks to the enterprise of the Indonesian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IFPPD), more than 80 per cent of the total number of central parliamentarians in Indonesia participated in the first phase of the PPAP from 2002 to 2004, while the second phase, from 2004 to 2005, involved three-quarters of the central parliamentarians. The findings from the first phase indicated that Indonesian parliamentarians were very well informed and supportive of implementing population and reproductive health measures, but their commitment to addressing and conducting such concerns in practice was still limited. The gap between awareness and actual commitment was alarming. Sixty-seven per cent of the parliamentarians in the project agreed that existing legislation on population and health was inadequate, while more than 84 per cent acknowledged that the amount of government budget allocated to healthy is not sufficient. However, less than 40 per cent of them said that they were committed to supporting the implementation of a new law on reproductive health and the inclusion of safe abortion in a new reproductive health edict, and only a quarter of them supported including a measure for people living with HIV/AIDS in such reproductive health law.

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Seventy-eight members of the 108-member National Assembly of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic were interviewed for the PPAP, which was conducted by the Lao Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (LAPPD) in 2005. The results demonstrated that less than 50 per cent of the interviewed parliamentarians were familiar with the government’s programmes on reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and gender. While more than 70 per cent of them had awareness about the issues of violence against women, HIV/AIDS, and male involvement in family planning, less than 60 per cent of them were aware of the modern contraceptive methods. In this light, the LAPPD had a special emphasis on the advocacy component of the PPAP. During the course of the discussion, the discussants corrected inaccurate responses and encouraged the parliamentarians to advocate population and reproductive health issues. They also distributed advocacy materials to the parliamentarians. The PPAP in Malaysia, conducted by the AFPPD-Malaysia, comprised three phases. From 2002 to 2004, 58 per cent of the central parliamentarians participated in the PPAP. The second phase, starting immediately after the 2004 general election, targeted 76 out of the 185 newly elected parliamentarians, while the third phase interviewed 60 members of parliament, 16 senators, and 102 members of state assemblies in 2005. More than 70 per cent of the parliamentarians in the first phase agreed that family planning should be promoted to prevent unwanted births for the purposes of maintaining the maternal health and stability of the family, but almost the same percentage of them still shied away from mobilising financial resources for family planning and reproductive health programmes. The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) conducted the first phase of the PPAP in November 2001. It interviewed a number of members of the 11th Congress and the 12th Congress and, in 2005, 163 members of the 259 members of the 13th Congress. Eighty-four per cent of the legislators favoured the integration of population management in the government’s development planning, while 87 per cent supported the national policy that provided reproductive health services to the poor communities. Drawing on the findings from the PPAP, the national committees have developed more informed and targeted advocacy campaigns to address the gap between the awareness and the commitment of the parliamentarians in the issues of population and development.

2.3.2. Women Parliamentarians and Ministers

Thirteen years after organising its first conference of women parliamentarians – the Asian Women Parliamentarians Conference on Population and the Status of Women, in New Delhi in March 1990, the AFPPD embarked on a new series of annual women parliamentarians’ and ministers’ conferences with the support from the UNFPA and the Government of Japan through the Japan Trust Fund (JTF). Given the importance of the gender equality issues, women parliamentarians and ministers were the first specific target group of elected representatives that came under the banner of the AFPPD advocacy. The overall aims of the conferences are to strengthen the role of women parliamentarians and ministers and to provide women’s perspectives in addressing the deeply rooted and pervasive population and development issues, especially violence against women, sexual and reproductive health, and the status of women. The first Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference took place in Manila, the Philippines, under the auspices of the AFPPD’s Standing Committee on Women, then headed by Ms. Kelly Hoare, MP (Australia), and the PLCPD. The conference was attended by more than 70 women parliamentarians and ministers from 22 36

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countries in Asia and the Pacific as well as representatives from the UN agencies, NGOs, and the media. The theme of the conference was “Empowered Women: Breaking the Chains of Poverty and Gender Inequality”. Mr. Alberto Romulo, Executive Secretary of the Republic of the Philippines, delivered a message to the participants on behalf of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It was also addressed by Ms. Hoare, Senator Rodolfo Biazon, Co-Chair of the PLCPD, Dr. Malinee Sukavejworakit, Senator (Thailand) and AFPPD Secretary General. Ms. Imelda Henkin, Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA, and Dr. Zahidul Huque, UNFPA Representative in the Philippines, were the guest speakers at the conference. On 29 and 30 June 2004, the Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (PGPD) hosted the second conference at the Senate Hall of the Parliament House, in Canberra, Australia, under the theme of “A Woman’s Perspective: Population, Development and Reproductive Health in the Asia-Pacific Region”. Over 80 women parliamentarians and ministers from 26 Asian and Pacific Island countries attended the conference. It was opened by Ms. Kay Patterson, Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women in Australia. Ms. Hoare, Ms. Imelda Henkin, UNFPA, and Mr. Yoshio Yatsu, MP (Japan) and AFPPD Chairman, addressed the conference. The third conference took up the issues of gender and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Eighty-nine women parliamentarians and ministers as well as men parliamentarians and representatives of the UN agencies and NGOs from 19 countries in Asia and the Pacific and Central Asia attended the conference. Sri Lankan Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development hosted the conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 2 and 3 August 2005. Ms. Ferial Ashraff, Minister of Housing and Construction Industry of Sri Lanka, inaugurated the conference on behalf of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, then Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Ms. Henkin, Mr. Yatsu, and Mr. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition of Sri Lanka also addressed the conference. More than 70 parliamentarians and ministers from Asia and the Pacific assembled at the Parliament of New Zealand in Wellington to reaffirm that women’s participation in the decision-making process is the key to gender equality and gender-responsive governance. Under the theme of “Gender-Responsive Governance: The Key to the Population and Development Agenda”, the fourth conference took place on 11 and 12 June 2006, and endorsed the Plan of Action that outlined the policy-advocacy tasks for parliamentarians and parliamentary groups with regard to gender-responsive governance. The conference, organised by the AFPPD and the New Zealand Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development (NZPPD), was opened by Ms. Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand. It was addressed by Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, MP (Japan) and AFPPD Chairman, Ms. Lianne Daiziel, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Commerce and Small Business of New Zealand, and Ms. Steve Chadwick, MP (New Zealand), NZPPD Chair, and Chair of the AFPPD Standing Committee on Women. The role of education in women’s empowerment was the topic of the fifth conference, held on 27 and 28 November 2007, in Beijing, China. Over 80 parliamentarians and ministers from 23 countries as well as representatives from the UN agencies and NGOs explored the theme of “Educational Empowerment for Women and Girls: Critical to Social and Economic Development”. It was organised by the AFPPD, in cooperation with the Education, Science, Culture and Public Health (ESCPH) Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China, and All-China Women’s Federation. The conference was opened by Ms. Zhu Lilan, Chair of ESCPH Committee of the NPC, on behalf of Mr. Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC. Ms. Wakako Hironaka, MP (Japan) and Acting Chair of JPFP, addressed the conference on behalf of Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, Prime Minister of Japan and Chairman of AFPPD and JPFP. Dr. Gill Greer, IPPF Director General, also addressed the conference. The opening session Chapter Two: The Three Decades

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was chaired by Dr. Sang Guowei, Vice-Chairman of the ESCPH Committee and Vice-Chairman of the AFPPD. The sixth Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference on financing the MDGs with focus on health and gender, held in State Palace, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on 23 and 24 September 2008, was the first in its series to be inaugurated by a Head of State. President Nambar Enkhbayar of Monlogia delivered the opening remarks. Ms. Safiye Cagar, Director of Information and External Relations Division, UNFPA, Mr. Yasuyoshi Ichihashi, Japanese Ambassador to Mongolia, Dr. Pinit Kullavanijaya, Senator (Thailand) and AFPPD Secretary General, also addressed the opening session of the conference, which was chaired by Mr. Damdin Demberel, Chairman of the State Great Hural of Mongolia. More than 100 parliamentarians and ministers as well as others attended the conference. The Parliament of Malaysia hosted the seventh conference under the theme of parliamentarians’ actions for gender issues, on 14 and 15 November 2009, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Almost 100 women parliamentarians and ministers, as well as experts and representatives from NGOs and international agencies, attended the two-day conference. Senator Dato’ Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Minister of Women, Family and Community Development of Malaysia, delivered the opening address. Dr. Pinit, AFPPD Secretary General, Dato’ Seri Hj. Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah, Minister of Finance II of Malaysia and Chairman of AFPPD-Malaysia, and Ms. Nobuko Horibe, Director of UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Regional Office, also addressed the conference. Young women and girls were the focus of the eighth conference, held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 26 and 27 March 2011. Over 70 women parliamentarians and ministers from 20 countries attended the conference. Mr. H. Marzuki Alie, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Indonesia, Dr. Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih , Minister of Health of Indonesia, Mrs. Linda Amalia Sari Gumelar, State Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection of Indonesia, Mr. Najib Assifi, Deputy Director of UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Regional Office and Representative in Thailand, addressed the conference.

2.3.3. Young Parliamentarians

Although the young population in Asia and the Pacific comprises almost half of the total population in the region, young parliamentarians are still a rare breed. AFPPD’s first initiative to involve young parliamentarians started in 2006 when the Asian Forum nominated and sponsored four young Asian parliamentarians and decision-makers to attend the Young Decision Makers Conference, which took place in Helsinki, Finland, on 7 and 8 September 2006. The conference was organised by the Family Federation of Finland, in cooperation with the Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (IEPFPD), on the eve of the 2006 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which was also held in Helsinki. Over 40 parliamentarians and decision-makers from Asia and Europe who were below 35 years of age attended the conference. They discussed the issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights of the young people and committed themselves to advocating the issues in their decisionmaking roles. The parliamentarians who were nominated and sponsored by the AFPPD were Ms. Po Kuan Fong, MP (Malaysia), Mr. Mohammad Shamin Kaiser, MP (Bangladesh), Rep. Darlene Magnolia Antonino-Custodio (the Philippines), and Ms. Janista Lewchalermvongse, Chat Thai Party Deputy Secretary General (Thailand). Coinciding with the UN International Year of Youth from August 2010 to August 2011, the AFPPD launched its first conference of young parliamentarians in November 2010. The Regional Consultation of Young Parliamentarians on ICPD Issues was held in Bangkok on 27 and 28 November 2010. More than 20 parliamentarians under 35 years of age with a track record of advocating population and development discussed with fellow parliamentarians about several issues in the ICPD Programme of Action which are pertinent to youth. The meeting was opened by Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, former Prime Minister of Japan and AFPPD Chairman. Dr. Pinit, AFPPD Secretary General, 38

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and Ms. Nobuko Horibe, Director of UNFPA Asia and the Pacific Regional Office (APRO) also addressed the conference. Experts from the UNFPA also addressed the conference. The conference was a true exchange of ideas and experiences. Experts from academia and the UN agencies provided technical inputs on the ICPD issues and the young people, while the young parliamentarians exchanged their views and experiences on the ICPD issues and youth. Ms. Horibe, Director of UNFPA APRO, affirmed the imperative to include young people in decision-making on population and development. “The important thing is that we are reaching out to young generations to be part of decision making, to involve younger people in shaping the future, to draw more attention to the issues and challenges facing young people, and to utilise the potential of young people in solution making”, she said. Mr. Ryuhei Kawada, a 34-year-old member of the House of Councillors of Japan and the country’s renowned HIV/AIDS activist, said that youth are not a problem; rather, youth teach the parliamentarians and the society at large the essence of these problems.

2.3.4. Indigenous Parliamentarians

With financial and technical supports from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), the AFPPD undertook its first programme specifically engaging indigenous parliamentarians in 2010. The Asia-Pacific Regional Parliamentarians Seminar on Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change and Rural Poverty: Promoting Innovative Approaches and Solutions was organised on 25 and 26 March 2010, in Manila, the Philippines. Hosted by the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD), the conference bought together more than 30 parliamentarians – several of them belonging to indigenous communities – from 12 countries in Asia and the Pacific to discuss the issues of indigenous people, climate change and rural poverty with representatives from the indigenous communities and experts from IFAD and UNPFII. The welcome addresses were delivered by Dr. Pinit Kullavanijaya, Senator (Thailand) and AFPPD Secretary General, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chairperson of the UNPFII, and Rep. Edcel C. Lagman (the Philippines) and AFPPD Deputy Secretary General. Ms. Lailene Gallardo, Director of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) of the Philippines, gave the opening address. Ms. Farhana Haque Rahman, Chief of Media Relations and External Communications Unit, Communications Division, represented IFAD at the seminar. On the global scale, the Indigenous peoples - 370 million people in 90 countries - make up about five per cent of the world’s population but they are one-third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor people living in the rural area. Often excluded from political and economic decision-making process, these peoples suffer higher rates of poverty, landlessness, malnutrition and internal displacement than the rest of society, and have lower levels of literacy and less access to health services. The indigenous people are among the most vulnerable groups affected by climate change and rural poverty. The keynote speech was delivered by Ms. Agatha Sangma, India’s Minister of State for Rural Development and the country’s youngest Member of Parliament at age 27. She called on governments around the world to take actions to include the rural poor, especially the indigenous peoples, in the decision-making process on climate change. She also stressed that parliamentarians have a distinct role in this regard through issuing legislation that safeguards the indigenous peoples’ rights and interests, especially their rights over land and resources. The seminar ended with the adoption of the Statement of Commitment. The parliamentarians committed themselves to taking actions that develop, pass and implement legislation, policies, regulations, and funds which would Chapter Two: The Three Decades

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lead to the empowerment of indigenous peoples. They also proposed the establishment of a Standing Committee on Indigenous Peoples within the AFPPD to ensure that policies and programmes of indigenous peoples are being implemented with respect to their rights and well-being. After the seminar, the AFPPD has also launched a website featuring contents tailor-made for indigenous parliamentarians in Asia and the Pacific.

2.3.5. Male Parliamentarians on Prevention of Violence against Women

As the United Nations and the international community have started to work with men and boys whose actions are the other side of the coin for the problems of violence against women and girls, the AFPPD, in 2009, launched its new advocacy initiative on reaching out to male parliamentarians who are of the conviction that men and boys should not be silent and should play a central role in preventing violence against women. In cooperation with the UNFPA and with the support from the Government of Japan, the Asian Forum organised the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Engaging Men in Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls, in Bangkok on 6 and 7 September 2009. Twenty-two parliamentarians attended the meeting. It was opened by Mr. Najib Assifi, Deputy Director of UNFPA APRO, and Dr. Pinit Kullavanijaya, Senator (Thailand) and AFPPD Secretary General. Ms. Kiran Bhatia, Gender Adviser, UNFPA APRO, provided the parliamentarians with an overview of the meeting. Sir Dr. Puka Temu, then Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, delivered a keynote speech. On the second day of the meeting, the parliamentarians agreed to form a Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians on Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls within the AFPPD. The Committee was originally composed of male parliamentarians from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, and the Philippines, and was headed by Sir Puka. Since its establishment, the Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians has been working closely with the Standing Committee on Women, chaired by Ms. Claire Moore, Senator (Australia). Members of the Standing Committee have participated in and provided input from the perspective of male parliamentarians to the AFPPD’s activities on elimination of violence against women. Mr. Abdul Matin Khasru, MP (Bangladesh), spoke at the session on Prevention and Response to Violence against Women at the seventh Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference on Parliamentarians’ Actions for Gender Issues, held on 14 and 15 November 2009, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A session at the Regional Ministers’ and Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Review of Parliamentarians’ Actions and Legislation on the Elimination of Violence against Women, held on 21 and 22 October 2010, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, was dedicated to men in action of elimination of violence against women and girls. The Standing Committee met in Port Macquarie, Australia, on 18 December 2010. The meeting was attended by 13 parliamentarians and one minister representing 13 countries. They discussed actions that can be taken at the local, national and regional levels to involve men in preventing violence against women and girls. The meeting was co-organised by the AFPPD and the Parliamentarian Group on Population and Development (PGPD) and Australia Reproductive Health Alliance (ARHA) with support from the UNFPA. Gender experts provided the members with information on the current situation of violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific. The committee discussed how to strengthen its role and priorities of action. Committee members made personal commitments of actions they would take to address the issue of violence against women in the next twelve months and signed a collective statement of commitment specifically recognising the need for their work to address prevention of violence against women and children, not just women and girls. Dr. Nizar Shihab, MP (Indonesia), was elected Chair of the Standing Committee. 40

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2.3.6. Policy Tracking and Monitoring

The Internet has totally changed the landscape of advocacy across the field of population and development, and the AFPPD’s advocacy work is no exception. After launching its website in 1999, the Asian Forum has been pursuing several online advocacy programmes. Chief among them are the digital version of its bi-monthly newsletters and monthly electronic information service. The Asian Forum’s latest, and probably the most successful, initiative in online advocacy is the policy tracking and monitoring database. Launched in 2010 with the support from the UNFPA, the online database has featured information on legislation, policies, and population policy trends of countries in Asia and the Pacific. As of March 2011, it contained information on legislation related to population in seven countries, population policies in 16 countries, sexual and reproductive health policies in two countries, and 12 issues of roundups on population policy trends in Asia and the Pacific. The population policy roundups are the most dynamic component of the database. The parliamentarians, population policy practitioners and institutions, and others who are interested in population policy trends have subscribed to the policy roundups. In order to consolidate and deepen the content at the nation level, a four-day regional parliamentary staff training on population policy tracking and monitoring was organised in Bangkok from 7 to 10 November 2010, in cooperation with the Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR) of Mahidol University, Thailand. The training, supported by the UNFPA and Government of Japan, was attended by 25 staff members of national parliamentary committees from 14 countries in Asia and the Pacific, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand , the Philippines, South Korea, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. The staff members were trained to be equipped with a better understanding of the formulation process of population policies and skills in tracking and monitoring national population policies.

2.3.7. Capacity Development

As the Asian Forum has always worked closely with its network members which are national parliamentary committees, it has offered technical assistance in the form of training workshops on areas that would strengthen the capacity of the national committees and their staff since 2002. The themes of these workshops have been designed to be in line with the work plan of the AFPPD. Throughout these years, the training workshops also proved to be a channel for strengthening the connection between members of the AFPPD network. The first time the staff members of the parliamentary committees were brought together for a staff training workshop in Bangkok was from 22 to 27 April 2002. It was the occasion of the onset of the Person-to-Person Advocacy Project (PPAP), which was supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Twenty four staff members of the national parliamentary committees from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, which were the four countries where the first phase of the PPAP was to be conducted, and two UNFPA officials attended the workshop. Given the distinct characteristics of the Person-to-Person Advocacy Project, the participants were expected to gain knowledge, concepts, tools, and techniques to be able to conduct one-on-one interviews effectively. The resource persons were mainly drawn from the UNFPA Country Technical Services Team for East and South-East Asia (UNFPA/CST - Bangkok) and the UNESCAP. The training was composed of lectures, group work, simulations, role-play, presentation, and question and answer sessions. Since advocacy is at the heart of the work of AFPPD and national committees, the 2003 training workshop was dedicated to the overall strategy and skills of advocacy. Organised in cooperation with the UNFPA/CST in Bangkok Chapter Two: The Three Decades

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from 21 to 26 July, it was attended by 23 staff members from 11 countries. With an emphasis on advocacy for the ICPD Programme of Action, the workshop was divided into four interactive sessions. The first session dealt with the introduction to the key ICPD issues and their connection to parliamentarians’ advocacy. Overview of advocacy was the topic of the second session where experts and the staff members discussed advocacy strategy, planning, and result-based management. The third session provided the participants with hands-on experience in message design and media format. The final session was focused on management, monitoring, and assessment of project implementation. The focus on how to manage, monitor, and evaluate advocacy projects was further enhanced in the 2004 training workshop. From 26 to 30 July 2004, thirty-eight participants from national parliamentary committees attended the workshop in Bangkok. Experts from the UNFPA/CST – Bangkok and the UNDP in Malaysia provided the training on the monitoring and evaluation of advocacy projects, proposal writing, and management. The tools and techniques of logical framework analysis and result-based management were introduced. Mr. Peter Chen, UNFPA/ CST Advisor on Adolescent Reproductive Health, was the workshop’s chief facilitator. Twenty-four staff members of the national parliamentary committees from 15 countries attended the 2005 training workshop on “Making Proposal Come Alive: Project Proposal Development”, in Bangkok, from 6 to 10 June 2005. Facilitated by Mr. Kevin Osborne, HIV/AIDS Senior Advisor, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and Ms. Nikki Schaay, IPPF consultant, the workshop was also attended by one representative from UNFPA Indonesia Country Office, three officials from the UNFPA Thailand Country Office, and two representatives from the IPPF regional offices. In 2007, the training workshop, held from 9 to 13 July in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with the support from the Government of Japan, tackled the topic of development of culturally sensitive programmes. Over 40 staff members from the national parliamentary committees in 17 countries, the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF), and the Forum of African and Arab Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FAAPPD) attended the workshop. Cultural elements of advocacy programmes also constituted the theme of the eighth AFPPD General Assembly in 2005. Apart from the UNFPA, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) extended its support for the 2007 workshop. The experts from the UNFPA and UNESCO and the participants explored the conceptual foundation of culture, gender, and human rights as well as their related ideas such as gender equality, gender streaming, cultural diversity, etc. During the sessions, the concept of “cultural lens” from the perspective of the UNFPA and UNESCO and their application to different programme issues were discussed. A comprehensive review of a variety of advocacy techniques which were employed by the AFPPD during its first 27 years provided parliamentarians and national committee staff members with hands-on lessons on advocacy techniques for working with parliamentarians. Twenty-three parliamentarians and staff members from 10 national committees participated in the workshop, held from 26 to 28 March 2008, in Bali, Indonesia, in order to strengthen their advocacy strategies to ensure greatest impact. With the inputs from the experts and practitioners, the participants explored the strategic advantages and disadvantages of the conferences, workshops, meetings with stakeholders, one-on-one dialogue, study tours and field visits, and different levels and scopes of the activities. The training was organised in cooperation with the UNFPA and IFPPD. In 2009, the training workshop was focused on programme management and logframes. The sessions dealt with 42

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how to manage projects, produce proposals and log frames as part of project management and proposal writing. The training was funded by the UNFPA and JTF and was designed and facilitated by Dr. Gopakumar Nair, of Save the Children, and Dr. Nureyan Zunong, a consultant. It was attended by around 19 staff members from national parliamentary committees and parliaments from 15 countries. Held in Bangkok from 7 to 10 November, the 2010 workshop was on policy tracking and monitoring.

2.4. Connecting beyond the Network

The universe of population and development contains constellations of networks, agencies, and prominent individuals at many levels, from regional parliamentary networks, in which the Asian Forum has been a pioneer, to international alliances of NGOs working on specific population and development issues. The AFPPD has been working with hundreds of them over the past 30 years. Through such collaboration, the uniqueness of the AFPPD has made it a successful player in population and development. As the world’s first regional network of parliamentarians on population and development, the Asian Forum has been instrumental in forging the working ties between the parliamentarians in Asia and the Pacific and those networks, agencies, and individuals.

2.4.1. Partnership with Other Regional Parliamentary Groups

Over the past thirty years, the world community has witnessed the emergence of regional networks of parliamentarians on population and development in every continent. The institutionalisation of parliamentarians’ movements on population and development started with the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) in 1981 and has gained momentum in the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, and Europe, respectively. The AFPPD has forged partnership with these sister regional networks, through various projects. It also played an important role in formation process of the African and Arab and European regional forums. The Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (IAPG) was founded in 1983 after the 1982 Western Hemisphere Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, held in Brasilia, Brazil. Formerly hosted by the IPPF Western Hemisphere Region in New York, the IAPG now has its regional secretariat with full-time staff in Panama City, Panama, and maintains a liaison office in New York. Parliamentarians representing the AFPPD and IAPG have participated in each other’s conferences and study visits. As parliamentarians from Africa and the Middle East had attended the International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (ICPPD) and the ICPD in Cairo in 1994, the momentum for the establishment of a regional forum of parliamentarians for population and development in Africa and the Middle East started. The Forum of African and Arab Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FAAPPD) was founded in 1997 after the preparatory framework and procedures had been commenced by the ICPPD steering committee in 1994. The Asian Forum, represented by its Executive Director, played a key role in transferring experience and know-how to the organiser of the FAAPPD. It has continued to work closely with the FAAPPD throughout the years. Administered by the UNFPA, the JTF has been a mainstay of support for the activities of the regional parliamentary groups. The Asian Population and Development Association (APDA), serving as the AFPPD Chairman’s office and secretariat of the Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP), has also been supportive of the networking initiatives with these regional parliamentary groups, especially the FAAPPD. The first major step in the South-South cooperation between the Asian and African parliamentarians took place Chapter Two: The Three Decades

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in November 2001. APDA and JPFP hosted the Afro-Asian Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Development Cooperation and Partnership, in Tokyo. It was organised by the AFPPD, in cooperation with the FAAPPD, with the support of the JTF. Fifty-one parliamentarians from 29 countries in Africa and Asia, along with representatives from the UN agencies and NGOs, attended the meeting. During the meeting, the state of population and development in Asia and Africa was examined, particularly in the areas of reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, food security, and water resources. The parliamentarians adopted the Plan of Action that has also provided a concrete framework for sustaining further cooperation between the two continents. The Plan featured two main courses of action for the inter-regional cooperation. The first one, which was focused on capacity building, was to improve technical cooperation on population and development issues. It was aimed at the cooperation between countries with recognised expertise and those where technical skills and knowledge were most needed. The second action was to strengthen the FAAPPD network and interactions between parliamentarians from Asia and Africa. The proposals from the meeting were presented to the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) by Mr. Yoshio Yatsu, AFPPD Chairman. Other activities in the years that followed have also consolidated the interactions between the AFPPD and FAAPPD. They included a number of study visits, collaboration for the international conferences, and the TICAD. The European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF) is the latest addition to the global network of regional parliamentary groups. After a small group of European parliamentarians had started the formation process after the 1994 ICPPD and the 1999 Hague Forum, the European forum was established in 2000, at the time known as the Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (IEPFPD). The EPF Secretariat, based in Brussels, Belgium, has developed close working relations with the AFPPD Secretariat in various projects. The 2001 Annual Report of the EPF stated that the AFPPD, the world’s first regional parliamentary forum on population and development, was “a constant source of support” and “an example for the development” for the European forum. The two regional forums have collaborated on organising several international conferences and have exchanged study visits of members of parliament on various occasions over the years. Similar cooperation has been pursued with the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA). Several parliamentarians have been nominated by the AFPPD to attend PGA events.

2.4.2. Partnership with UN Agencies and Other International Organisations

As described in previous sections, the UNFPA has provided the mainstay of support for the Asian Forum. Since the issues in population and development have diversified and gained focused attention from other agencies in the United Nations system, the Asian Forum has also collaborated with several of the international specialised agencies under the UN system and other international organisations over the decades. Parliamentarians’ advocacy has become a new frontier in advocacy work for many of the UN agencies and international organisations, and the Asian Forum has been a key partner in their outreach programmes for the parliamentarians in Asia and the Pacific. Throughout the past three decades, the Asian Forum has worked with the UNESCAP, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), etc. A typical form of cooperation between the AFPPD and these international institutions would be financial and tech44

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nical supports for parliamentarians’ advocacy events in the areas that are in line with their respective advocacy goals. Experts and high-level administrators from these organisations addressed the parliamentarians participating in the AFPPD events. The AFPPD has also nominated the parliamentarians from Asia and the Pacific to represent the Asian Forum at their events and conferences in order to provide population and development inputs from the perspective of parliamentarians. Partnership between the AFPPD and UNAIDS has flourished throughout the decades, as HIV/AIDS has been a major area of work for the AFPPD and the UNAIDS has realised the importance of parliamentarians’ advocacy for HIV/AIDS problems in Asia and the Pacific. The UNAIDS has provided financial and technical supports for several parliamentarians’ meetings as well as sessions on the sideline of regional and international conferences on HIV/ AIDS. The AFPPD has also cooperated with the Asia-Pacific Leadership Forum on HIV/AIDS and Development (APLF), managed by the UNAIDS, to advocate stronger political commitment in the HIV/AIDS issues. The IFAD has been reaching out to parliamentarians for greater advocacy in the areas of poverty alleviation and indigenous communities. The first instance of cooperation between the AFPPD and IFAD was the Asian Parliamentarians’ Seminar on Poverty Alleviation, which was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 5 and 6 April 2006, in cooperation with the Vietnamese Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (VAPPD). Fifty-five parliamentarians and senior officials from Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam participated in the seminar. On the second day, they also visited the IFAD-supported project sites in Tuyen Quang, some 300 kilometres north of Hanoi, where villagers in the remote area discussed how they participated in planning the IFAD-supported projects and benefited from them. Among the parliamentarians joining the Hanoi seminar and the Tuyen Quang study visit were two former AFPPD Chairmen, Mr. Shin Sakurai, MP (Japan), and Mr. Yoshio Yatsu, MP (Japan), and a Member of the House of Councillors of Japan, Mr. Chiaki Takahashi, who served as JPFP Secretary-General prior to his appointment as Senior Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan. The UNESCAP, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, has maintained a particular focus on population and development issues in the region and cooperated with the Asian Forum in several capacities. Both organisations pursued the most outstanding collaborative enterprise in 2006 at the third International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD), on 21 and 22 November 2006. The AFPPD and the UNFPA were organisers, and the UNESCAP, along with the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand, was the host of the conference. It was held at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok, Thailand. Mr. Kim Hak-Su, Under-Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Secretary of the UNESCAP, was also a keynote speaker at the conference. The AFPPD’s focal point for the mutual cooperation at the UNESCAP has been the Social Development Division. In pursuit of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the UNDP has worked with the AFPPD in a programme that gave an emphasis on the parliamentarians’ roles in addressing the issues of hunger and inequality. The AFPPD and the UNDP Regional Centres, in cooperation with the Millennium Campaign, organised the AsiaPacific Parliamentarians’ Forum on Hunger and Inequality in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 16 and 17 February 2009. Thirty-four parliamentarians from twelve countries in Asia and the Pacific exchanged lessons and experience in pursuing many of the MDGs in the region. The participants acknowledged that progress towards reducing hunger was relatively slow in comparison to other MDG targets.

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2.4.3. Partnership with NGOs and International Donors

Civil society has provided a wealth of supports and opportunities of cooperation for the AFPPD. A number of non-governmental organisations and international donors have been partners with the Asian Forum. These organisations include the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, AusAID, International Medical Parliamentarians Organization (IMPO), Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA), AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (ASAP), etc. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) created a strong partnership with the Asian Forum since the latter’s early years. Through financial and technical support, the initial collaboration between the two organisations has continued to grow into various projects. The IPPF headquarters in London and its regional offices in Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi have been in close contact with the AFPPD, and it has been a permanent invitee to the AFPPD Executive Committee meetings. Apart from winning the United Nations Population Awards in the same year, the Gates Foundation shares the vision in population and development with AFPPD and has provided financial support for the AFPPD and its projects. At the UN Population Award presentation ceremony on 3 June 2010, at the UN Headquarters, Mr. William Henry Gates Sr., who received the award on behalf of his son and daughter-in-law, announced that Bill and Melinda Gates, the Foundation’s Co-chairs, had decided that the Gates Foundation would match and pass along the prize money for the 2010 UN Population Award by making a grant of US$25,000 to the AFPPD, to help it continue the outstanding work recognised by the Award. The Gates Foundation also supported the Regional Consultation on Emerging Economies and Population: Reproductive Health Programmes. Attended by over 40 parliamentarians and experts from six Asian emerging economy countries and two European nations, the event was held in Bangkok on 30 and 31 August 2010, by the AFPPD and the EPF. The consultation was aimed at sensitising Asian MPs from emerging economy countries on regional overseas development initiatives, particularly reproductive health, and promoting cooperation between developing countries and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) within the framework of South-South Cooperation (SSC), aiming for better resource allocation on ICPD issues.

AFPPD activities have been carried out from a shared conviction that the resolution of population issues is essential in order to realise sustainable development around the world, even as we engage ourselves every day to improve the lives of our people and to achieve world peace.

Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, MP (Japan), Prime Minister of Japan (2007-2008), and AFPPD Chairman, Acceptance Speech for the 2010 UN Population Award, UN Headquarters, New York, 3 June 2010

NOTES 13

Takashi Sato, “The Announcement of the Day of 3 Billion in Asia” (statement presented at the press conference on the Day of Three Billion in Asia, Tokyo, 1 July 1988), quoted in Singh, The Population Challenge in Asia, p.29. 14

Sat Paul Mittal, preface to Peaceful Coexistence of Mankind and His World: AFPPD – The Last Ten Years by Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (Tokyo: AFPPD, 1992).

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Reproductive Health and

D

uring the second decade of the Asian Forum, a turning point in the global community of population and development came under the auspices of the delegations of 179 countries to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994. This paradigm shift towards the prevalence of the concept of reproductive health that placed individual needs at the centre has become a mainstay of the work of the AFPPD in its second and third decades. Along with the ICPD Programme of Action, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly Goals 4, 5, and 6, have provided the Asian Forum with a platform for advocacy among parliamentarians since 2000. This chapter, along with chapter 4 and 5, seeks to outline the achievements of the Asian Forum in issue areas that capture the evolving consensus among policy makers and practitioners in the field of population and development over the past three decades. The issues discussed in this chapter are family planning and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and maternal, newborn, and child health.

Chapter

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3

3.1. Family Planning and Reproductive Health and Rights

While the figures of population growth, as reflected on the Day of Three Billion in Asia in 1988, had epitomised the crux of the AFPPD’s programme of work in its first decade, its focus gradually moved towards reproductive health, with family planning as an integral part, in the following two decades. The conceptual foundation of reproductive health had originated in the World Health Organization (WHO), but it was the ICPD where a new international consensus on utilising reproductive health as the main approach to population and development was reached. As the Asian Forum was a main convenor of the International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (ICPPD), held in Cairo, Egypt, on the eve of the ICPD, the AFPPD and Asian parliamentarians took active part in the global parliamentarians’ and community’s historic moment in deliberating the definition and implications of the concept of reproductive health. Working Group IV of the conference was devoted to reproductive health and family planning. The working group was addressed by Prof. Dr. Mahmoud F. Fathalla, then a senior advisor at the Rockefeller Foundation well known for his contribution in research and advocacy to the reproductive health approach. He told the parliamentarians that reproductive health should be defined as an ability to have children when people wanted to, to enjoy a healthy sexual life, and for women, to have the right to go safely through pregnancies and childbirth. 15 Echoing the importance of the reproductive health approach in the draft of the ICPD Programme of Action, the Cairo Declaration on Population and Development, adopted at the end of the parliamentarians’ conference, stated that the parliamentarians would “welcome the approach that places family planning in the broader framework of reproductive health care” and would commit themselves to removing all remaining barriers in their countries that inhibit access to family planning services, information, and education and to supporting the provision of reproductive health and family planning services as widely as possible.16 On 13 September 1994, the delegations at the ICPD Chapter Three: Reproductive Health and Rights

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adopted its Programme of Action which defines that reproductive health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and process. Reproductive health therefore implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so. Implicit in this last condition are the right of men and women to be informed and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice, as well as other methods of their choice for regulation of fertility which are not against the law, and the right of access to appropriate health-care services that will enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant.” 17 In order to follow up the commitment to the reproductive health and rights approach in the ICPD Programme of Action, the AFPPD has incorporated the reproductive health approach into its programme of work since 1995, when the front-page headline of the April/June Asian Forum Newsletter read “Ensure Women’s Ability to Make Her Own Reproductive Decisions”. Taken in line with the ICPD Programme of Action that links the rights-based approach with the status and empowerment of women, the early steps of AFPPD’s advocacy for reproductive health and rights in 1995 started with women parliamentarians in the region. The Indo-China Female Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Status of Women and Reproductive Health was the first of such programmes. The conference was organised by the AFPPD and the VAPPD in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on 25 and 26 June 1995. More than 40 parliamentarians from eight countries in the region, as well as observers and guest speakers, attended the conference. The inaugural address was delivered by Mme. Nguyen Thi Binh, Vice President of Vietnam. Prof. Pham Song, former Minister of Health of Vietnam, delivered a keynote report on the status of women and reproductive health. Mr. Shin Sakurai, MP (Japan) and Chairman of AFPPD, also addressed the conference. His speech reaffirmed the AFPPD’s commitment to the approach of reproductive health and rights and status of women, as advocated at the ICPD and the 1995 International Meeting of Parliamentarians on Population and Social Development (IMPPSD), held in Copenhagen, Denmark, three months earlier. Mr. Sakurai said: “I believe at the heart of the two major inter-governmental conferences and the parliamentarians’ meeting was the challenge to build a society in which people can make their own well-informed and recognised choices. Solutions to population problems cannot be forced upon anyone. We must therefore create an environment in which women, as primary agents in population issues, are able to make such well-informed choices for themselves. For that purpose, the theme of your conference, the improvement of women’s status and reproductive health, is of central importance. In order to build peace in our world, it is important for women, through the important of their status, to have their say in society and the home and to be able to make their own choices.” The AFPPD Standing Committee on Women also embraced the approach of reproductive health and rights at its meeting in Manila, the Philippines, on 14 and 15 July 1995. At the time, the Committee was headed by Ms. Leticia Ramos-Shahani, Senator (The Philippines) who had served as UN Assistant Secretary-General for Social and Humanitarian Affairs. In her speech delivered at the meeting, Ms. Ramos-Shahani highlighted the importance of the paradigm shift towards reproductive health and rights. “This paradigm moves the action beyond demographic targets towards development objectives that can be achieved only by basing policies and programmes on the human rights, needs, and aspirations of individual women and men”, she said. 48

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These early two conferences attest to the Asian Forum’s commitment to reproductive health and rights which have continued to serve as a cornerstone of the AFPPD Programme of Work at various levels throughout the following years. Several advocacy techniques have been employed to advance the cause of reproductive health and rights. As discussed earlier, the most important and innovative among them was the Person-to-Person Advocacy Project (PPAP), which both gauged and reinforced the level of awareness and commitment on reproductive health issues among parliamentarians. As the linkages between the issues of population and development have become more diverse, the AFPPD has established linkages between reproductive health and rights and those issues. Such linkages are discussed at various AFPPD forums, especially the AFPPD General Assemblies and the Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conferences.

3.2. HIV/AIDS

Since 1994, the Asian Forum has incorporated HIV/AIDS as a main component of its agenda for parliamentarians’ seminars, workshops and conferences as well as study visits, with the active support of UNAIDS and other international organisations. Over the years, the HIV/AIDS-specific events organised by the AFPPD have encompassed local, national, regional, and international levels. The Regional Conference of Parliamentarians on Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS was held in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 13 to 15 May 1998. Forty parliamentarians from seven countries in South and South East Asia attended the conference to discuss HIV/AIDS prevention strategies. The conference was organised by IMPO and AFPPD in collaboration with WHO-Regional Office for South-East Asia and the Population and Social Committee of the National Assembly of Nepal. The event was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Girija Prasad Koirala. In cooperation with the UNAIDS-Thailand, the AFPPD organised the Inter-Country Meeting of Parliamentarians and Specialists on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) in South East Asia, with technical assistance provided by UNFPA/CST - Thailand, in Bangkok from 12 to 14 November 1999. The event was attended by parliamentarians from 11 countries and became the major turning point in AFPPD’s role in combating HIV/AIDS. It was the first South East Asian parliamentarians’ meeting on HIV/AIDS and resulted in follow-ups in 10 countries in the region. UNAIDS Geneva provided US$40,000 to UNAIDS-Thailand for the follow-ups. A major outcome of this follow-up was the development of new HIV/AIDS legislation in Cambodia and the Philippines. UNAIDS-Thailand assisted in this process. AFPPD organised an Inter-country Workshop on Networking and Partnership between Young People and Governments on HIV/AIDS Prevention for East and South East Asian Countries with UNAIDS and UNFPA/CST from 18 to 22 March 2002. With the support from the Government of Japan, the event had the aim of mobilising agencies to network with each other and to share their experiences on young people and HIV/AIDS. At the local level, the AFPPD also supported the Senate Committee on Public Health of Thailand to conduct a two-year education programme on HIV/AIDS for Thailand’s sub-district level elected leaders during 2002 and 2003. The programme was implemented in 10 provinces and included a two-day training exercise for locally elected representatives. It was expected that this education of local leaders would result in the elimination of HIV/ AIDS –related stigma and discrimination in Thai villages. The programme was well featured on local media outlets. The International Parliamentarians’ Conference on HIV/AIDS in South Asia was held on 1 and 2 August 2003 in New Delhi. More than fifty parliamentarians from 15 countries participated in this major initiative to facilitate an Chapter Three: Reproductive Health and Rights

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effective response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic through multi-sectoral partnerships, strong leadership and political commitment. The conference was inaugurated by Shri Manohar Joshi, Speaker of the Lower House (Lok Sabha) of the Parliament in India. The conference was organised by the IAPPD, AFPPD, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India, UNFPA, and UNAIDS/ICT – South Asia and attracted wide media coverage including CNN. AFPPD was one of the three partners in the project on Political Support for Youth HIV/AIDS Programmes, administered by UNFPA with funds from UNAIDS. The 15-month project for three Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea, sought to effectively mobilise regional political and public support, including toplevel leaders, in response to HIV/AIDS and to strengthen evidence-based advocacy of programmes and policies to assist governments addressing HIV prevention, particularly in the reproductive health context focusing on young people and pregnant women. The project culminated in the Regional Consultative Workshop of parliamentarians on HIV/AIDS Prevention among Young People in Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok from 22 to 24 September 2004. The AFPPD Executive Committee Meeting in Kuala Lumpur in July 2004 agreed to fund Pacific Parliamentarians’ Conference on HIV/AIDS, which was held in Suva, Fiji, from 11 to 13 October 2004. The conference was opened by Mr. Laisenia Qarase, Prime Minister of Fiji and the keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Nafis Sadik, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General and Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS for the Asia-Pacific. Welcome remarks were given by Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Fiji and Vice-Chairman of AFPPD. In cooperation with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the Asian Forum organised an Inter-country Parliamentarians Workshop on HIV/AIDS with a focus on vaccines in Bangkok on 30 and 31 October 2003. It was attended by 40 parliamentarians from 12 countries that took part in briefings by institutions working on vaccine development and trials. The workshop was concluded with the adoption of a formal Call to Action and a pledge by the parliamentarians to support vaccine development and trials. The AFPPD organised three major events at the ninth International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) held from 9 to 13 August 2009 in Bali, Indonesia, namely Parliamentarians’ Workshop on Harm Reduction, Parliamentary Symposium on Translating Political Commitment into Action, and Satellite Session on Women Parliamentarians Addressing Feminisation on HIV/AIDS. Ms. Purnima Mane, UNFPA Deputy Executive Director, also met participating parliamentarians and addressed the need for political commitment for the HIV/AIDS issues. As parliamentarians’ supports are a key to the success of HIV/AIDS programmes, the Asian Forum has provided parliamentarians’ inputs to the HIV/AIDS programmes of the UNAIDS, UNFPA, and other international agencies. AFPPD collaborated with Population 2050 on the High Level Policy Makers Symposium on HIV/AIDS by sponsoring the participation of members of parliament. This event was held at the UN Centre in Tokyo from 3 to 5 September 2003. It was opened by Ms. Chieko Nohno, Member of the House of Councillors, Japan, with keynote addresses delivered by Dr. Nafis Sadik, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Envoy of the Secretary General for HIV/AIDS in Asia, and Mr. Kazuo Kodama, Deputy Director General, Economic Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. At the symposium, AFPPD was represented by Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Speaker of the Fiji Parliament and ViceChairman of AFPPD, Dr. Prasan Mongkonsiri and Mr. Sanan Suthakun, MPs from Thailand, Mr. Abdolreza Heidarizadi, MP from Iran, Senator Datuk Dr. Haji Haris Bin Haji Salleh, from Malaysia and Mr. Shiv Khare, Executive 50

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Director of AFPPD. High level officials from Uganda, Zimbabwe, China and several others also participated in this important symposium. AFPPD representatives also actively participated in the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS that reviewed progress on the declaration of commitment on HIV/AIDS and political declaration in New York, on 10 and 11 June 2008. The report of this meeting recommends that senior political leaders in countries, with the assistance of donors, technical agencies and civil society, should vigorously lead the process to ensure the implementation of policies on HIV. Although nearly all countries have national policies on HIV, most have not been fully implemented and key components of national strategies often lack any budgetary allocation. National leaders and governments, donors, researchers, non-governmental organisations and all other stakeholders engaged in the response to HIV must begin planning for the long term, building into their efforts strategies to ensure the sustainability of the robust, adaptable and enduring collective effort that will be required over generations. Scaling up focused HIV-prevention strategies for populations most at risk represents an urgent public health imperative, requiring a degree of political courage and leadership that has often been lacking. Countries should ensure a massive political and social mobilisation to address gender inequalities, sexual norms and their roles in increasing HIV risk and vulnerability. Mr. Shiv Khare, Executive Director of AFPPD also participated in this meeting. The 20th International Harm Reduction Conference was held in Bangkok, Thailand from 20 to 23 April 2009. AFPPD, with UNAIDS, sponsored parliamentarians’ panel on decriminalisation of drug use, chaired by Sen. Dr. Pinit Kullavanijaya, AFPPD Secretary General. The panellists were Dr. La Ode Ida, MP and Deputy Speaker of the Upper House, Indonesia; Dr. Donya Aziz, MP and Chair of the HIV/AIDS Parliamentary Committee, Pakistan; Dr. Oak Damry, MP, Cambodia; Mr. Douandy Outhachak, MP and Chair of the Social and Cultural Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, Laos; and Dr. Prasada Rao, Director of UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific.

3.3. Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

Forty-four per cent of maternal deaths18 and 41 per cent of deaths among children under five19 worldwide take place in Asia. The gravity of the issues of maternal, newborn, and child health is well entrenched in the MDG 5 (improve maternal health) and 4 (reduce child mortality rates). Interventions to prevent maternal and child mortality and morbidity have been advocated long before the advent of the ICPD Programme of Action and the MDGs, but underlying social causes and deficiencies in health system have continued to undermine these efforts. After the ICPD, under the framework of reproductive health and rights, the field of population and development adopted the rights-based approach to the issues of maternal, newborn, and child health. Not until recently has the international community started to consolidate the political commitment to increasing investment and scaling up the life-saving services for mothers, newborns and children. The roles of parliamentarians in supporting maternal, newborn, and child health are more important than ever, as achieving MDG 4 and 5 by 2015 hinges upon such investment and scaling up. From the time of its inception, the Asian Forum and its national committees have been working to empower parliamentarians to increase their understanding of reproductive and maternal health along with other population and development issues. It has highlighted the Asia Pacific perspectives of maternal mortality and child survival since 1994 and MDG 4 and 5 since 2000 and mobilised parliamentarians for the achievement of these goals. The first AFPPD event specifically addressing maternal, newborn, and child health was the South Asian Parliamentarians’ Focus Group Meeting on Maternal and Child Health, held in New Delhi, on 27 and 28 December 2005. Chapter Three: Reproductive Health and Rights

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Over 20 parliamentarians from Bhutan, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam explored the new dimensions of the state of maternal and child health at the focus group meeting which was organised by the AFPPD and the IAPPD, in collaboration with the UNFPA and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of India. Ms. Girija Vyas, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women of India, delivered a keynote address on maternal and child health in India. She emphasised that political commitment was crucial in the efforts to improve the situation of maternal and child health. As enacting laws alone could not guarantee that the desired policy would be in practice, parliamentarians should also monitor the implementation of the law, she concluded. Mr. Wasim Zaman ,then Director of UNFPA/CST – Kathmandu, outlined major issues in maternal and child health that are related to achievement of ICPD and MDGs. In particular, he introduced the “Three Delays” model of maternal mortality and morbidity. The first delay is that women might not seek maternal-health services at the facility as they do not have information about the services. The second one is that the women or the couples could not get to the facility where such services are available because of lack of transport. The last one is attributed to lack of quality services for maternal health at the facility. He emphasised that the political commitment was crucial to these matters. Dr. Saramma Thomas Mathai, Advisor – reproductive health and family planning services, UNFPA/CST – Kathmandu, spoke on maternal mortality and morbidity in South Asia. At the community level, she said that parliamentarians should mobilise support with community leaders in their constituencies for realisation of the rights of the groups that are excluded, through awareness about danger signs, birth preparedness, skilled care, community insurance schemes, and transport for emergencies. Dr. Prema Ramachandran, Director, Nutrition Foundation of India, spoke on the paradign shift in maternal and child health programmes and its relevance to South Asia. She said South Asia’s goals pertaining to maternal and child health encompassed reduction in low birth weight, reduction in maternal mortality, improvement in child survival, improvement in infant and young child feeding, reduction in undernutrition/overnutrition achieving iodine deficiency disorders elimination, and reduction in anaemia. Dr. Kishanrao Suresh, UNICEF India Country Office, New Delhi, spoke on child survival strategy and partnership. He said a massive push for essential services for children and families was currently missing. Dr. V.K. Manchanda, Deputy Commissioner, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India, spoke on the challenges and experiences of achieving maternal and child health in India. He said that, in order to improve access to services in rural areas, an ambitious National Rural Health Mission (NMHS) had been launched in 2005 and reproductive and child health programme was part of this mission. He added that malnutrition was a major contributor to maternal and child deaths. Dr. Vinod Paul, Professor of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, presented the global and regional child-health scenarios in which 10 million children die every year. He also spoke on India’s current status in this regard. Dr. Mira Shiva, Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), spoke on the rational use of medicines in maternal and child health in developing countries. The parliamentarians also provided presentations in an information-sharing session that highlighted the experiences in maternal and child health from each country. Before the concluding session, the parliamentarians wrote down their personal commitments on the improvement of maternal and child health. They also presented their letters of personal commitment as a pledge to keep these issues in mind. The importance of investing in MDG4 and 5 and scaling up services for maternal, newborn, and child health was underlined at the sixth Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference, held on 23 and 24 September 2008, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, under the theme of “Financing the Millennium Development Goals with Focus on Health and Gender”. Hosted by the Parliament of Mongolia, the conference was organised by the AFPPD with the support from the Government of Japan, in collaboration with the UNFPA and the UN Country Team in Mongolia. Since rights are central to the concept of maternal, newborn, and child health, the AFPPD and the UNFPA APRO, 52

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with special support from the IFPPD, organised the Asia and the Pacific Consultation on Maternal Health and Rights from 13 to 15 August 2009, in Bali, Indonesia. It was attended by 82 participants, including 19 parliamentarians, from 16 countries in the region. The speakers at the inaugural session: Dr. Zahidul Huque, UNFPA Representative to Indonesia, Dr. Sugiri Syarief, Director General of the National Family Planning Coordinating Board of Indonesia, Dr. Pinit Kullavanijaya, Senator of Thailand and Secretary General of AFPPD and Ms. Nobuko Horibe, Regional Director, UNFPA APRO, highlighted the critical role of right to health in achieving reduction of maternal mortality. In the keynote session on International Human Rights Mechanisms and Maternal Health, Ms. Shirin Shamin Choudhury, Minister of Women and Children Affairs of Bangladesh and the Chair of the session, introduced “good maternal health” as a right of every woman. Mr. Anand Grover, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Health, in his keynote address, elaborated on the recent resolution of the Human Rights Council on “Preventable Maternal Mortality and Morbidity and Human Rights”. He highlighted the importance of adopting a rights-based approach in addressing maternal mortality, its role in enabling citizens to stand up and claim their rights and thus enforce states to put mechanisms in place to protect rights. During the session on The Right to Maternal Health in Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Rajat Khosla, a human rights lawyer and consultant with UNFPA APRO, presented the preliminary findings from a survey of maternal health policies and strategies of selected countries in the Asia and the Pacific region from a reproductive rights-based perspective. The review covered issues such as formal recognition of reproductive rights and maternal health as a human right in national policies and strategies, adequacy of resources allocated for maternal health, quality, accessibility and acceptability of services and effective accountability mechanisms. He identified the gaps that contribute to lack of progress in reducing maternal mortality. Recommendations for action were provided that included focus on disadvantaged groups, rights-based perspective in planning health services, strengthening health systems, human rights, and monitoring and accountability through registration of maternal deaths. The Roundtable Discussion on Challenges and Opportunities in Implementing a Rights-Based Approach highlighted the commitments governments have made towards achieving MDG 5 and the various interventions they were undertaking. The challenges identified included poor access to services especially in remote areas, poor infrastructure, poor quality of services and inadequate budgetary allocations. Lack of recognition of maternal health as a human right also was highlighted. The session on Investing in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health – The Case for Asia and the Pacific was led by Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Director, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, and Mr. Ian Anderson, Advisor and Principal Economist, Health Services Delivery, Asian Development Bank. Investing in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health: The Case for Asia and the Pacific, was presented, reflecting the inadequacy of allocations, inefficiency of the health system in implementing the current limited resources for maternal health, newborn and child health, as well as how little it costs to provide a core package of maternal and newborn health. The presenters highlighted the importance of investing in maternal and newborn health and how such investments will contribute to achieving MDGs. The investment case provides guidance on where, when, why, what sequence and how much to invest in public expenditures and demonstrates the benefits of the investments. Parliamentarians from selected countries participated in the Roundtable Discussion on Strategies for Advocating for Increased Budgetary Allocations for Maternal Health. Among the key challenges identified was the lack of recognition of the importance of investing in health, particularly maternal health. The parliamentarians reported Chapter Three: Reproductive Health and Rights

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that the investments in maternal health were abysmal and suggested a few strategies for increasing allocations. The session on Ensuring Quality of Care in Maternal Health Care Services as a Right, featuring presentation by Dr. Saramma Thomas Mathai, Regional Team Coordinator and Maternal Health Advisor, UNFPA APRO, reported on the dismal scene of maternal health in Asia and the Pacific and the reasons for the lack of progress of MDG 5. The presentation also covered rights of clients and providers and recommendations on what parliamentarians can do to improve maternal health in their respective constituencies. The next session was on How Political Will Translates into Fulfilment of Rights: The Example of Sri Lanka, with a presentation by Mr. Nimal Siripala De Silva, Minister of Health and Education of Government of Sri Lanka. He highlighted how Sri Lanka has managed to reduce maternal mortality from a high rate of 500 per 100,000 live births to 40 per 100,000 live births, in a short time period through investments in health and education. He emphasised the importance of free health services, inclusion of socio-cultural determinants in maternal and newborn health programmes, and community participation. He concluded by saying that maternal health should be a political challenge and not just a health challenge. The session on The Role of Media in Advocating for and Monitoring Implementation of the Right to Maternal Health was led by Ms. Katja Iverson, Media Specialist, UNFPA Information and External Relations Division. She presented five key points for successful media campaigns to place maternal health on both the political and the public agenda. The round table that followed on The Role of the Media in Advocating for and Monitoring Implementation of the Rights to Maternal Health included media experts participating in the workshop. They highlighted the challenges in reporting on maternal health and also inadequate knowledge on maternal health. They provided some excellent recommendations for improving coverage of maternal health in media. The following two sessions focused on country level action plans and elements of a regional action plan for maternal health and rights. Major elements identified by the plans are the following: advocating maternal health; monitoring the reach of services; improving access of the poor and excluded groups; monitoring existing laws and developing new laws; community mobilisation and support; strengthening health system management at the district levels; promotion of deliveries by skilled birth attendants; role of media; and capacity building. In order to equip the parliamentarians with advocacy tools in their efforts to advocate maternal health, the AFPPD launched Maternal Health: An Advocacy Guide for Parliamentarians in 2010. Written by Dr. Subidita Chatterjee, an international consultant for the health and development of women and young people, the 34-page guidebook outlines the rationale for advocacy for maternal health as well as the challenges and strategies of advocacy for maternal health at the primary healthcare level, community level, national governance level, and regional and global levels. The book delineates the roles of parliamentarians in various functions, namely advocacy, legislation, budget, representation, oversight, and accountability. Examples of good-practice parliamentary involvement are also cited, highlighting the most practical steps to reduce maternal and newborn death whilst taking a continuum of care approach. It also includes a checklist to help identify the gaps in national programming. A CD containing ready-made digital presentation files for advocacy use also supplements the guidebook. Hundreds of copies of the guidebook have been distributed to national committees and selected parliamentarians as well as partner agencies in Asia and the Pacific. It is also available upon request.

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As parliamentarians, you can help policymakers to understand that a healthy population is the greatest asset that a country can have to meet current and future challenges. You can enact supportive laws and policies to support women’s empowerment, gender equality and reproductive health and rights, and put in place mechanisms to monitor the implementation of these laws and policies. You can bridge the gap between the sensitivity of cultural practices, religious interpretations and issues of population and reproductive health through the legislation you adopt and the budget you allocate. You can create an enabling environment for the promotion and implementation of reproductive health legislation by your capacity to understand and mobilise the positive forces of our cultures and beliefs.

Ms. Thoraya A. Obaid, UNFPA Executive Director (2000-2010), Speech delivered at the eighth General Assembly of AFPPD, Jakarta, 12 November 2005

NOTES 15 16 17

ICPPPD Secretariat, International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (Bangkok: ICPPD Secretariat, 1994), p.18. Ibid., p.2.

United Nations, Report of the International Conference on Population and Development, “Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development,” ¶ 7.2, 18 October 1994, http://www.un.org/popin/icpd/conference/offeng/poa.html. 18 19

Kenneth Hill et al., “Estimates of Maternal Mortality Worldwide Between 1990 and 2005: An Assessment of Available Data,” Lancet, 370(2007), p.1317. United Nations Children’s Fund, The State of the World’s Children 2009 (UNICEF: New York, 2008), p.22.

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Equalit y

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Gender

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s the subordinate social position of women is a root cause of several population and development issues, ranging from maternal mortality to poverty, population and development goals since the ICPD have included gender equality as a key integral component with linkages to other issues. The ICPD Programme of Action devotes Chapter IV to gender equality, equity and empowerment of women. The chapter urges the governments, the business sector, international organisations and NGOs to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. The gender equality issues covered by the ICPD include women’s participation in political life, education, fulfilment of women’s rights, income, eliminating violence against women (EVAW), etc. The MDG 3 is to promote gender equality and empower women, with Target 3A of eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015, measured by three indicators, namely ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education, share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector, and proportion of seats held by women in national parliament. In practice, gender equality is also an essential component of other Goals in the MDGs, highlighting the importance of gender equality in population and development. The Asian Forum has recognised that there remains a need for concerted advocacy aimed at lawmakers, decision-makers, influential leaders and community groups to draw their attention to and increase their knowledge of their roles in eliminating violence against women and empowering women. The AFPPD’s specific approach to gender equality has two main components, namely elimination of violence against women, and women’s empowerment.

4.1. Elimination of Violence against Women

Violence against women has been an issue from which women around the world have suffered. It is a fact that its main perpetrators are the other half of the sky: men. Cultural and social factors are the forces that fuel the violence against women in various settings, chiefly in the family domain. The issues, including domestic/family violence, violence against girls, rape, trafficking of women, violence in armed conflict, have made their way in the international conferences and treaties since the late 1970s. The enterprise to uproot the perpetration of violence against women in the recent years has been accompanied by an effort to eradicate the egregious perception that violence against women is a troubling matter that should be kept within the domestic realm. The work of AFPPD in the area of elimination of violence against women has closely followed the developments on the international stage. Through a series of programmes over the years, the Asian Forum has strengthened the roles of parliamentarians in eliminating violence against women by providing them with a set of analytical and advocacy tools that would make them champions of elimination of violence against women, both inside and outside of the parliament. With the launch of the AFPPD Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians on the Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls, the lat56

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est programme has emphasised the benefits of involvement of male parliamentarians who are concerned about violence against women. The first AFPPD event specifically devoted to elimination of violence against women took place in 2001. The Inter-country Workshop on Parliamentary Advocacy for the Elimination of Violence against Women in East and South East Asia and the Pacific was held in Bangkok from 19 to 21 June 2001, by the AFPPD and the UNFPA, with the support from the JTF. More than 100 parliamentarians, government officials, and NGO representatives from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Vietnam attended the workshop. Experts from the UNFPA Asia-Pacific Division and the UNFPA/CST— Bangkok provided the parliamentarians with the latest information on the situation of violence against women in Asia and the Pacific. They also underscored the importance of parliamentarians’ actions at the national level through legal initiatives and institutional mechanisms. At the end of the workshop, the parliamentarians adopted a Plan of Action which also provided a guideline for the AFPPD’s programme of work in the area of elimination of violence against women. The Plan of Action recognises that the elimination of violence against women is fundamental to the achievement of women’s human rights and until that is addressed, sustainable and equitable national and regional development cannot occur. Acknowledging that sexual abuse and violence against women causes and maintains psychological and physical disempowerment of women, it urges the parliamentarians in the region and around the world to assume the role of agents of change who advocate elimination of violence against women in the context of differences in customary, religious, and national laws and at the same time harmonise any relevant differences that are inconsistent with the universal principles of human rights. Being agents of change, the Plan of Action continues, requires the parliamentarians to work in five areas to eradicate violence against women, namely public awareness, effective legislation, effective law enforcement, monitoring and evaluation, and regional coordination and cooperation. In particular, the legislation area calls for a comprehensive review of all existing laws, with a country’s laws measured against international standards and recommendation in all areas of violence against women, especially domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, treatment of refugees, trafficking of women and children, treatment during armed conflict, and treatment within institutions such as prisons and detention centres, etc. The focus on legislation was further discussed at the Workshop on Parliamentary Advocacy for the Prevention of Violence against Women, held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 18 and 19 March 2003. The workshop, attended by parliamentarians from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, focused on the situation of violence against women in South Asia. Organised by the AFPPD, the Parliament of Bangladesh, UNFPA – Bangladesh, and UNFPA/CST – Kathmandu, it was inaugurated by Mr. Muhammad Jamiruddin Sircar, Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh. The inaugural session was also addressed by Mr. Moudud Ahmed, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs of Bangladesh, Mrs. Khurshid Zahan Haque, Minister for Women and Children Affairs of Bangladesh. Dr. Malinee Sukavejworakit, Senator (Thailand) and AFPPD Secretary General, Ms. Imelda Henkin, UNFPA Deputy Executive Director, and Ms. Suneeta Mukherjee, UNFPA Representative to Bangladesh. The workshop devoted a session to legal and constitutional responses to violence against women. In the session, Prof. Savitri Goonesekera, a Sri Lankan legal scholar who had served on the Expert Committee on the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women from 1999 to 2002, noted that the criminal law procedures in Asia were “unfriendly” to women and the issues of violence against women were prone to being trivialised in the judicial system. She also pointed out that the constitutional provisions in South Asia failed to prevent state-sponsored violence against women in the midst of political conflicts. Prof. Goonesekera urged the parliamentarians to become “partners in initiating law reform, in monitoring law enforcement through critical debate Chapter Four: Gender Equality

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within and outside parliament, and in allocating budgets and resources for law enforcement. On the final day of the workshop, the parliamentarians adopted the Dhaka Declaration which is, inter alia, aimed at creating a non-violent culture through education and sensitisation strategies targeting both men and women and at strengthening support services for victims of violence. Domestic violence was the topic of discussions at the Focus Group Meeting on HIV/AIDS and Domestic Violence, held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on 17 and 18 December 2005. On the first day of the meeting, 20 parliamentarians from 10 countries in Asia and the Pacific discussed HIV/AIDs, prevention, and harm reduction. The agenda of the second day of the meeting was dedicated to the issues of domestic violence. Mr. Ian Howie, UNFPA Country Representative to Vietnam, began with a brief introduction of domestic violence and UNFPA’s programmes. Ms. Motoko Seko, Programme Specialist, Gender and HIV/AIDS, UNIFEM East and South East Asia Office, then proceeded to give a presentation on the causes of domestic violence, outlining the different kinds of domestic violence and the factors that contribute to domestic violence. She ended by asking parliamentarians to create an environment in which women can live without violence and domestic violence is a health, legal, economic, educational, development as well as human-rights issue. The next session by Mme. Tran Thi Minh Chanh, MP (Vietnam), focused on legislation on domestic violence in Vietnam and how the country is developing its bill on domestic violence. She discussed some challenges such as finding support from parliamentarians, especially male MPs, and how they fine-tuned it to the cultural and social conditions of Vietnam. After lunch, a movie on gender-based violence was shown, allowing the parliamentarians to have a real grasp on the issue and to be able to visually understand the depth of domestic violence and that it is more than just a legal issue. The movie triggered discussions about domestic violence. The AFPPD gave special emphasis to gender issues in the year 2010 to observe the 15-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+15). Meetings of the Standing Committee on Women and the Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians on Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls were held in November and December, respectively. Other programmes also included small grants for nationallevel follow-ups, in Mongolia, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Pakistan. The most important AFPPD event on elimination of violence against women of the year 2010 was Regional Ministers’ and Parliamentarians’ Conference on Review of Parliamentarians’ Actions and Legislation on Elimination of Violence against Women, held on 21 and 22 October, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Over 90 participants attended the conference, including 60 parliamentarians and ministers from 17 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, experts from UN agencies such as UNFPA, UNIFEM, UNAIDS, and UNDP, as well as representatives from international NGOs. With support from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the conference was organised by the AFPPD in cooperation with the IFPPD. The opening ceremony was addressed by Mr. Marzuki Alie, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Indonesia, Dr. Ahmad Nizar Shihab, MP (Indonesia) and Chair of IFPPD, Mr. Tri Harjun Ismaji, Yogyakarta’s Regional Secretary, Dr. Pinit Kullavanijaya, Senator (Thailand) and Secretary General of AFPPD, Ms. Gillian Brown, Principal Gender Advisor, AusAID, and Mr. Jose Ferraris, UNFPA representative to Indonesia. Ms. Linda Amalia Sari, Minister for Women Empowerment and Child Protection of Indonesia, delivered keynote speech. She noted that there were still obstacles to overcome in eliminating violence against women. Networking within and beyond national borders is still a challenge that needs to be addressed in measuring, reporting, legislating and taking action. She called on the parliamentarians to commit themselves to working with their governments to enact regulations that are responsive to the violence against women issues, allocating the necessary resources, and strengthening cross -border networking in taking action on these issues. 58

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During the sessions, the parliamentarians discussed the current situation of violence against women in Asia and the Pacific, constitutional and legislative responses, media and its responsibilities, intersection of violence against women with migration, human trafficking and HIV/AIDS, men’s actions on elimination of violence against women and girls, women’s health and violence against women, and parliamentarians’ actions and advocacy for reducing discrimination and violence against women. The parliamentarians pledged their commitment to elimination of violence against women through the enactment of laws and provision of resources to protect women’s rights and promote gender equity, effective oversight and monitoring of law implementation and enforcement, and campaign for elimination of violence against women outside the parliament. They also made country-specific commitments, highlighting the immediate needs and plan of actions in different countries. For instance, five parliamentarians from the Philippines vowed to implement and monitor pro-women laws and social policies with the active participation of NGOs, civil society and enforcement agencies; work for the transformation of the longstanding beliefs and practices of both institutions and individuals through violence against women prevention seminars and gender sensitisation workshops for men; work for active involvement of men and boys in advocacy campaigns to curb and stamp out violence against women starting with their own relationships and within their own communities and schools; start early in the education of boys towards respecting women’s rights since boys are potential perpetrators of violence against women; conduct studies on the economic cost of gender-based violence; and review the labour export policy that puts women workers at risk and makes them prone to violence in their workplace abroad. They also committed themselves to working toward legislation, namely national reproductive health laws with special provisions on gender equality and maternal health and anti-corporal punishment laws. They also stressed that it is imperative to hold the state accountable for violence perpetrated on women by its law enforcement and military organisations.

4.2. Women’s Empowerment

The main component of the AFPPD’s gender equality programme of work is women’s empowerment. The issues of women’s empowerment have been explored by parliamentarians in Asia and the Pacific during international, regional, and national activities of the AFPPD, particularly the Asia-Pacific Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference, one of the most significant forums of women parliamentarians and ministers in the region. As described in chapter 2, the AFPPD, with support from the Government of Japan and UNFPA, has convened the conference annually to address gender-related issues and provide a platform for women parliamentarians to exchange information, expertise and best practices. The conference is also an opportunity for women parliamentarians to network with UN staff, NGOs, and development experts. Each conference has produced outcome document that recognises achievements and challenges and produces policy recommendations and commitment on actions to be taken. The focal point of women’s empowerment and gender equality in the Asian Forum is the Standing Committee on Women. The Committee first met in Manila, the Philippines, on 14 and 15 July 1995, under the leadership of Ms. Leticia Ramos-Shahani, Senator (The Philippines), and was composed of members from India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Syria. In the third decade of the AFPPD, the Committee has been chaired alternately by women parliamentarians from Australia and New Zealand, namely Ms. Kelly Hoare, MP (Australia), from 2002 to 2005, Ms. Steve Chadwick, MP and Minister for Women Affairs (New Zealand), from 2005 to 2008, and Ms. Claire Moore, Senator (Australia), from 2008 to present.

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The Committee has met on the sideline of most of the Regional Women Ministers’ and Parliamentarians’ Conferences. Sometimes, special meetings have been convened, however. On 2 October 2003, the meeting took place in Manila, the Philippines, at the First Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference and was attended by women parliamentarians from 14 countries. During the meeting, chaired by Ms. Hoare, the role of the committee was discussed and its responsibility to enhance gender issues within AFPPD was highlighted. At the second Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference, in Canberra, Australia, on 29 June 2004, the meeting, also chaired by Ms. Hoare, decided to support innovative ideas that are linked with women’s legislation and women’s issues. Under the leadership of Ms. Chadwick, the committee met during the third and fourth Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conferences in 2005 and 2006 and on a separate occasion in Wellington, New Zealand, on 20 and 21 August 2008. At the Wellington meeting, the committee reviewed a report of AFPPD’s gender-related activities which highlighted its support for national parliamentarian committees’ population and health initiatives, legislation on the elimination of domestic violence and efforts to promote participation of women parliamentarians at national, regional and international levels. The committee met on 15 November 2009, during the seventh Women Ministers’ and Parliamentarians’ Conference, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Chaired by Senator Claire, it discussed report of the Standing Committee on Male Involvement in the Prevention of Violence against Women. The meeting also provided suggestions for the AFPPD programmes on gender equality and women’s empowerment for the year of Beijing+15 in 2010. The next meeting was held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 29 November 2010, after the 68th AFPPD Executive Committee Meeting and the Young Parliamentarians’ Consultation on ICPD Issues. It was chaired by Senator Moore and was attended by approximately 20 participants, including Ms. Nobuko Horibe, Director of UNFPA APRO and Ms. Kiran Bhatia, Technical Advisor on Gender, UNFPA APRO. The latest meeting was held on the sideline of the eighth Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 26 March 2011. The activities of the Standing Committee have expanded through the years. As directed by the Standing Committee, the AFPPD has convened events on various issues related to gender, which have proved very effective in promoting awareness of gender-related issues among parliamentarians. These efforts have resulted either in the drafting of new legislation or the review of existing ones, including those aimed at reducing gender disparities and addressing gender-based violence. As outlined in the indicators of MDG 3, education for girls, jobs for women, and women’s representation in national politics are central to the efforts to empower women. The AFPPD has sought parliamentarians’ supports for these three issues in various programmes. One of the most outstanding programmes in this regard was the adoption of educational empowerment for women and girls as the theme of the fifth Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference, held in Beijing, on 27 and 28 November 2007. Women’s empowerment in Central Asia is also prominent in the Asian Forum’s programme of work. Over 60 participants including parliamentarians, NGOs and UN representatives attended the Central Asia Parliamentarian Meeting on Gender and ICPD Issues, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 28 and 29 October 2010. Organised by AFPPD in cooperation with European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF) and UNFPA, supported by the Government of Japan, and hosted by the Parliament of Kazakhstan, the conference sought to improve the understanding of male and female parliamentarians and experts from the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, on gender related issues and its relevance within the ICPD agenda and the implementation of CEDAW.

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Over the two-day meeting, the parliamentarians, who were joined by representatives from UNFPA, UNIFEM, UNESCAP and NGOs working on gender equality from each of the five Central Asian countries, reviewed the successful strategies used in the implementation of CEDAW, as well as deliberating over remaining challenges facing the implementation of CEDAW and setting priorities for future actions. Ms. Aitkul Baigazievna Samakova, MP from Kazakhstan and AFPPD Vice-Chairman, welcomed all the participants to the meeting, promising that this “meeting will be a big step forward for promoting gender equality in Central Asian countries”. Opportunities for women’s empowerment will be considered, with a focus on examining parliamentarians strategies for the development of gender equality, and the unique experience of each nation in Central Asia. Furthermore, by hosting this event, it is an acknowledgement of Kazakhstan’s participants in the Central Asian Parliamentarians Meeting on Gender and ICPD Issues efforts to fulfil its international agreements on population and gender equality. Mr. Zhanibek Salimovich Karibzhanov, Vice-Speaker of the Majilis, Parliament of Kazakhstan, in his welcome address emphasised the importance of women’s political participation, stating that “democracy without women is not democracy”. While gender equality is not developing evenly in all of Central Asia, it is only through the exchange of ideas that the best solutions can be found. Ms. Gulshara Naushaevna Abdykalikova, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Chair of the National Committee on Women, reviewed the achievements and developments that Kazakhstan has made in the area of gender equality, saying “We must stick to the obligations of international development regarding the equality of all people and citizens, based on gender inclusiveness.” Mr. Nikolai Botev, Sub-Regional Office Director of UNFPA for Eastern Europe and Central Asia stressed the centrality of gender equality for sustainable development in his presentation on the gender equality and women’s empowerment in the framework of the ICPD Programme of Action and CEDAW.

Let us build expanding networks to promote better understanding of the right to reproductive health, to strengthen the existing political will and to generate more mass support that is needed to overcome opposition and clarify misconceptions. Let us spread the truth that access to reproductive health services means fewer abortions not more abortions; that life skills education, including principles of gender equality and information about sexual issues, increases responsible behaviour and delays the onset of sexual activity not the opposite. As Parliamentarians, you can transform the voices of the people into action by Governments. You have the power to make a real difference and I would like to assure you that UNFPA stands with you.

Ms. Thoraya A. Obaid, UNFPA Executive Director (2001-2010), Keynote Speech delivered at the 2006 International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD), Bangkok, 21 November 2006

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5

Poverty Alleviation and

F

Sust ainabilit y

rom a road trip to mountainous area in the northern part of Vietnam to the UN Headquarters in New York, the AFPPD and the parliamentarians from the member countries have been at the forefront of the global endeavour to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainability through linking population factors with the pressing issues of food security, poverty alleviation, and climate change. The AFPPD has adopted the approach of the ICPD Programme of Action on the interrelationships between population, sustained economic growth and sustainable development and has been active in the pursuit of programmes that are conducive to achieving the poverty and environment MDGs.

5.1. Food Security

Food security has been a focus of the work of the AFPPD since its first ten years. At the time, the concern about food security among policymakers around the world was driven by the alarming tendency of world population growth and the distress of the world food crisis of the 1970s. It was Mr. Takashi Sato, MP (Japan) and the first Chairman of AFPPD, who realised the importance of the issues of food security and agricultural policy and incorporated them into the agenda of the second General Conference of the AFPPD in Beijing in September 1987. Population and food was one of the nine major sub-themes of the conference. The concern, linking population growth with food security, at the time was best described in Mr. Sato’s speech delivered at the press conference for the Day of Three Billion in Asia, held on 1 July 1988, in Tokyo. Mr. Sato said, “The excessive population growth will result in shortages of food, resources and energy which are limited on earth and environmental destruction beyond national boundaries. These will not only threaten the living base of the human beings who are and will be surviving on this earth, but also have the power to cancel out civilised society and even the technological innovations and economic development which should be useful for human beings.”20 After Mr. Sato’s death in 1991, Mr. Sakurai inherited both the chairmanship and the determination to advocate the issues of food security from his predecessor. Under his chairmanship, the Asian Forum organised four events at the sub-regional, regional, and international levels in 1996 – the year of the World Food Summit – which have provided a solid foundation for the integration of food security with other population and development issues in the AFPPD programme of work. The first event was the AFPPD Executive Committee’s Special Meeting on Food Security and Population, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 30 April to 3 May 1996. The Executive Committee members from Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Syria, Thailand, and Vietnam, and representatives from UNFPA and IPPF discussed the linkages between food security and population and development and adopted AFPPD statement to be presented to the 23rd FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, in Apia, Western Samoa, 64

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from 14 to 18 May 1996. The second conference was the Pacific Regional Meeting of the Parliamentarians on Food Security, Population and Development, held on 13 and 14 August 1996 in Coral Coast, Fiji. With the support from UNFPA/CST – Suva, the meeting was AFPPD’s first meeting to be held in the Pacific. The third event was the fifth General Conference of the AFPPD in Canberra, Australia, in 1996. It was the first time for food security to be the main theme of an AFPPD General Conference. At the conference, the parliamentarians adopted the Canberra Statement which underscores the importance of food security in today’s world. It states that the parliamentarians “must also recognise that food security is world security. It has a direct bearing not only on people’s well being but also on social stability, regional and world peace. Food security therefore is vitally important to all countries and to the international community as a whole.” The statement proposes recommendations for the issues surrounding food security, including population growth and food production, food production and environment, and community development. The fourth meeting was the International Meeting of Parliamentarians on Food Security, Population and Development in Geneva, Switzerland, on 10 and 11 November 1996. It was held in conjunction with the World Food Summit, which was convened in Rome, Italy, from 13 to 17 November 1996. The Asian Forum organised the meeting in cooperation with other regional and international parliamentarians’ groups on population and development and the UNFPA and IPPF. More than 100 parliamentarians from 57 countries attended the meeting. Mr. Walter B. Gyger, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Nations in Geneva, opened the meeting. The opening session was addressed by Mr. Sakurai and Mr. Hirofumi Ando, Deputy Executive Director of the UNFPA. Mr. Lester Brown, then President of the Worldwatch Institute, gave a presentation on food security, population and development. He warned that rising food prices might also spark an unprecedentedly high volume of migration and might spark food riot or create political instability as well. He pointed out that achieving an acceptable balance between food and people might now depend more on family planners than on fishers and farmers. The road to food security, he argued, depended on investing in family planning, educating girls and women in developing countries, and creating opportunities for women. At the end of the meeting, the parliamentarians adopted the Geneva Declaration on Food Security, Population and Development. It identifies food as a basic human need and a fundamental human right and notes that food-security and related social development programmes should be given highest priority on development agendas. It further notes that poverty must be eradicated to improve access to food and that the early stabilisation of population is a primary condition for realising sustainable food security. At the outset of its third decade, the AFPPD created a formal mechanism that would sustain the momentum of its dedication to food security issues: the Standing Committee on Food Security. Founded in 2002, the standing committee was headed by Mr. Sakurai, who had just left the AFPPD chairmanship. The committee met for the first time on 7 and 8 February 2003, in Bangkok, Thailand. The two-day meeting was attended by 35 participants. These included twenty-four parliamentarians from Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, resource persons from UNESCAP, FAO, Angiang University Vietnam and the Wira Institute in Malaysia, and AFPPD staff. The meeting was opened by Dr. Malinee Sukavejworakit, Senator (Thailand) and Secretary General of AFPPD. She told committee members that Mr. Yoshio Yatsu, MP (Japan) and Chairman of AFPPD, had discussed, during seventh AFPPD General Assembly in Beijing in 2002, the importance of giving special emphasis to food security. She pointed out that agriculture was an important economic base of a nation and if that base is sound, then in times of recession, people would not go hungry. Dr. Malinee also said that having food alone is not sufficient, as the world must also Chapter Five: Poverty Alleviation and Sustainability

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have a fair distribution system of food. “It is essential we discuss where developing countries’ priorities lie. Food is essential for life and should be readily available for everyone, not simply to those who have purchasing power”, she said. Mr. Sakurai, MP (Japan) and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Food Security stressed the roles of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the tight control developed countries have over weaker, developing ones. Mr. Sakurai felt very strongly that the situation in Africa, where the degree of food dependency was high, was a dangerous one and certainly not conducive to a sound agricultural base. Mr. Sakurai said international agreements must be examined, and the problems linking population and food must be urgently addressed. At the ninth AFPPD General Assembly, held in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2008, the issues of food security once again stood at the top of the list of discussions. At this assembly, the linkages between food security and climate change were also explored. The current chair of the AFPPD Standing Committee on Food Security is Mr. Chiaki Takahashi, MP (Japan).

5.2. Poverty Alleviation

Poverty alleviation is at the heart of population and development and is well entrenched in both the ICPD Programme of Action and the MDGs. Since its inception, the Asian Forum has dedicated to addressing poverty in the context of population and development with linkages to other issues such as population growth, reproductive health, gender equality, the environment, etc. The advent of the MDGs in 2000 has given special meaning for poverty alleviation in the AFPPD programme of work. A series of events in the third decade of the AFPPD have been pursued in cooperation with UN specialised agencies such as UNDP and IFAD to address poverty. The CIS Regional Conference on Population and Development – Poverty and Ways of Its Alleviation, held in Biskek, Kyrgyzstan, on 22 and 23 September 2001, was the first AFPPD event to be held in Central Asia as well as the first event to address the issue of poverty alleviation directly as the main theme. The Central Asian parliamentarians and representatives from NGOs, international organisations and UN agencies, gave a wealth of presentations, providing participants with a valuable insight into the issues and solutions surrounding poverty, especially linkages between poverty alleviation and population and family planning issues. The Central Asian parliamentarians made several suggestions on poverty alleviation. At the end of the conference, the parliamentarians were committed to taking the following actions in order to alleviate poverty: increasing public understanding of mutual dependence and the need for international cooperation and development; refocusing national and international development efforts on the elimination of poverty and encouraging economic and social policies that benefit the poor; and focusing on closer cooperation between NGOs, government activities on all levels and international organisations to promote international action for the elimination of poverty, and to help mobilise the political will to achieve international development targets. The AFPPD collaborated with IFAD, a UN agency mandated to alleviate rural poverty, for the first time in April 2006, when the Asian Parliamentarians’ Seminar on Poverty Alleviation took place in Hanoi, Vietnam. The seminar was opened by Mr. Nguyen Phuc Tha, Vice Speaker of the National Assembly of Vietnam. Mr. Yoshio Yatsu, MP (Japan) and President of Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE), Japan, who served as AFPPD Chairman from 2000 to 2005, addressed the seminar and emphasised the linkages between rural poverty and environment and population issues, saying that population stability is a prerequisite to the efforts for a balanced environment. He said that, in a world where 75 per cent of its poorest people live in rural areas, it was vital to provide all the poor with education and health services, including reproductive-health services, improve access 66

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to technology and market, and promote women’s empowerment. “In the long run, such a process will contribute to reducing poverty of the country”, said Mr. Yatsu. He also exemplified Vietnam for its achievements in poverty alleviation, citing the sharp decline in the number of people living under poverty line from 58 per cent to 24 per cent over the past 10 years. In her address, Mme. Nguyen Thi Hoai Thu, MP, Chairwoman of Social Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of Vietnam and Chairwoman of VAPPD, who also served as AFPPD Vice-Chairman, said that Vietnam gained considerable achievements in the field of poverty reduction, and was considered as a successful country in poverty reduction activities. The Social Affairs Committee has made contributions to successful activities through its support to the issuance of several laws and ordinances related to the poor such as: Ordinance on People with Disabilities, Ordinance on the Elderly, Policy on free Medical Checks and Treatment for the Poor and under 6-year-old Children, Law on HIV/AIDS Prevention, Gender Equity Law Project, Domestic Violence Prevention Law Project, etc. And, thus, these contributed to the goal of poverty alleviation the VAPPD shares with IFAD. Chaired by Mr. Suresh Vadivelu, MP and Deputy Minister of Healthcare (Sri Lanka), the session on “Poverty Alleviation in Asia with a Focus on Vietnam” provided an insight into the Vietnamese experience in poverty alleviation with an emphasis on state’s policy and strategy. Mme. Dao Trinh Bac, Head of UN Agencies and International NGOs Division, Foreign Economic Relations Department, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam, highlighted the formulation and implementation of the Vietnamese government’s comprehensive socio-economic development strategy, locally known as “Doi Moi”, as well as the participation and initiatives from Official Development Assistance (ODA) and international specialised agencies such as IFAD in the efforts for poverty reduction. Dr. Ngo Huy Liem, a Vietnamese poverty-reduction specialist, delineated the interactions between each agent that led to successful poverty-alleviation policy. He added that the integration of the agricultural section into the market was a contributing factor to the decline in the number of people living under poverty line, with the rural households now selling over 70 per cent of their farm outputs (compared to only 48 per cent nine years ago). He said that the emerging challenges to this positive development came from the slowdown of the speed of poverty reduction and the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor, and the concentration of poverty among ethnic minorities in certain mountainous areas. The gradual move from poverty alleviation to sustainable poverty alleviation and social security was also noticed, he added. Mr. Imran Ullah Chaudhry, MP (Pakistan), chaired the session on “IT/Media Impact on Poverty Alleviation”, in which Mr. Dilip Cherian, Consulting Partner, Perfect Relations, India, came up with a comprehensive set of recommendations for parliamentarians to effectively advocate for the cause of poverty alleviation through the mass media and new media, especially citizen journalism. The session on “Food Security Policies and Ground Realities of Population Growth”, chaired by Ms. Chitralekha Yadav, Deputy Speaker of the Nepalese Parliament, featured Mr. Shin Sakurai, MP (Japan), Chair of AFPPD Standing Committee on Food Security, and former Chairman of AFPPD. Mr. Sakurai provided a global perspective on the situation in the areas that are closely connected to food security. In the session on “Parliamentarians’ Role in Poverty Reduction”, Dr. Wee Ka Siong, MP (Malaysia), Dr. H. Bomer Pasaribu, MP (Indonesia), and Mr. Akhom Tounalom, MP (Laos), provided an overview of the legislative development in the area of poverty alleviation in their respective countries. Dr. Wee, from Malaysia, said that the parliaments had an important role to play in poverty alleviation. They were required to oversee the development and implementation of strategies, ensure the integrity of the participation process, particularly for the poor, and oversee the budget-cycle process and monitoring and evaluation stages. Dr. Pasaribu, from Indonesia, spoke on poverty Chapter Five: Poverty Alleviation and Sustainability

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profile and alleviation programmes in Indonesia. He outlined the programmes implemented by the government that aim at combating poverty and relieving the economic fallouts, including special market operation of rice for poor people, social safety net, education social programme, health social programme, people empowerment programme to ease economic crisis, and cash directly supporting for poor people as the compensation of reducing fuel price subsidy. Mr. Tounalom, from Laos, said that the efforts to alleviate poverty in Laos focus on four main sectors: agriculture, education, health and provision of infrastructure. More effort is needed to reduce vulnerability at the local level and to enhance coping strategies, he said. On the second day of the conference, over 30 parliamentarians and senior officials from Japan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam visited the project sites in the Xuan Van and Tan Long communes in Tuyen Quang Province where beneficiaries and participants of the IFAD-supported project discussed how they participated in planning the project and how they are benefiting from its results. The rural income diversification project has been in place in more than 66 communes over the past 5 years in Tuyen Quang, a mountainous province about 300 km. north of Hanoi, encompassing four main components, namely food security and income diversification, gender and women’s livelihood, village infrastructure development, and project management. The Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians’ Forum on Hunger and Inequality was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in February 2009. Organised by AFPPD and UNDP Regional Centres, in cooperation with the Millennium Campaign, the forum drew 34 parliamentarians from 12 countries in the region to exchange lessons and experience, enhance connection between parliamentarians and electorates, and formulate and implement national and regional strategies for action. Also in attendance were members of the diplomatic community, including the UK Ambassador, and high-level officials of the Sri Lankan government, including Mr. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition, who addressed the forum. The conference recognised the progress made on many of the MDGs in the region but noted that progress towards reducing hunger has been relatively slow compared to other MDG targets. The region has the greatest number of undernourished people in the world (61 per cent). Nearly half of all South Asian children were malnourished, compared to one-third of children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hunger and agricultural production have drawn government attention in light of the recent food price crisis, but to ensure food security and reduce hunger requires addressing the underlying causes of hunger in the region, which are deep rooted, including widening disparities and inequitable resource distribution. Over the course of the forum, participants heard from a distinguished group of international experts on hunger and inequality, drawn from UN agencies, academia, governments, NGOs and from the ranks of parliamentarians themselves. Participants used these presentations as a platform for discussions on subjects including climate change; food safety nets; gender, inequality and hunger; hunger as a legally enforceable human right; and agricultural productivity. Keynote addresses were delivered by Professor Mohan Munasinghe, Chair of Munasinghe Institute of Development, and vicechair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Regional Centre in Colombo (RCC); Dr. Yasmeen Khwaja, Consultant Economist; and Mr. Omar Noman, Chief of Policies and Programmes at the UNDP RCC. Mr. Noman opened the Forum by welcoming speakers and participants to Colombo. He then gave an overview of hunger and inequality in Asia. Social and economic inequalities persisted in Asia despite the spread of democracy 68

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and rapid economic growth in recent years. For example, four of the top 10 richest people in the world are from India, where over 300 million people lived in absolute poverty. In regard to hunger, the situation is most critical in South Asia, Cambodia, Laos and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea although national data conceal important local disparities. Professor Munasinghe discussed meeting the multiple challenges of the hunger-poverty-climate change nexus. He addressed the intricate interconnectedness of the three global issues and emphasised that none can be tackled in isolation. An effective response to these challenges requires a comprehensive approach with targeted actions in each country. Mr. Minar Pimple, Deputy Director of the UN Millennium Campaign Asia in Bangkok, outlined the work of the UN Millennium Campaign in achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. He urged parliamentarians to show political leadership at local and national levels and highlighted their role to remind their governments of the pledges they signed up to in regards to the MDGs. Dr. Pinit Kullavanijaya, Senator (Thailand) and Secretary General of the AFPPD, expressed his appreciation at AFPPD collaborating with UNDP and UN Millennium Campaign in advancing the MDG agenda. It was widely acknowledged that food scarcity does not keep people hungry as food is adequately available; instead, it is poverty that cripples people’s ability to buy food. On the second day, experts and parliamentarians discussed a range of issues and strategies pertinent to reducing poverty and inequality, including empowerment of women as the key to reducing hunger; the forthcoming Asia Pacific Human Development Report; food security through public distribution system in India; pre-school and school feeding; and conditional cash transfers, education and health programmes. The global financial and economic crisis was presenting a major challenge to poverty and hunger reduction, but experts also called on governments to use this as an opportunity to integrate pro-poor policy into their economic recovery plans. The parliamentarians issued a statement of commitment at the end of the conference.

5.3. Climate Change

“Environmental problems do not know any national boundaries”, said Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, MP (Japan), former Prime Minister of Japan, and current AFPPD Chairman at the 12th Rafael M. Salas Lecture, entitled “Challenges for Sustainable Development in a New Era: Population, Climate Change and Global Security”, on 23 November 2009, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. “It is imperative that we deal with population and climate change simultaneously as we think about our future and the impact climate change could have on the poor and vulnerable people around the world. It is particularly vital that they be given improved knowledge and technology so that that they develop adaptive competencies to deal with climate change by utilising local wisdom and resources”, Mr. Fukuda added. Mr. Fukuda’s statement attests to the Asian Forum‘s commitment to taking into account the linkages between population and climate change in the programme of work. The issue of climate change was extensively explored by parliamentarians at the ninth General Assembly of AFPPD in Hanoi, Vietnam, in December 2008. In his welcome address, Mr. Fukuda stressed that population stability and “participation by all”, the participation of both industrialised and developing countries, should be at the heart of international cooperation on tackling climate change. Apart from linkage between climate change and population, the issues of food security and water management, climate change and gender perspectives, and parliamentarians’ movement and climate change were also discussed.

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Ms. Ma Li, MP (China) and Director-General of China Population and Development Research Centre, highlighted China’s policy preference on population and climate change, which values the people and sustainable development while giving adequate consideration to economic development. China is committed to stabilise its low fertility level, promote change of economic development style, encourage energy-efficiency and conservation, and build ecologically friendly means of production and consumption behaviour, she said. In particular, Ms. Ma enumerated some specific policy directions to which China was committed, including establishing a legal framework to tackle climate change, improving and implementing laws and regulations related to climate change, energy and green house gas emission, and creating a stable financial investment mechanism through government investment and special permission to encourage use of clean and renewable energy. “China upholds the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities adopted in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol”, stated Ms. Ma. She also called on developed countries to take the lead in reducing emission and provide financial aid and technological transfer to developing countries to help them do the same. In his speech, Mr. Robert Engelman, Vice President of Programme, World Watch Institute, asked, “Are greenhouse gas emissions chiefly a function of numbers of people or levels of consumption?” He said the answer was a combination of both. Previous studies of climate change and population growth have shown a strong correlation. Breaking down close correlation between population growth and emissions of greenhouse gases by states indicates diversity in the population-emissions link; there are places where emissions are declining despite a growing population and where emissions increase much quicker than population. Although correlation is not causation, such correlations and studies lay the foundation for future research. “As a simple matter of the precautionary principle”, he concluded, “achieving the lower population projection makes good climate sense, especially since it could be achieved by satisfying the demands of all women and couples for access to safe and effective family planning information and contraceptives.” In recognition of the indispensable and important role lawmakers play in the response to climate change, the ninth General Assembly devoted its last session on “Parliamentarian Movement and Climate Change”, featuring MPs from seven countries. Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai, MP (Vietnam), gave an overview of mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change, in which he highlighted the Vietnamese government’s climate adaptation policies over the years. Vietnam ratified the UNFCCC in 1994 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. Mr. Bekenov Askhat, MP (Kazakhstan), expressed hope that his country would ratify the Kyoto Protocol soon. He recognised the responsibility of Kazakhstan, a country with substantial hydrocarbon reserves, to address climate change. Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, MP (the Philippines), said that climate change must be on top of any political agenda, which should articulate shared but differentiated responsibility, provide national legal infrastructure to combat climate change, sustain international dialogue and cooperation, and integrate reproductive health and family planning with population development. The Asia-Pacific Regional Parliamentarians Seminar on Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change and Rural Poverty, held in Manila, the Philippines, in March 2010, was the Asian Forum’s latest effort to explore the impacts of climate change on one of the most vulnerable groups whose livelihood has been affected: the indigenous peoples. Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), urged the international climate change mitigation mechanisms to investigate real social consequences of climate change, including those on the indigenous peoples. She said that the big challenge for the indigenous peoples was how they could 70

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sustain their effective participation not only at the global level but at the national and local levels. Ms. Tauli-Corpuz pointed out that there must be more “decisive moves to radically change the existing paradigm of development and economic growth towards a system which is climate-sensitive and which respects human rights and social justice and considers ecological limits.”

The world’s population has tripled since the United Nations was created in 1945. And our numbers keep growing, with corresponding pressures on land, energy, food, and water. The global economy is generating pressures as well: rising joblessness, widening social inequalities, and the emergence of new economic powers. These trends link the fate and future of today’s seven billion people as never before. No nation alone can solve the great global challenges of the twenty-first century. International cooperation is a universal need.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, Excerpted from A Global Agenda for Seven Billion People, 26 September 2011 ©Project Syndicate, 2011

NOTES 20

Sato, “The Announcement of the Day of 3 Billion in Asia,” quoted in Singh, The Population Challenge in Asia, p.29.

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6

National Committees and Their

F

Achievement s

rom Iran to the Pacific islands, the AFPPD members, which are national committees of parliamentarians on population and development, have been making a difference. The membership of the Asian Forum consists of official parliamentary committees dealing with population and health issues. In the parliament where such a committee does not exist, an all-party national group of parliamentarians concerned with population and development issues will be formed with the knowledge and approval of the Speaker of the Parliament. This chapter is devoted to the achievements of each of the 26 national committees which have joined the Asian Forum.

Afghanistan

The National Committee on Population and Development of the National Assembly of Afghanistan was established in June 2010 and became an AFPPD member in the same year although Afghan parliamentarians have participated in AFPPD activities since the first General Conference of the AFPPD in 1984. The committee members were drawn from key parliamentarians on the parliamentary committees which have the mandates related to population and development issues. The founding members are Dr. Niamatullah Miakhail, Chairman of the Committee on Health, Sports, Youth, Labor and Workers Affairs of the House of Representatives (Wolesi Jirga), Mr. Tahira Mirzada, Chairman of the Committee on Women’s Affairs, Civil Society and Human Rights, Mr. Al. Haj. Mohammad Abdo, member of the Committee on Justice, Judiciary, Administrative Reform Affairs and Fight against Corruption, Dr. Noshafarin Shahab Dawlati, member of the Committee on Health, Sports, Youth, Labor and Workers Affairs of the House of Representatives, Mr. Obaidullah Helali, member of the Committee on National Economy, Non-governmental Organizations, Rural Development, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Affairs, and Mr. Nezamudind Adel, Director of Relations with World Parliaments, International Relations Department of the General Secretariat of the National Assembly of Afghanistan. The establishment of the National Committee on Population and Development in the Afghan Parliament is illustrative of the Asian Forum’s long-standing commitment to integrating countries where parliamentarians’ movement on population and development is still in its nascent stage or does not exist yet into its network of national committees on population and development from countries in Asia and the Pacific. The AFPPD’s efforts to engage Afghan parliamentarians closely followed the political development in the country after the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. With the assistance of the UNFPA Country Office, the AFPPD had it first contact with members of the 2002 Loya Jirga, which was a grand assembly consisting of more than 2,000 members who were convened in an emergency setting with a mandate to elect a transitional administration. Two members of the 2002 Loya Jirga, Mr. Mohammad Farooq Baraki, who was also Director of Economic Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Faqir Shah Mehran, Director of the Statistical Affairs for Province of the Central Statistical Office of Afghanistan, attended the seventh AFPPD General Assembly, held 72

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in Beijing in October 2002. After the first post-Taliban parliamentary election, held on 18 September 2005, parliamentarians from Afghanistan became regular participants of AFPPD programmes, especially on the issues of women’s empowerment. Mr. Haj Zarin Zarin, MP, and Mr. Al. Haj. Bidar Zazai, MP, along with Mr. Nezamudin Adel, attended the Regional Training on Development of Culturally Sensitive Programmes in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in July 2007. Two women parliamentarians, Dr. Roshanak Wardak and Ms. Naz Parwar Hadi, attended the fifth Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference in Beijing in November 2007. Four women parliamentarians, namely Ms. Roshan Alikozai, Ms. Rida Azimi, Ms. Shah Gul Razayee, and Ms. Sharifa Zurmati, participated in the sixth Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in September 2008. At the ninth General Assembly of the AFPPD in Hanoi, Vietnam, in December 2008, Mr. Niamatullah Miakhail, MP, and Mr. Abdul Khan Kochi, MP, represented Afghanistan.

Australia

Formed in 1995 to support and promote the ICPD Programme of Action, the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (PGPD) is a cross-party group of federal and state/territory parliamentarians with an interest in working across party lines to address national and international issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The mission of the PGPD is to support gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls as set out in the ICPD Programme of Action, holding that gender equality goes hand-in-hand with investments in sexual and reproductive health, education and economic opportunities. It works to mobilise political will in addressing discrimination and violence against women and to reverse the appallingly high rates of maternal deaths and disability by advocating for safe reproductive health care services. The PGPD also affirms that integrated reproductive health care and HIV/AIDS policies and practices are a critical tool for achieving the MDGs and the empowerment of women in the region. The PGPD has effectively helped alter numerous laws and policies that impinged on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women in Australia and our region. Of note, was the work of group members in lifting the ban on the RU486 abortion pill in Australia, and in amending the aid programme’s Family Planning Guidelines, to allow funding for services and resources relating to abortion in the region. The Group was co-convened by Senator Margaret Reynolds, Senator Vicki Bourne and Dr. Brendan Nelson, MP, with Australian Reproductive Health Alliance (ARHA) serving as its secretariat. In 1998 a new constitution for the Group allowed members of state/territory parliaments to join. Under the new rules, Dr Brendan Nelson, MP, was elected to Chair the Group in 1999, continuing in this position until 2003 when he resigned due to his ministerial workload. Mr. Michael Johnson, MP, then held the position until 2006, when Dr. Sharman Stone, MP, was elected to the position. Dr. Stone served until February 2007 and was succeeded by Dr. Mal Washer, MP. The Group has contributed to raising awareness in Australian parliaments about international population and development issues. The Group has hosted meetings and seminars with leaders in the field, including Dr. Robert Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, Dr. Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director of the UNFPA, and Dr. Steven Sinding, Director-General of the IPPF. Members of the Group have participated in study tours, to Thailand and Vietnam, Vanuatu and Fiji, and the Philippines. A new sub-committee on Male Parliamentarians for the Elimination of Violence against Women (MPEVAW) was launched by PGPD and ARHA on 24 November 2010 at the Parliament House in Canberra. Membership of MPEVAW had been extended to all male Chapter Six: National Committees and their Achievements

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parliamentarians who were existing members of the PGPD. As of 2010, the PGPD was made up of over 100 members, including 43 federal parliamentarians. The PGPD is chaired by a member of the government, and has a vice-chair from the opposition party and a vice-chair from a minor party.

Bangladesh

Although the Bangladesh Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development has not been reformed yet, parliamentarians from Bangladesh have been taking part in AFPPD activities since 1987. They first constituted the Bangladesh Group of AFPPD in 1993. As the Group had been discontinued at the end of the parliamentary term in early 1996, there were efforts to reconstitute the parliamentary group throughout 1996 and 1997. They were successful in April 1998 when the AFPPD Executive Committee approved the membership of the Bangladesh Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In 2000, AFPPD made its effort for the National Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development to be reconstituted so that it would be associated with AFPPD. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was one of the 35 standing committees on different ministries. The committee was constituted, under the Ministry of Health, with Members of Parliament, and one of them was appointed as the chairman of the committee. Main activities of the committee include reviewing any bill related to Ministry of Health placed in the Parliament. Same procedure was also applied for making policies. Another important activity is taking care of ongoing development activities of the Ministry of Health. In 2003, AFPPD in cooperation with the Bangladesh parliamentary group conducted the South Asian Regional Workshop on Parliamentary Advocacy for the Prevention of Violence against Women in Dhaka, and the Dhaka Declaration was issued. Second Sub-Regional South Asian Parliamentary Seminar on HIV/AIDS was also held in Dhaka in 2006 in collaboration with Parliament of Bangladesh. Bangladeshi parliamentarians have been participating in AFPPD’s meetings and conferences from time and time. In early 2010, AFPPD made its effort to invite the Population and Health Committee of the Bangladesh Parliament to become a member of AFPPD. A group of parliamentarians from Bangladesh visited AFPPD secretariat in Bangkok in 2010, and they were welcomed by Dr. Pinit Kullavanijaya, AFPPD Secretary General.

Cambodia

The Cambodian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (CAPPD) was founded in March 2000 by the National Assembly and the Senate of Cambodia and became an AFPPD member in the same year. The main objectives of the CAPPD are to educate, motivate, advocate and involve parliamentarian’s action in the field of population and development in accordance with the ICPD Programme of Action and the MDGs and to promote cooperation, exchange of information, experiences among the national committees of parliamentarians on population and development of other countries, UN agencies, NGOs and civil societies in the areas of population and development. The CAPPD has organised and participated in various AFPPD conferences. The Indo-China Parliamentarians’ Seminar on Reproductive Health and Sustainable Development was the first conference to be organised by the CAPPD in cooperation with the AFPPD on 7 and 8 December 2000. A major breakthrough for the advocacy capability of the CAPPD came in March 2002, when it took part in the Person-to-Person Advo74

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cacy Project (PPAP). The programme charted and raised the status of awareness on population and development issues, particularly sexual and reproductive health, among Cambodian parliamentarians and commune council members at the provincial level. In the same year, one of the CAPPD’s earliest advocacy efforts came to fruition. The Cambodian Parliament passed the Law on the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS in July 2002. The law stipulates a variety of activities on the parts of government agencies and NGOs. It employs a human rights-based approach. It sets forth provisions on safe practices and procedures, testing and counselling, health and support services, monitoring, confidentiality, non-discrimination acts and policies, etc. The law also establishes the National AIDS Authority with a mandate to coordinate the implementation of the law across the sectors. The urgency of HIV/AIDS issues has been high on the CAPPD’s priority list, because the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the country is among the highest in Asia. The Law on the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS has played a central role in Cambodia’s ongoing endeavours to control the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, with a significant decline in HIV prevalence among adults during 2003 and 2005. Elimination of violence against women has been one of the issues at the top of the CAPPD’s priority list. In September 2005, the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and the Protection of Victims was passed by the National Assembly and the Senate in September 2005. The law has the objective to prevent domestic violence, protect the victims and strengthen the culture of non-violence and harmony within the households. Earlier, Ministry of Women’s Affairs had been established in January of the same year. The enactment of the laws on HIV/ AIDS and domestic violence can be attributed to the CAPPD’s advocacy in the Parliament, with the support from AFPPD’s regional workshops on the issues. The CAPPD has received substantial technical and financial support from the UNFPA Country Office. In 2011, the UNFPA Country Office provided technical assistance for the formulation of a long–term strategic plan and a threeyear action plan for the CAPPD. Ms. Men Sam An, Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, is the Chairwoman of the CAPPD.

China

The, Education, Science, Culture and Public Health (ESCPH) Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), is one of the nine special committees of the NPC and a founding member of the AFPPD. The functions of the ESCPH Committee are to study, examine and draw up bills related to education, science, culture, and public health and to assist the NPC and its Standing Committee in their work of legislation, supervision and others. Since 2003, the committee has, working with other sister organs, made great contribution in the amendment of the Law on the Prevention and Control of Contentious Diseases, Compulsory Education Law, Food Safety Law, etc. It also played a key role in drafting the Law on Mental Health and the Law on Traditional Chinese Medicine. In particular, the amendment of the Law on the Prevention and Control of Contentious Diseases improved the scheme of prevention and control of contentions diseases. And the free immunisation of children has greatly safeguarded the right and interests of children to the health and promoted the development of the public health undertakings. Members of NPC Standing Committee and the ESCPH Committee have been active in AFPPD’s programmes and activities. Since the inception of the AFPPD, representatives from China’s NPC have been consecutively elected as one of the AFPPD Vice-Chairmen. Mr. Sang Guowei, Vice-Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee and former Vice-Chairman of the ESCPH Committee, has been serving AFPPD Vice-Chairman since 2003. The ESCPH and Chapter Six: National Committees and their Achievements

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the NPC have hosted several major AFPPD activities, the most important of which being the seventh AFPPD General Assembly, which was held in Beijing on 17 and 18 October 2002. The General Assembly also coincided with the 20th anniversary celebration of the launch of AFPPD. In October 2007, the ESCPH committee also hosted the fifth Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference. The Committee has taken an active part in the activities of AFPPD and has promoted all kinds of exchanges among parliamentarians at national, regional, and international levels. These events have played an important role in promoting friendship and mutual understanding among national parliamentarians of the Asian countries, and also served as a strong propeller of the population and development work.

Fiji

The National Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development in Fiji was an AFPPD member from 1995 to 2006. It enjoyed the leadership of all of the last three Speakers of the Fijian House of Representatives, namely Dr. Apenisa Kurisaqila (1992-2000), Ratu Epeli Nailatikau (2001-2006), and Mr. Pita Nacuva (2006). Before the December 2006 coup, Fiji was at the forefront of parliamentarians’ movements on population and development in the Pacific. Dr. Kurisaqila himself had started participating in AFPPD’s activities long before he became Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was even more active after assuming the office. His dedication to the cause of population and development was a prime mover of the parliamentarians’ movements in the Pacific. His successor, Ratu Epeli, current President of Fiji, was also a champion of population and development, particularly HIV/AIDS in the Pacific. All of them used to serve as Vice-Chairman of AFPPD. There have been several occasions in which political instability in the island country brought about discontinuity in the relations between the national committee and AFPPD. The Parliament was dissolved in the wake of the 2006 coup and has not been reconstituted since.

India

For India, the title of the world’s second most populous country will be history by 2025. Recent projections have indicated that by that time India will surpass China as the most populous nation, with a population of over 1.4 billion that is poised to peak at 1.7 billion in 2060. Combined with an amalgam of population and development issues in India, such figures will pose daunting challenges to the work of the Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IAPPD) – a founding member of the AFPPD. Established in 1978 by a group of Indian parliamentarians led by Mr. Ramlal Parikh, who was succeeded in 1980 by Mr. Sat Paul Mittal, both from Upper House of the Indian Parliament, the IAPPD is a national level non-governmental organisation (Regd.) having its own building with an imperative to moderate the pace of population growth for a smoother course of development in order to ensure an overall improvement in the quality of life of the people and maintain a proper balance between population and development. The IAPPD is convinced that the population stabilisation programme will not succeed unless it is backed by a popular mass movement in favour of a general acceptance of the small family norm. It needs to be approached within a developmental framework that offers a well-integrated package of health, education, employment, and social and environmental policies. Introduction of innovative mechanisms for decentralised planning and policy formulation is the need of the hour. For this purpose, it is obviously necessary to promote and also ensure well-informed participation of parliamentarians in local level developmental planning. A Board of Trustees comprising the Chairman, Executive Secretary, Treasurer and members look after the operation of the IAPPD. It also has a Standing Committee of 25 members of the Indian Parliament, belonging to different political parties.

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Since its establishment, the IAPPD has organised national as well as international conferences and seminars in the field of population and development. Efforts are made to increase the level of understanding and awareness of population issues on the part of elected representatives to secure their cooperation and support. It also undertakes research studies in the areas of advocacy, population and development, HIV/AIDS, etc., in the country. The government uses the study results and policy recommendations as basic materials for formulating its programmes and policy in the field of population and development. In order to sensitise the parliamentarians and legislators regarding new issues and perspectives on population policy and population stabilisation programme, several workshops have been organised by the IAPPD. They have enabled the elected representatives to understand the paradigm shift in policies and programmes on population stabilisation, reproductive rights, empowerment of women and HIV/AIDS. Issues such as advocacy for male participation, gender equity and equality and promotion of adolescents were also discussed in these workshops. Apart from elected representatives at central, state and district levels, block-level (village) representatives and opinion leaders have also participated in the workshops. The IAPPD also provides trainings to trainers on various population and development themes. The trainees include government programme administrators, NGOs, academics, social activists, and influential social and religious leaders. The IAPPD is supported by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) comprising social scientists and demographers of international eminence. The TAC guides the IAPPD about various programmes organised by the IAPPD. It meets occasionally to discuss the programmes and technical matters. The individual members volunteer to make project proposals and presentations and undertake research analyses and provide other inputs for the IAPPD’s programmes. The Sat Paul Mittal Centre for Parliamentarians on Population and Development has also been established within the premises of the IAPPD to provide technical supports related to population and development to the parliamentarians.

Indonesia

Since its official establishment in 2001, the Indonesian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IFPPD) has been actively pursuing the goals of increasing awareness, disseminating knowledge, and engendering commitment to actions on the issues of population and development among parliamentarians in the world’s fourth most populous nation. IFPPD’s five missions are: (1) to strengthen the roles and to facilitate the parliamentarians in implementing the parliament’s functions, i.e. legislation, budget allocation and control/monitoring, to achieve a better quality of life of Indonesian people through sustainable development; (2) to accommodate public aspirations in order to support the establishment of a better quality of life of Indonesian people through sustainable development; (3) to build the partnership networking with potential institutions in implementing the Forum designated programmes; (4) to facilitate good relationships among national, provincial and district parliaments; and (5) to establish good relationships with other countries’ forums of parliamentarians on population and development. IFPPD has been working in four main areas, namely advocacy, capacity building, networking, and information and communication. Many significant results have been achieved over the years. As an example for networking, IFPPD offices were established at provincial parliaments in South Sumatra, West Kalimantan, East Nusa Tenggara, Chapter Six: National Committees and their Achievements

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West Nusa Tenggara and West Java, Palembang district (South Sumatera Province), Indramayu and Tasikmalaya Districts (West Java Province), and at five district parliaments in East Nusa Tenggara. They are actively addressing population, reproductive health and gender issues in the country. Advocacy work of IFPPD is also very successful. Domestic Violence Law enacted in 2004. Anti Trafficking in Persons Law was passed in 2007 and amendments to (1) population and family development law, (2) health law and, (3) narcotics law were passed in 2009, thanks to the effort of IFPPD. Legal review on laws and regulation related to HIV/AIDS prevention and care resulted in a recommendation to amend the laws, and legal review on laws and regulation related to tobacco control also led to an academic paper. IFPPD requested a protection for young generation through effective legislation on tobacco control at youth seminar, with the theme “Young Generation as Main Target of Tobacco Aggressive Marketing: Do They Need Protection?” in 2007. The draft bill was supported by 259 parliamentarians, submitted to the Legislation Council in 2006, resubmitted every year, and in 2009 then listed at the national legislation plan but was not passed in the previous term. As of 2011, the bill is still in process in the Legislation Council. Resistance exists among MPs, and protests have been ongoing from tobacco community and farmers. In 2009, a parliamentary advocacy meeting with women candidates for parliament and political cadres of the National Awakening Party was conducted. IFPPD facilitated the discussion with political parties to disseminate issues on population, reproductive health and gender, and other strategic issues in order to achieve the MDGs by 2015. A seminar on “Facing a Changing World: Women, Population, Reproductive Health and Climate” in response to the needs of parliamentarians for current information and to the UNFPA’s State of World Population 2009 was also conducted by IFPPD in 2010.

Iran

The Iranian Parliamentarians on Population and Development Committee (IRPPDC) was formed after seven years of advocacy with the parliament through participating parliamentarians. In 1998, the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) sent a team of researchers to Iran for a survey on employment security system and labour policy in Asian countries, assigned by Ministry of Labour in Japan. The objectives were to know the current status of the employment security system, labour policy, as well as the population, social and economic structure of Iran and other Asian countries. In the same year, the AFPPD proposed that Iran become its member, as Iran had been playing an important role in promoting population and reproductive health programmes. In 2001, Iranian parliamentarians conducted a study tour in Thailand to witness the “Thailand Population, Development, and HIV/AIDS programme”. Not until 2003 did Iran become an AFPPD member, but active participation of Iranian parliamentarians in AFPPD’s activities had been prominent before that period. In December 2002, Iran established its National Committee on Population and Development, and the AFPPD Executive Committee approved the membership of Iran in 2003. Iranian Parliamentarians Group was reconstituted in 2005. The first general assembly session of the Population and Development Fraction of the Iranian Parliament met in 2005 and received a report about the activities, plans, and future programmes of Iran’s population and development group. The assembly also held the election of the executive board. In 2008, IRPPDC met with officials of UNDP and UNFPA in order to enhance the level and quality of IRPPDC activi78

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ties and expand bilateral relation and co-operations with UNFPA as well as other UN agencies. Board members of IRPPDC, UN Resident Coordinator and UNFPA Representative in Iran met with Dr. Ali Ardeshir Larijani, Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Parliament of I.R. Iran) on 23 December 2008. Dr. Larijani expressed Iranian Parliament’s readiness to use UN experiences and skills and asked the Chairman of IRPPDC to manage this relationship of all UN agencies with different sections of the Parliament. IRPPDC board members paid a reciprocal visit to UN office in Tehran on 29 December 2008 and met officials from UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF and OCHA. These mutual efforts resulted in signing a memorandum of understanding between IRPPDC and UNFPA on 13 July 2010. The memorandum was about expanding previous cooperation and planning for the future. In this regard, several meetings were planned and held between UNFPA, IRPPDC board and population and development related commissions and fractions of the Iranian Parliament, such as social commission, health commission and women fraction. The parliamentarians have also been supported to participate in specialised international meetings. Other ongoing activities include translation and publication of the AFPPD advocacy guide for parliamentarians, production of IEC material for parliamentarians and planning and implementation of IRPPDC website. All these efforts are in the direction of achieving the MDGs.

Japan

Established in 1974, Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) is the world’s oldest non-partisan parliamentary group on population and development. The JPFP has been chaired by a line of distinguished Japanese parliamentarians who had been either prime minister or minister of foreign affairs, namely Mr. Nobusuke Kishi (1974-1979), Mr. Takeo Fukuda (1979-1990), Mr. Shintaro Abe (1990-1991), Dr. Taro Nakayama (1991-2007), and Mr. Yasuo Fukuda (2007-present). The Tokyo-based Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) serves as the JPFP secretariat. With more than 100 members, JPFP is an unparalleled organisation to which seven incumbent/former Japanese Prime Ministers – as well as other influential Members of Parliament including Ministers, Vice-Ministers, and party leaders – have belonged during its 37-year history. JPFP holds General Assembly Meetings, Executive Members’ Meetings, and Committee Meetings/Joint Committee Meetings. These meetings serve as a valuable platform for exchanging timely information, engaging in open discussion regardless of party affiliation, and discussing policies with representatives of UNFPA, IPPF, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other relevant agencies. The JPFP has five sub-committees, namely the Committee on International Cooperation, the Committee on Domestic Measures, the Committee on Gender Issues, the Committee on Global Issues, and the Committee on Food Security. The work areas of the JPFP can be best outlined along the configuration of these committees. The Committee on International Cooperation reviews investment in social and human capital approach in Official Development Assistance (ODA) contribution for addressing population, health and development issues. The Committee on Domestic Measures deals with domestic population and development issues such as the dwindling birth rate, ageing population, agriculture, environment, employment, national HIV/AIDS trends and social security in Japan, and viable measures aimed at tackling these issues. The Committee on Gender Issues focuses on the challenges and measures related to improvement of women’s status, gender issues, and reproductive health and rights in Japan and abroad by involving both male and female Chapter Six: National Committees and their Achievements

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parliamentarians in these topics. The Committee on Global Issues aims to increase awareness of problems of the global scale and exchanges information on the linkages between population and global issues such as environment, adaptation to climate change, sustainable development, and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The Committee on Food Security discusses food security problems in the context of human security as the shortage of fresh water and food security issues are become increasingly more serious, given the global population growth and deterioration of the environment due to global warming. Over the past 37 years, the JPFP has successfully served the domestic and international demands for resources and commitment in population and development programmes. Government of Japan’s role as a top donor to UNFPA and IPPF over the past four decades can be attributed to the advocacy work of the JPFP. The establishment of the Japan Trust Fund (JTF) for parliamentarians’ activities at the UNFPA and the JTF for HIV/AIDS at the IPPF is a prime example in this regard. Through a number of field visits and study tours, JPFP has also served as not only a role model, but also an attentive participant of mutual learning for other national parliamentary groups around the world.

Kazakhstan

Under the chairmanship of Senator Dr. Beksultan Tutkushev, the Kazakh parliamentarians formed the Parliamentarians’ Group on Family and Population of Kazakhstan (Otbasy) to promote population and development activities among parliamentarians in the country in 2000, and the group joined the AFPPD in the following year. This group has shown its high commitment towards enhancing level of knowledge among the deputies of both the lower house (Mazhilis) and upper house (the Senate) on population and development issues with a special focus on active involvement of its members in national, regional and international conferences and development of new legislative framework for issues affecting families and population in Kazakhstan. Otbasy means “family” in the Kazakh language. During the past decade, the deputies’ group has worked with the UNFPA on the issues of poverty reduction and improvement of demographical situation. Along with the UNFPA, the group has worked on issues of prevention violence against women and children and preventive measures of iodine deficit diseases, anemia, and HIV/AIDS. The main issues which have been considered by the deputies belonging to the Otbasy group were improvement of the demographical situation in the country; improvement of the status of women in the country, including protection of maternity, prevention of violence against women in family and in society, provision of medical care, advancement of women in policy making, etc.; imrovement of the status of children in the sphere of their rights, including accessibility special education, provision of medical care, situation with children in children houses, legal regulation concerning adoption by foreign citizens, homelessness, payment of child allowances, etc.; improvement of the status of pensioners, people with disabilities and legal regulation on their social status and medical care; and improvement of reproductive health issues. With direct involvement of members of the Otbasy group, the amendments and changes have been made to laws in order to enforce environmental control and protection of rights of pregnant women and people with disabilities. The laws on obligatory social insurance and pension provision for citizens have also been adopted. The members of the group are also members of the Parliament’s Coordination Council on Issues of the Health Care. During parliamentary sessions, they actively raised questions on various issues in public health, including clinical examination, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and sanitation for preliminary care, etc. 80

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Since its establishment, the Otbasy has also held several conferences, round tables and seminars on the issues of HIV/AIDS, gender equality, adolescent reproductive and sexual health, etc. The Parliamentarians’ Group on Family and Population of Kazakhstan is one of the most active AFPPD members in Central Asia. Its members have been elected to the Executive Committee of the AFPPD as representative of Central Asia in the Asian Forum. From 2001 to 2008, Senator Tutkushev held position of Deputy Secretary General of the AFPPD. Ms. Aitkul Samakova, Deputy of the Mazhilis, Advisor to the President of Kazakhstan, and Chair of the Committee on Family under President of Kazakhstan, has been Vice-Chairman of the AFPPD since the ninth General Assembly in 2009.

Kyrgyzstan

Founded in December 1997, the Association of Kyrgyz Parliamentarians on Population and Development became the first affiliate of AFPPD from the Central Asia in April 1998. Since then, the association has organised several national-level activities on population and development and has been actively engaged in various activities in cooperation with other agencies and organisations. With direct involvement of the deputies who are members of the association, various important amendments and changes to population and development-related legislation have been made. First, a law on State Migration Policy and National Strategy of Village Complex Development till 2010 was passed. The State Policy focuses on developing a favourable environment for investment and national programmes to improve social sectors, especially in the area of education and public health. Second, a universal health care system was established in Kyrgyzstan. The system is called the “Kyrgyz Model of Public Health” which allows access to medical services in all of the regions of Kyrgyzstan. There is also a plan to decentralise public health management and increase financial autonomy. Third, with the strong support from the association, a national law on HIV/AIDS in the Kyrgyz Republic was adopted. The Act defines the procedure of preventing the spread of AIDS and ensuring the system activities to protect the rights of persons living with HIV/AIDS. The enactment of the legislation is historic in that it is the first Kyrgyz law to adopt the notion of stigma and discrimination, liability for wrongful acts associated with testing for HIV infection, psycho-social counselling, and compliance with confidentiality of the test results for HIV infection. Fourth, significant changes have been made in a number of laws of the Kyrgyz Republic to humanise the Criminal Law. In particular, the Act Decriminalising the Article 246 Pertaining to “Illegal Manufacturing, Acquisition, Possession of Narcotic Drugs or Psychotropic Substances with Purpose of Making a Profit”. Fifth, a law on the protection of reproductive rights of young people has been adopted. In 2006, the Kyrgyz Republic started the State Programme for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS and its Socio-economic Consequences for 2006-2010. The programme provides integrated, multi-sectoral approach to the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS and its linkages with other national and state development programmes with a focus on health. With the objective of advocacy promoted by the AFPPD, the association has conducted advocacy programmes among other members of Parliament as well as with the mass media, particularly television. Kyrgyz TV’s special weekly programme, Parliamentary Hour, features appearances and speeches of the deputies who are members of the association, addressing national issues with a strong emphasis on population, development and other related issues. The members of the association are also playing an active role in the society at large. For example, Ms. R. Achylova, MP, has been the leader of a non-governmental independent research centre, Women in Development. The Chapter Six: National Committees and their Achievements

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centre was established with a goal to strengthen and elevate the status of women as active participants in the economic, social, political and cultural spheres of the Kyrgyz society.

Lao PDR

In February 2003, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) established the Lao Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (LAPPD) with the goal of educating parliamentarians on population and development issues. The establishment of the LAPPD was a result of more than 10 years of advocacy by the Lao parliamentarians who had participated in AFPPD activities. The LAPPD is composed of Chair, Vice Chairs and members of the National Assembly’s Social and Cultural Affairs Committee and other committees in Lao PDR’s National Assembly. The UNFPA Country Office in Lao PDR has always been a staunch supporter of Lao parliamentarians’ work on population and development both before and after the birth of the LAPPD. The LAPPD strives to provide effective oversight on the implementation of laws, policies, plans and strategy related to population and development issues, reproductive health, and gender equality both at the national and subnational levels. One of the most active work areas of the LAPPD is advocacy among parliamentarians. In 2005, the LAPPD joined the AFPPD’s Person-to-Person Advocacy Project, which was funded by the Hewlett Foundation. The PPAP in Lao PDR evaluated the level of awareness and commitment on population and reproductive issues among the parliamentarians, and its results pointed out that greater advocacy was needed to increase such awareness. Within the LAPPD itself, the advocacy among its members has also been reinforced. A two-day orientation workshop was held in May 2007 for LAPPD members, with the support from the Lao National Assembly, UNFPA and AFPPD. The workshop focused on updating LAPPD’s terms of reference, progress, constraints and lessons learned in the implementation of the work plan for 2006, drafting of the work plan of 2007, updating its members on the new National Population and Development Policy. It underscored the significance of the issues of maternal health and reproductive health in Lao PDR. The issue of violence against women has also been on the LAPPD’s list of priority issues. In cooperation with the National Assembly of the Lao PDR and Lao Women Parliamentarians Caucus, the LAPPD organised its first National Parliamentarians’ Conference on Gender Based Violence on 25 November 2010, marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Approximately 100 parliamentarians from Lao PDR and the neighbouring countries of Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar attended the event. The topics addressed included the economic cost of violence, the situation and responses in the region and the role of parliamentarians in fighting gender-based violence. The conference was supported by the United Nations in Lao PDR. This advocacy effort by the LAPPD is conducive to the growing support in the National Assembly for the developing a law on gender-based violence in Lao PDR. The LAPPD also seeks to increase the awareness of the entitlements on reproductive health and gender issue among the population in the constituencies of its members. In 2010, the LAPPD, in cooperation with the UN Joint Programme on Support to an Effective Lao National Assembly (SELNA), conducted six separate reproductive health workshops for village chiefs in six remote northern and central districts of Boun Tay, Luang Namtha, Tonpheung, Met, Saysomeboun and Hom. Nearly 100 participants attended each workshop.

Malaysia

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Ms. Ramah Osman served as AFPPD Deputy Secretary General from 1984 to 1987, and Ms. Napsiah binti Omar was AFPPD Deputy Secretary General officiating as Secretary General from 2001 to 2002. Mr. Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, current Second Minister of Finance, is a member of the AFPPD Executive Committee. With office in the Parliament, the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development in Malaysia (AFPPD-Malaysia) was established with the blessing from both the Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament of Malaysia. Programmes of work of AFPPD-Malaysia cover a wide range of issues in population and development. Its work throughout the years placed a special emphasis on environmental issues. Three international conferences demonstrated the AFPPD-Malaysia’s commitment in this direction. From 8 to 10 November 1994, the AFPPD-Malaysia, in cooperation with the Government of Malaysia, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), and the AFPPD, organised the International Conference of Asian Parliamentarians on Environment and Sustainable Development, in Kuala Lumpur. The inaugural address was delivered by Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, Prime Minister of Malaysia. The conference was attended by parliamentarians from 20 Asian countries and observers as well as guest speakers from Denmark, Britain, Mexico, Russia, and Norway. In the following year, the AFPPD-Malaysia organised an international conference entitled “Ocean: Our Lifeline”, from 2 to 5 November, in Kuala Lumpur. The conference adopted a declaration that calls upon countries to address population growth, recognising the central role of population pressure in environmental degradation, particularly with regard to the ocean. Parliamentarians were urged to develop and implement strategies to control pollution. The conference was attended by parliamentarians from Australia, China, India, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States. The Conference of Asian Parliamentarians on Environmental Degradation and Disaster Management was organised by AFPPD Malaysia, in cooperation with University Putra Malaysia’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, in Penang, on 10 and 11 August 2006. More than 40 Malaysian parliamentarian and 10 parliamentarians from Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines attended the conference. They adopted a resolution seeking parliamentarians’ greater commitment on preventing environmental degradation and achieving better disaster management. The AFPPD-Malaysia has been co-hosting various AFPPD regional and international activities. Chief among them are the fourth General Conference of the AFPPD in October 1993 and the seventh Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference, in November 2009. From 2002 to 2005, the AFPPD-Malaysia conducted three phases for the Person-to-Person Advocacy Project (PPAP). The project paved the way for bolstering advocacy for the issue of reproductive health and population among the parliamentarians.

Maldives

The People’s Majlis (Parliament of Maldives) had formed the Maldives Parliamentary Group on Population and Development in 2007 before Maldives, the island country with the population of about 300,000, became a member of AFPPD to promote awareness among parliamentarians on population and development in the following year. In 2009, nine parliamentary friendship groups and the Maldives Parliamentary Group on Population and DevelChapter Six: National Committees and their Achievements

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opment were inaugurated and leaders of the groups were elected. The purpose of the parliamentary friendship groups is to share information and experience between countries. Maldivian parliamentarians have participated in many activities of AFPPD such as South Asian Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Population and Development, held in Colombo, in 1999, Asian Parliamentarians Meeting on Population and ICPD Implementation, held in Bangkok in 2002, the seventh General Assembly of AFPPD, held in Beijing in 2002, Regional Workshop on Parliamentary Advocacy for the Prevention of Violence Against Women held in Dhaka in 2003, etc. Parliamentary staff of Maldives Parliament also participated in staff training organised by AFPPD. Recently in 2010, two parliamentary staff attended AFPPD’s population policy tracking and monitoring training. They shared information about Maldives’ population policy and trends and offered feedback to AFPPD’s policy tracking database and website.

Mongolia

Mongolian parliamentarians have been participating in AFPPD activities since 1995. The Mongolian Parliamentarians Committee on Population and Development (MPCPD) was officially established by the resolution of Mongolian Inter-Parliamentary Group in 1999. First chairman of MPCPD was Mr. S. Lambaa, MP and Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Policy. Between 1998 and 2005, the AFPPD member in Mongolia was the Standing Committee on Social Policy, Education, Culture and Science (SCSPECS) of the State Great Hural, which is one of the seven standing committees in the Parliament of Mongolia. The national committee in Mongolia was reorganised in 2005 as Mongolian Parliamentarians Committee on Population and Development (MPCPD), mainly composed of parliamentarians who are also SCSPECS members. Both organisations have been working closely with the AFPPD for the betterment of population and development in Mongolia. The MPCPD secretariat is small, and some parliamentary staff members have been assigned to be focal points to assist the Committee. During the first a few years of its establishment, UNFPA had provided salary for one staff member, but the support has been discontinued. A partial list of MPCPD advocacy work areas includes: support for the participation of MPs and particularly members of the MPCPD and staff of Parliament secretariat in AFPPD activities, conferences and meetings and study tours on the key issues of population, development, and gender; support for the organization of events or information sharing sessions among MPs and particularly MPCPD members and facilitate policy discussions on key issues of population and development involving MPs, Cabinet members, and relevant bodies, with financial and technical support from the UNFPA; support for policy advocacy events among MPs on key laws related to population and development, reproductive health and gender by conducting perception survey and identifying gaps of understanding about the issue and perception and attitudes towards the issue and identifying the advocacy strategy. The MPCPD and the SCSPECS were also highly active in advocacy activities and resource development in preparation for the passage of the Gender Equity Law in February 2011. The parliamentary working group on Gender Equality Law was established by resolution of the SCSPECS. The enactment came as a result sixteen years of advocacy efforts by the parliamentarians with the support from UN organisations, especially UNFPA, and other agencies such as AFPPD. The law stipulates obligations among public agencies to ensure gender equality in several fields such as employment, especially in public and social sectors, education, health, etc. With the implementation of the Gender Equality Law, any unfair gender barriers in existing legislation will also be removed. 84

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Also, the MPCPD regularly organizes national forums and conferences on population, gender and development issues in collaboration with UNFPA, relevant ministries and agencies. The MPCPD has also launched media outreach programmes. On local newspapers and magazines, the MPCPD also published a series of interviews with former and current women members of parliament about their experiences, population, development, gender, reproductive health and maternal mortality. Both the MPCPD and SCSPECS have been active partners with the UNFPA over the years, particularly in the areas of maternal and child mortality, gender equality and family planning.

Nepal

The Population and Social Committee in the Parliament of Nepal has been an active member of the AFPPD since 1995, and now the Constituent Assembly is working closely with AFPPD. In 1998, SAARC Parliamentarians Meeting on Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS was initiated by the Population and Social Committee of Nepal. “The Kathmandu Declaration” on the Promotion of Reproductive Health Care and the Preventive and Control of HIV/AIDS was the outcome of the meeting. In 2000, a forum of Parliamentarians and Professionals called “Population Concern Society Nepal” was formed with the members of the Population and Social Committee. Objectives of this forum are: (1) to discuss on population management policies; (2) to coordinate and contact with national and international organisation regarding population management issues; (3) to conduct regular interaction between parliamentarians and professionals; (4) to conduct research, study, and surveys; and (5) to facilitate government policies regarding population and development, advocacy and so on. The Population and Social Committee, with the support of AFPPD, organised a workshop on the “Role of Parliamentarians on the Fight against HIV/AIDS” in 2002 with the objectives of sensitising parliamentarians on the issues of HIV/AIDS in the country and enlisting their commitments through formulation of a declaration. In 2002, Parliament of Nepal was dissolved, and new members of Population and Social Committee were elected. South Asia Roundtable Meeting on ICPD+10 was held in 2004 with the aim of providing a regional perspective and review at the halfway mark of the ICPD Programme of Action. The broad themes of the meeting included ICPD in the new millennium, protecting and ensuring reproductive rights, advocacy for ICPD Goals, dealing with genderbased violence, and investing in continuing and emerging reproductive health and MDG challenges. In 2006, the Population and Social Committee was constituted with 17 members under the Chairmanship of Mr. Birodh Khatiwada in the newly restored House of Representatives of Nepal. The committee was, as usual, active and contributing to many activities of AFPPD. AFPPD also organised a meeting of women members of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal in 2008, as a followup to the sixth Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, which focused on financing health and gender MDGs.

New Zealand

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Zealand parliamentarians to engage and act on international population and development issues. The NZPPD is a cross party group, with currently 44 members representing just under 40 per cent of all New Zealand MPs. The group is an active part of parliamentary life in New Zealand. The group was established in 1998 to further the achievement of the Programme of Action developed at the groundbreaking International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The group seeks to increase investment and prioritisation of population and development issues at the policy, resource, and activity levels and create awareness of the important role parliamentarians can play nationally and internationally. The NZPPD has focused its activities largely on the following strategic areas: a geographic focus on the Pacific; sexual and reproductive health; Official Development Assistance (ODA); improvement of the status of women; and sustainable development. The group was established under the Chair of the Ms. Katherine O’Regan, (MP 1984 – 1999 and NZPPD Chair 1998 – 1999). Secretariat support services for the NZPPD are provided by Family Planning International (FPI), a unit of New Zealand Family Planning. The group is a member of both the AFPPD and the Pacific Legislatures for Population and Governance (PLPG). The NZPPD has raised several issues with the New Zealand parliament, including gender-based violence, youth sexual and reproductive health, maternal mortality in the Pacific, the US Mexico City Policy, support for the ICPD Programme of Action, and an increase in New Zealand’s ODA. Pacific maternal health, youth sexual and reproductive health, and violence against women and children have been central to the NZPPD’s agenda and NZPPD have held open hearings on these issues. The hearings gave representatives from civil society, regional and government agencies the opportunity to speak freely and frankly on the issues, and the resulting reports made recommendations which have guided the work of the forum. NZPPD representatives have participated in many regional and international parliamentary forums and are very active in the AFPPD network. In 2005 Ms. Steve Chadwick (NZPPD Chair 2000-2007) was elected Chair of the AFPPD Standing Committee on Women. Several other NZPPD members are active members of AFPPD Standing Committees. In June 2006 New Zealand hosted the fourth Asian-Pacific Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference in Wellington. NZPPD members have participated in several study tours over the years, including visits to Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Kiribati, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. NZPPD’s current chair is Dr. Jackie Blue, MP.

Pacific Islands

Given the number of archipelagic countries spreading over vast area of the Pacific, Pacific Legislatures for Population and Governance Incorporated (PLPG Inc.) serves the advocacy imperative for population and development in the region. The PLPG, the Pacific branch of AFPPD, is preceded by the Pacific Parliamentary Assembly for Population and Development (PPAPD), whose secretariat with full-time staff support was based in Suva, Fiji. At the combined third General Assembly of the PPAPD and the eighth Forum of Presiding Officers and Clerks Meeting held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, on 18 and 19 November 2009, the PPAPD and FPOC were merged into the PLPG. Members of the PLPG include Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The PLPG headquarters is permanently located in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. PLPG’s mission 86

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is to “engage and support legislators in advocacy and legislative actions to promote population and development issues and to improve the quality of governance in the Pacific”. The ongoing operations of PLPG are guided by a constitution and presided over by an executive committee currently comprising the speakers of legislatures of five countries in the Pacific, namely Cook Island (Chair), Papua New Guinea (Vice Chair), Marshall Islands (Vice Chair), Tokelau (Vice Chair), and Federated States of Micronesia (Treasurer). The Executive Committee also includes seven non-voting ex-officio members, namely the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), UNFPA, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, UNDP, AFPPD, Australia, and New Zealand. The four areas of outputs of PLPG’s activities are: support to legislators to promote population and development and governance issues such as HIV/AIDs and STIs, youth, climate change, gender and governance; support to national and regional legislative capacity building initiatives; establishment of national coordinating mechanisms; and institutional strengthening and management of the PLPG secretariat. Distinguished parliamentarians from the Pacific islands have served on the AFPPD Executive Committee in the capacity of Vice-Chairman, starting with Dr. Apenisa Kurisaqila, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Fiji, in 1997. The next Fijian Speaker, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, succeeded him from 2001 to 2006. Mr. Pita Nacuva was selected new Speaker of the House in June 2006 and served AFPPD Vice-Chairman until a military coup dissolved the parliament in Fiji in December 2006. From 2007 to 2009, the Pacific islands were represented on the Executive Committee by Mr. Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiataua, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Samoa. In 2009, he was succeeded by Mr. Mapu Taia, Speaker of the Parliament of the Cook Islands and PLPG Chair. After Mr. Taia’s retirement from politics in 2010, Sir Geoffrey Arama Henry, Speaker of the Parliament and former Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, was elected Chairperson of the PLPG Executive Committee.

Pakistan

Pakistan Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development (PPGPD) was first formed in 1990 with a view to develop understanding among parliamentarians on the question of population and development related issues. Similar groups were also formed in the Provincial Assemblies on the recommendation of the National Group. The PPGPD was again reformed in 1996 under the chairmanship of Mr. Syed Zafar Ali Shah. The Parliament of Pakistan organised the first International Conference of Women Parliamentarians from Muslim Countries in Islamabad in 1995 with the aim of discussing problems of socio-economic development. PPGPD was active in tackling population issues in Pakistan. It had concerns about rapid population growth in the country which was leading to poor health and education standards of the country. Thus, the PPGPD participated actively in population programmes and played a high-level advocacy role on population and development in the Parliament. In April 1996, the PPGPD requested the AFPPD to grant a membership for closer cooperation. The membership was granted at the fifth General Conference held in Canberra, Australia. The AFPPD and PPGPD were working closely for many years, and parliamentarians from Pakistan have participated in most of AFPPD’s organised events in the region. Chairman of AFPPD, Mr. Shin Sakurai, visited Islamabad in 1997 to meet the Speaker and other colleagues. PPGPD was reconstituted in June 1997 after a seven-month hiatus, and President and Vice-President were elected. PPGPD continued to play an active role in mobilising support for the Population Programmes in 1998. The National Group organised a Parliamentarians Seminar on “Advocacy for Youth, Gender and Reproductive Health Issues” in 1998 in collaboration with UNFPA. In 1999, the AFPPD encouraged the National Assembly of Pakistan to conduct regional and sub-regional events of South Asian Parliamentarians in Pakistan. Again in 2003, PPGPD was revived with the reconstitution of National

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Assembly of Pakistan and membership with AFPPD was requested to be reactivated. In 2007, the Japanese parliamentary delegation visited Islamabad in 2007. The delegation observed local projects in the areas of population and development, water safety, poverty, HIV/AIDS, public health, and sexual and reproductive health. The programme aimed also to have a dialogue with the local parliamentarians to reactivate PPGPD, as it had been inactive for years. Twenty-two members of parliament attended Young Parliamentarian’s Forum on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW), held at the Parliament of Pakistan in 2011. The open hearing, which took place on 19 April, was organised by the Young Parliamentarians’ Forum of Pakistan under the AFPPD’s Small Grants Programme, funded by AusAID.

The Philippines

Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD) was established in September 1989 by a group of forward-looking legislators as a nonprofit and membership-type organisation of legislators from both the Senate and House of Representatives. Committed to working with and among legislative bodies from the national down to the local levels, PLCPD primarily works within the halls of Congress, devoted to developing policy champions and generating viable, responsive, and people-centred public policies on population and human development. Engaging a wide and diverse range of individuals, groups and organisations, PLCPD has, through the years, become an empowering institution, harnessing the people’s active participation in policymaking. The PLCPD endeavors to equip civil society on policy advocacy and serves as a conduit for them to actively engage the legislature—consolidating their differing viewpoints into legislative expressions that favor population and sustainable human development. It also takes an active role in shaping public opinion. During the 11th Congress in 2000, five major concerns advocated by the PLCPD were all enacted. They were Clean Air Act, Solo Parents Welfare Act, Solid Waste Management Act, Early Child Care Development Act, and Establishment of a Public Employment Service Office Act. The PLCPD has been actively participating in AFPPD-organised population and development-related meetings, workshops, and conferences. In order to make sure the country is on track in meeting its MDGs targets, PLCPD has been involving in many activities. In Legislative Agenda Planning Conference held in 2004, PLCPD initiated roundtable series entitled “Crafting a Legislative Agenda in Pursuit of the MDGs”. The workshop on the MDGs was chaired by former Senator and founding Co-Chairperson of PLCPD, Ms. Leticia Ramos-Shahani. With regard to current Reproductive Health Bill, PLCPD has been very active in supporting it. The bill’s principal authors, who are all officers and members of PLCPD, delivered their respective sponsorship speeches before a jam-packed gallery of reproductive health supporters in 2008. The committee convened a forum in Mandaluyoung City in 2009 to support the Reproductive Health Bill. The forum gathered representatives from the UNFPA, European Commission, Spanish Cooperation Agency, WHO, local group Forum on Reproductive Health, and the 88

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Department of Social Welfare and Development. In the first ever Philippine Women Deliver Conference held in 2010, PLCPD, with support from AFPPD, organised a National and Local Legislators Forum on Maternal Health on the first day of the conference to mobilise commitment and support from legislators to achieve the MDGs. Seventy national and local parliamentarians rallied in support of maternal and newborn health at the conference.

South Korea

The Korean Parliamentary League on Children, Population and Environment (CPE) has been actively participating in AFPPD meetings, workshops and conferences. East Asia and Pacific Parliamentarians’ Conference on Environment and Development (EAPPCED) was held in Seoul in 1995 by the CPE. The first executive meeting of EAPPCED was attended by representatives from Korea, the Philippines, China, Malaysia, Thailand, and the United States. In the same year, woman parliamentarians from the national assembly also participated in AFPPD’s meeting on Standing Committee on Women held in Manila, Philippines. The CPE, in cooperation with the AFPPD, also organised the fifth General Assembly of the Asia and Pacific Parliamentarians’ Conference on Environment and Development (APPCED) in Seoul in 1997. The theme of the conference was “Implementing the Concept of Sustainable Development in Asia-Pacific Region and the Role of Environmentally-sound Technology Transfer”. In 1998, Member of Parliament and the President of CPE, Mr. Suh Sang Mok visited Thailand and met with AFPPD Secretary General, Dr. Prasop Ratanakorn, discussing a number of issues related to population and development activities in Korea. In 1999, the fifteenth Asian Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Population and Development was also organised by the CPE in Seoul in cooperation with APDA and AFPPD. At the National Assembly in Seoul in 2005, parliamentarians from Mongolia, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand exchanged their perspectives on the issues of population and reproductive health in Asia at the seminar that marked the 10th anniversary of the release of the State of the World Population Report. The seminar was hosted by the Planned Parenthood Federation of Korea (PPFK) and the UNFPA. In 2006, the CPE, in collaboration with the Korean Parliament and Asia and Pacific Parliamentarians’ Conference on Environment and Development (APPCED), organised the first Parliamentarians’ Workshop: “MDGs and the International Development Cooperation in Asia-Pacific Region”. The workshop was addressed by the incumbent and former Prime Ministers of South Korea. Also in 2006, the CPE together with the PPFK organised the International Forum on Women’s Health and Empowerment which was led by the CPE Chair. The importance of focusing aid on reproductive health in developing countries was discussed at the International Symposium ‘Styles of Foreign Assistance’, organised by the PPFK in Seoul, from 26 to 28 May 2011. Mr. Cha Kwang-myoung, Director General of the CPE, spoke at the event along with international experts and representatives from Population Action International, Asia Pacific Alliance and other reproductive health-related organisations. Chapter Six: National Committees and their Achievements

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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka used to have the Sri Lankan Parliamentary Group of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (SLPGPD) in the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan parliamentarians have been participating actively in AFPPDorganised meetings and conferences to discuss about population and development issues in the region. Reproductive health issues constitute an area of active advocacy. The target groups include parliamentarians, subnational level elected representatives, health authorities, journalists and women and youth leaders. The advocacy strategy seeks to increase the awareness and strengthen the capacity of the Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development to be the leading advocate of population and reproductive health issues in the country. The Parliamentary Committee on Population and Development was re-established in 1997 and subsequently reconstituted in July 2002. The Committee was focusing its attention on some of the important population and development issues such as youth unemployment, population ageing, rising incidence of abortions, environmental degradation, and water resources. In August 2005, an all-woman team of European Parliamentarians went to Sri Lanka to find out first hand how the country was coping with the impact of the tsunami happened in December 2004. The trip was organised by the Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (IEPFPD) in partnership with the UNFPA and AFPPD. In collaboration with the Sri Lankan Parliament/Government and APDA, the 27th Asian Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Population and Development was held in Sri Lanka in July 2011. In the presence of the President, Speaker of the Parliament and leading parliamentarians of Sri Lanka, Mr. Yasuo Fukuda officially requested support for SLPGPD’s revitalisation. In November 2011, Mr. Tissa Karalliyadda, Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs, was elected Chairman of the AFPPD’s Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians on EVAW.

Tajikistan

The Committee on Social, Family and Healthcare Issues of the Majlisi Namoyandagon of Majlisi Oli (Lower House of Parliament of Republic of Tajikistan) became a member of the Asian Forum in 2001 as a result of the joint effort between the AFPPD and the members of the Parliament of Tajikistan. The parliamentarians from Tajikistan since then and until present days have actively participated in a majority of events organised by the AFPPD and achieved experiences which are useful to fulfilling the issues of population and development in the Parliament. Moreover, many parliamentary staff members of Tajikistan’s Parliament have participated in the workshops and training programmes organised by the AFPPD. Tajikistan’s parliamentarians paid special attention to the series of Asia-Pacific Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conferences and the issues of women’s empowerment. Mutual cooperation between the AFPPD and Parliament of Tajikistan has been highly appreciated by both sides. Consequently, the AFPPD and Majlisi milli of Majlisi Oli (Upper House of Parliament) organised the Central Asian Women Parliamentarians’ Conference on the status of women in the region, which was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on 3 and 4 September 2008. More than twenty parliamentarians from all Central Asian states as well as Afghanistan and Azerbaijan, representatives from UNFPA regional office and other international organisations and NGOs participated in the conference. Its success strengthened the relationship between Tajikistan’s Parliament and AFPPD. In 2009, the Committee on Science, Culture, Healthcare and Social Affairs of Majlisi milli of Majlisi Oli (Upper 90

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House) expressed its Interest in becoming an AFPPD member.

Thailand

Since the establishment of the permanent AFPPD secretariat in Bangkok, the Standing Committee on Public Health of the Thai Senate has played a pivotal role in the governance and operation of the AFPPD. The committee has nominated its members to the post of AFPPD Secretary General, namely Dr. Prasop Ratanakorn (19902000), Dr. Malinee Sukavejworakit (2002-2006), Dr. Prat Boonyawongvirot (2007-2008), Dr. Pinit Kullavanijaya (2008-2011), Dr. Anan Ariyachaipanich (2011), and Dr. Porapan Punyaratabandhu (2011-Present). In 2005, the committee and AFPPD signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation between the two organisations. An important progress on anti-domestic violence legislation has been made over the past ten years with the support from the AFPPD. The Thai Women Parliamentarian Caucus, an official association of female members of both Houses, conducted a series of advocacy and study activities funded by the AFPPD to develop a draft of the anti-domestic violence bill. The content of the draft contributed to the provisions in the Protection of Domestic Violence Victims Act, the country’s first domestic violence bill which was enacted by the Thai National Legislative Assembly in 2007. Thailand set ambitious new tailor-made goals known as “MDG Plus” in 2004, having already shown admirable progress in meeting several of the international MDG goals. In 2009, the committee, under the leadership of Dr. Anan, established the Sub-committee on Population and Development with an aim to study the issues of population and development in order to improve the healthcare system and living standard of the Thai population. Headed by Dr. Pinit, the sub-committee organised several open hearings on different aspects of population and development, particularly on Thailand’s progress towards achieving the MDGs. In February 2011, the sub-committee organised the open hearing on “Thailand’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)” at the Senate. It was attended by over 300 participants, including senators and experts from government agencies, UN and international organisations, the private sector, civil society and academia. The morning sessions were devoted to the health-related MDGs, and the afternoon sessions dealt with other MDGs. Although Thailand did not take part in the AFPPD’s Person-to-Person Advocacy Project (PPAP), the committee launched an advocacy programme at the sub-national level to raise awareness among local leaders. In 2004, the committee, with the support from the AFPPD and the Thai Ministry of Public Health, conducted tambon (subdistrict) leaders programmes in four provinces in 2004. Over the years, the committee and Thai parliamentarians have played an active role in the international parliamentarians’ movements on population and development through the AFPPD network. Thanks to the advocacy efforts of the committee, the Thai Senate and its interim successor, the National Legislative Assembly, supported the 2006 International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ ICPD) as a co-host. The committee has also received several groups of parliamentarians from various countries who were on their study visits to learn about the issues and experiences in the field of population and development in Thailand.

Vietnam

Since 1992, Vietnamese Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (VAPPD) has been an integral part of the Committee for Social Affairs of the National Assembly of Vietnam. All members of the committees are VAPPD members, and its Chair is also VAPPD Chair. The Committee for Social Affairs is responsible for the formulation and review of Vietnam’s legislation on social affairs and health. The VAPPD is one of the most Chapter Six: National Committees and their Achievements

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active national committees of AFPPD. It has incorporated research as an essential component in its advocacy work, providing input to the policy-making process. The VAPPD conducted research on the assessment of population ordinance and found that it had only limited impact on population change in the country. With support from the UNFPA, the VAPPD launched a project that monitored the “spontaneous migration policy” in three major cities and provided the government with research-based policy recommendation. UNDP and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) provided US$1.3 million for a three-year parliamentary advocacy project on HIV/AIDS and MDGs in three provinces. The most important achievement in the parliamentary advocacy efforts of the VAPPD is the introduction of the Law on Domestic Violence and Control. The VAPPD introduced the bill on domestic violence directly to the National Assembly in October 2005. It was the first bill to be presented directly to the Parliament by the VAPPD. The law was passed in November 2007 and became effective in July 2008. The Law on Domestic Violence and Control outlines responsibilities of the individuals, families, organisations, and institutions in terms of preventing and controlling domestic violence and supporting of the victims. It defines domestic violence as “purposeful acts of certain family members that cause or may possibly cause physical, mental or economic injuries to other family members” and stipulates that the perpetrators of domestic violence “shall either be fined as a civil violation, disciplined or charged for criminal penalty and have to compensate for any damages caused”. Repeat offenders might also be sent to re-education school. HIV/AIDS is also an outstanding area on which the parliamentary advocacy by the VAPPD has had impact on. Over the past three decades, the perception towards HIV/AIDS issues in the eyes of the legislation has been changed substantially through the support of UN agencies. The stance of the legislation has gradually shifted from punishment-based control to rights-based approach, as epitomised by Law on Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS which was enacted in 2006 and came into force in January 2007. The VAPPD has also been hosting several AFPPD activities over the years. The largest one was the ninth AFPPD General Assembly, held in Hanoi in December 2008.

As an international platform assisting Asian parliamentarians, the AFPPD has greatly contributed to the activities of parliamentarians in the population and development not only in Asia, but worldwide. It is our hope that the Asian Forum will continue to initiate, motivate and support Asian parliamentarians to take part in population and development activities, and further strengthen exchange and cooperation between parliaments.

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Mr. Sang Guowei, MP (China), Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, and AFPPD Vice-Chairman, Excerpted from an interview featured in Parliamentarians’ Perspectives, 2005

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Ahead

here is no doubt that the relevance of the parliamentarians’ movements on population and development will heighten in the future, as the legislature remains the most important forum in any nation when it comes to legislation, budget processes, and internalisation of international norms and agreements related to population and development. In parliaments around the world, fiercer debates over bills and budgets on reproductive health and other population and development issues are to be expected. Achieving internationally agreed-upon population and development goals and target remains elusive in many countries. The network approach of regional parliamentary forums on population and development is aimed at improving these situations through information sharing and mutual learning, and it will continue to do so.

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The first thirty years after the launch of the AFPPD are an important step for the parliamentarians’ movements on population and development around the world. The groundwork has been laid, piece by piece, and the next steps for the future directions of the Asian Forum are to be taken with bold initiatives. What matters is not the number of years the Asian Forum came into existence. The milestones will lie in how the AFPPD tackles the pressing issues of population and development in a world of 7 billion and more people. Development in the following three main areas needs to materialise for the AFPPD to continue to successfully serve as the world’s leading regional parliamentarians’ forum on population and development. First, it is imperative for the Asian Forum to seek greater interactions with the national committees and standing committees in order to consolidate its network. Second, while maintaining its primary focus on population issues, particularly reproductive health and rights, the AFPPD’s programmes of work need to fully integrate their linkages with the broader development issues, as specified by the ICPD Programme of Action and the MDGs. Third, the institutional and technical capabilities of the AFPPD secretariat and national committees must be enhanced, with the ultimate goals of enabling the parliamentarians in the region to cope with the emerging issues and increasing the impacts of its programmes.

6.1. Consolidating Network

The network approach to parliamentary advocacy on population and development requires a constant level of interactions among the network members as well as between the hub and the members. The first 10 years of the AFPPD were devoted to building the network itself, and the next two decades were marked with the success in institutionalising its hub and embracing more members into the network. The Asian Forum has been well known for initiating the creation of national parliamentary committees or groups on population and development in several countries. With its fourth decade approaching, the Asian Forum needs to consolidate the network through more interactions with the national committees and more involvement with the standing committees. The interactions between the 26 national committees and the secretariat need to be Chapter Seven: The Tasks Ahead

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intensified through better communication and collaboration in various ways. Given the differences in institutional capabilities and budgets among the national committees, a prerequisite to better communication and collaboration is to empower the national committees to better perform their tasks. This can be done through the smallgrant projects that provide them with funding for conducting programmes on specific topics and the annual parliamentary-staff training workshops on different topics in population and development. The next steps should be focused on two main aspects of interactions, namely information sharing and mutual learning. First, information sharing between the secretariat and the national committees should be improved through information technology and its applications. The traditional communication modes of telephone, facsimile, and e-mails might not be sufficient. There have been discussions about communication platforms that would facilitate the information-sharing process within the AFPPD network. From the technology perspective, such communication platforms are viable and effective, but what needs to be reinforced is a mechanism that ensures that the interactions will not be forestalled by the workload on both sides, particularly parliamentary schedules. The interactions between the secretariat and the national committees are of a consultative nature. As the national committees are independent units that have their own national agenda and join together to form the network, the secretariat has no authority over the national committees. Instead, the secretariat serves as a coordinator for information sharing, mutual learning, and decision making in the network. The future directions of the AFPPD depend on how effective and efficient such coordination between the Chairman’s office, the secretariat, and the national committees is. Second, the emphasis on the individual parliamentarians is also of importance, especially for the mutual learning process which is one of the basic functions of the AFPPD network. The point is that both the AFPDP secretariat and the national committees are required to make sure that the mutual learning process actually takes place at the individual level. This is to verify the positive changes in the individual parliamentarians’ ideas, attitudes, and intention to advocate for population and development. It is to make sure that the mutual learning process does not stop at the end of the conferences, workshops or seminars. A series of outreach programmes, like the Person-toPerson Advocacy Project, might be useful in this regard. It might also be reinforced by a communication platform that hosts timely, frank and candid discussions about the pressing issues of population and development in different countries. Interactive platforms on the Internet and channels on the social media sites might effectively serve this purpose. Once the channels exist, the initial discussions might be based on the issues and content compiled by the policy tracking and monitoring unit. A full integration of these online interactive forums with the policy tracking and monitoring unit might also be viable. Another way to consolidate the AFPPD network is to strengthen the parliamentarians’ capacity to address specific high-priority issues through seeking more involvement with the three standing committees and creating new standing committees to tackle emerging issues. As of 2011, the Asian Forum has three standing committees, namely the Standing Committee on Women, the Standing Committee on Food Security, and the Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians on Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls. These standing committees basically serve as forums for parliamentarians sharing specific interest in the issues. In tandem with the national committees, the standing committees might also serve as trans-boundary building blocks for the AFPPD’s programmes of work. In other words, these standing committees played the role of small networks within the AFPPD network. The Asian Forum is open to creating new standing committees on population and development-related issues with sufficient funding from donor agencies. The standing committees which might be established in the future include those on issues such as harm reduction, indigenous peoples, etc.

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6.2. Integrating Linkages

In the age of globalisation, linkage is one of the buzzwords in the field of population and development. Although it might be a tall order, the AFPPD has strived to make this buzzword a reality through linking population and reproductive health to other development issues, ranging from poverty reduction to climate change. In the future, the Asian Forum also needs more emphasis on the linkages between population issues with the issues such as the environment migration, poverty, climate change, etc., in accordance with the ICPD Programme of Action and the MDGs. This has to be incorporated into programmes of work as well as research components of the AFPPD. The degree of linkages between population and reproductive health with other development issues has been varied from one issue to another. The issue area in which the degree of linkage has been most outstanding is probably the nexus between population growth, poverty, the environment and the natural resource. However, beyond the traditional focus on population growth, it is still a challenge for the field of population and development in programming connections between other population issues, particularly reproductive health and gender equality, and other emerging issues such as the environment, climate change, disaster preparedness, etc. As discussed earlier, the Asian Forum has provided a population perspective to the discussions of these development issues, and the continuation of efforts in the future should be reinforced in both the programme and research components of the AFPPD. It is very likely that the programmes of work of the Asian Forum in the next decades will focus mostly more on the emerging issues which were less visible during the first three decades. While the primary advocacy goal is for the parliamentarians to be aware of the importance of these emerging issues, the ultimate advocacy goal is to integrate population issues, especially reproductive health and gender equality, into the deliberation on laws and budgets related to these emerging issues. One of the major implications for programmes is that the nature of impacts of these emerging issues on different groups in a society and different parts of the region will not be the same. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all advocacy approach will not be adequate in dealing with these complex issues. The Asian Forum has to employ a variety of advocacy techniques that effectively identify these impacts and make connections between population and these issues. While conferences, workshops and seminars tend to dominate the AFPPD advocacy agenda, their focus will be more precise in terms of their geographical and sectoral outreaches. The recent emphasis on the impacts of climate change on indigenous peoples, as witnessed during the Asia-Pacific Regional Parliamentarians Seminar on Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change and Rural Poverty, in Manila, the Philippines, in March 2010, illustrates the strategic adjustments of programming in this direction. Study tours and field visits also have the potential to supplement the effectiveness of the conferences, workshops, and seminars. Expanding partnerships with UN specialised agencies and other NGOs on population and development advocating the ICPD Programme of Action and the MDGs can also broaden and deepen the linkages between population and other emerging development issues in programming. The UNFPA has been at the forefront of identifying these linkages and translating them into the programmes, especially on the linkages between gender and climate change. The AFPPD will also strengthen its partnerships with other UN agencies, such as the UNDP, UNESCAP, UNAIDS, UN Women, IFAD, etc., to bolster and diversify the linkages between population issues with the development issues on their agenda. Such integration also requires the Asian Forum to equip its research unit with a capability to provide the parlia-

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mentarians with better understanding of the population factors in other issue areas in their countries, ranging from sustainability to conflicts. The policy tracking and monitoring unit of the AFPPD needs to be well versed with the real-time updates of the broad issues of population and development.

6.3. Enhancing Capabilities

In the eyes of the stakeholders, the core competency of the Asian Forum over the first thirty years is its ability to create and maintain a network of parliamentarians dedicated to population and development issues, as defined by the ICPD Programme of Action and the MDGs, through organising events such as parliamentarians’ conferences, workshops, seminars, field visits, etc. In order to maximise the impacts of its work, the capabilities of the backbone of the AFPPD network, namely the secretariat and the national committees, must also be improved. The areas that need to be addressed include technical support, secretariat staff competency, and public relations outreach. First, with the support from the UNFPA, the AFPPD has sought to provide the parliamentarians and other stakeholders with technical support in the forms of legislation and policy database and trends that are related to population and development since 2010. As the policy tracking and monitoring unit of the AFPPD is still in its early stage, improvement must be made in both political and population tracks of the database, particularly at the national level. Second, investment in technical competencies of the AFPPD and national committee staff members needed to be increased in order to equip the organisation with the human tools to work in the increasingly challenging field of political advocacy for population and development at the national, regional, and international levels. This can be done through both customised training courses in areas where staff expertise is lacking and recruitment with higher standards of remunerations and benefits. Third, the Asian Forum must develop a public relations outreach strategy. This is an area in which serious attention and investment are urgently needed. The public relations strategy will be of tremendous value to the advocacy work of the Asian Forum, as getting the message across to the general public is a necessary step to create an environment that is conducive to creating better cooperation with the parliamentarians.

This year’s second laureate, the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, is globally recognised as a pioneer in the field of parliamentary action on population matters. It launched the concept of National Parliamentary Committees on Population and Development, which have become the worldwide model. It was instrumental in the creation of the Regional Parliamentarians Forum in Africa and Europe. It has successfully pushed for the introduction of legislation on the elimination of violence against women and on the full spectrum of population issues, including AIDS, reproductive health, family planning, ageing, gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, Remarks to UN Population Award Ceremony, delivered by Ms. Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General, New York, 3 June 2010

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Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

cronyms and Abbreviations

AFPPD AFPPD Malaysia APA APDA APLF APPCED ARHA ASAP ASEM AusAID AYCP Beijing+15 CAPPD CEDAW CIS CNN CPE EAPPCED ECAFE EPF ESCPH EVAW FAAPPD FAO FPI FPOC GCPPD GLOBE GMT HIV/AIDS IAPG IAPPD ICAAP ICPD ICPD+10 ICPPD IEPFPD IFAD IFP IFPPD

Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development in Malaysia Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Asian Population and Development Association Asia-Pacific Leadership Forum on HIV/AIDS and Development Asia and Pacific Parliamentarians’ Conference on Environment and Development Australia Reproductive Health Alliance AIDS Society for Asia and the Pacific Asia-Europe Meeting Australian Agency for International Development Asian Youth Coalition on Population 15-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action Cambodian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Commonwealth of Independent States Cable News Network Korean Parliamentary League on Children, Population and Environment East Asia and Pacific Parliamentarians’ Conference on Environment and Development Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Elimination of Violence against Women Forum of African and Arab Parliamentarians on Population and Development Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Family Planning International Forum of Presiding Officers and Clerks Global Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment Greenwich Mean Time Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific International Conference on Population and Development 10-year review of the International Conference on Population and Development International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development International Fund for Agricultural Development International Forum for Parliamentarians Indonesian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development

AcronymsandAbbreviations

97 68


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

IMPPSD IMPO IPCI/ICPD IPPF IPSR IPU IRPPDC JOICFP JPFP LAPPD LDC MDG MP MPCPD NCIP NGO NMHS NPC NZPPD ODA OECD PGA PGPD PLCPD PLPG PoA PPAP PPAPD PPFK PPGPD RCC SAARC SELNA SIDA SPC SCSPECS SSC STD TICAD UN UNAIDS UNCC

98

International Meeting of Parliamentarians on Population and Social Development International Medical Parliamentarians Organization International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action International Planned Parenthood Association Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University Inter-Parliamentary Union Iranian Parliamentarians on Population and Development Committee Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population Lao Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development Least Developed Countries Millennium Development Goal Member of Parliament Mongolian Parliamentarians Committee on Population and Development National Commission on Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines Non-governmental Organisation National Rural Health Mission National People’s Congress New Zealand Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development Official Development Assistance Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Parliamentarians for Global Action Parliamentary Group on Population and Development Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Pacific Legislatures for Population and Governance Programme of Action Person-to-Person Advocacy Project Pacific Parliamentary Assembly for Population and Development Planned Parenthood Federation of Korea Pakistan Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development UNDP Regional Centre in Colombo South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Joint Program Support to an Effective Lao National Assembly Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency Secretariat of the Pacific Community Standing Committee on Social Policy, Education, Culture and Science of the State Great Hural South-South Cooperation Sexually Transmitted Diseases Tokyo International Conference on African Development United Nations Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS United Nations Conference Centre

AcronymsandAbbreviations


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

UNDP UNESCAP UNESCO UNEP UNFPA UNFPA APRO UNFPA/CST UNICEF UNIFEM UNPFII UN Women VAPPD VHAI WAY WHO

United Nations Development Programme United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization United Nations Environmental Programme United Nations Population Fund (formerly United Nations Fund for Population Activities) United Nations Population Fund’s Asia and the Pacific Regional Office United Nations Population Fund/Country Technical Services Team United Nations Children’s Fund United Nations Development Fund for Women United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women Vietnamese Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development Voluntary Health Association of India World Assembly of Youth World Health Organization

AcronymsandAbbreviations

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Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

C

hronological List of Key Events

1981

27 –30 October Asian Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development , Beijing, China 30 October 3rd Meeting of the Steering Committee of the Asian Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, Beijing, China

1982

8 – 9 March 1st AFPPD Executive Committee Meeting, New Delhi, India 2 – 3 August 1st AFPPD Preparatory Steering Committee Meeting, Manila, Philippines

1983

10 – 11 October 2nd AFPPD Preparatory Steering Committee Meeting, Bangkok, Thailand

1984

16 February 2nd AFPPD Executive Committee Meeting, New Delhi, India 17 – 20 February 1st AFPPD General Conference, New Delhi, India 6 – 14 August The United Nations International Conference on Population, Mexico City, Mexico 15 – 16 August International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, Mexico City, Mexico

1987

23 – 27 September 2nd AFPPD General Conference, Beijing, China

1988

1 July Press Conference on the Day of Three Billion in Asia, Tokyo, Japan 10 August The Day of Three Billion in Asia

100

1989

13 September Executive Committee Meeting of Asian Women Parliamentarians on Population and the Status of Women, Tokyo, Japan

1990

12 – 14 March Asian Women Parliamentarians Conference on Population and the Status of Women, New Delhi, India

Chronological List of Key Events


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

1990

15 – 18 October 3rd AFPPD General Conference, Bangkok, Thailand

1993

26 – 28 October 4th AFPPD General Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1994

3 – 4 September International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (ICPPD), Cairo, Egypt 5 – 13 September International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), Cairo, Egypt 8 November International Conference of Asian Parliamentarians on the Environment and Sustainable Development, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1995

4 – 5 March International Meeting of Parliamentarians on Population and Social Development, Copenhagen, Denmark 25 – 26 June Indo-China Female Parliamentarians Conference on the Status of Women and Reproductive Health, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 14 – 15 July Meeting of the AFPPD Standing Committee on Women, Manila, the Philippines 30 August – 1 September International Meeting of Parliamentarians for Gender, Population and Development, Tokyo, Japan

1996

13 –14 August Pacific Regional Meeting of the Parliamentarians on Food Security, Population and Development, Coral Coast, Fiji 25 – 27 September 5th AFPPD General Conference: Food Security, Population and Development, Canberra, Australia 10 –11 November International Meeting of Parliamentarians on Food Security, Population and Development, Geneva, Switzerland

1997

4 – 6 August Regional Conference of Parliamentarians on Women, Health and Environment, Bangkok, Thailand

Chronological List of Key Events

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Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

1997

20 – 21 December Regional Seminar of Parliamentarians on Water Resources and Population, New Delhi, India

1998

20 December Meeting of the Steering Committee of the International Forum of Parliamentarians on ICPD+5 Review, Tokyo, Japan

1999

4 – 6 February International Forum of Parliamentarians on ICPD+5 Review, The Hague, the Netherlands 1 – 3 August CIS Sub-Regional Parliamentarians Conference on Population and Development, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 6 – 7 August South Asian Regional Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, Colombo, Sri Lanka 27 -28 September Asian Sub-Regional Meeting of Parliamentarians on Poverty, Food and Environment, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 4 – 6 October 6th AFPPD General Assembly: Asian Population in the Next Millennium, Niigata, Japan

2000

7 – 8 December Indochina Parliamentarians’ Seminar on Reproductive Health and Sustainable Development, Hanoi, Vietnam

2001

2 – 3 April Regional Medical Parliamentarians Meeting on TB, Manila, the Philippines (with WHO) 19 -21 June East and Southeast Asian Parliamentarians’ Workshop on Elimination of Violence Against Women, Bangkok, Thailand 22 – 23 September CIS Regional Conference on Population and Development - Poverty and Ways of Its Alleviation, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

2002

102

18 -22 March Inter-Country Workshop on Networking and Partnership between Young People and Government on HIV/AIDS Prevention in East and Southeast Asia, Bangkok, Thailand

Chronological List of Key Events


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

2002

22 – 27 April Regional Training Workshop on Person-to-Person Advocacy with Parliamentarians, Bangkok, Thailand 17 – 18 October 7th AFPPD General Assembly: Asian Population and Development in the 21st Century and 20th Anniversary of AFPPD, Beijing, China 12 -13 December Asian Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Population and ICPD Implementation, Bangkok, Thailand

2003

7 – 8 February Meeting of the AFPPD Standing Committee on Food Security, Water, and Globalization, Bangkok, Thailand 18 – 19 March South Asian Parliamentarians Meeting on Violence against Women, Dhaka, Bangladesh 21 – 26 July Regional Training Workshop for Parliamentary Staff on Advocacy, Bangkok, Thailand 1 – 2 August International Conference of South Asian Parliamentarians for Advocacy Role of Elected Representatives in Prevention of HIV/AIDS, New Delhi, India 2 – 3 October 1st Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference: Empowered Women - Breaking the Chains of Poverty and Gender Equality, Manila, the Philippines 30 – 31 October Inter-Country Parliamentarians Workshop on the Challenges of HIV/AIDS with a Special Focus on Preventive Vaccines, Bangkok, Thailand

2004

29 – 30 June 2nd Asian Pacific Women Parliamentarians‘and Ministers’ Conference, Canberra, Australia 29 – 30 June 2nd Asian Pacific Women Parliamentarians‘and Ministers’ Conference, Canberra, Australia 20 – 23 July Parliamentarians Panel at Regional APRSH Conference on ICPD, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 26 – 30 July Regional Training Workshop for Parliamentary Staff on Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Bangkok, Thailand

Chronological List of Key Events

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Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

2004

22 – 24 September Regional Consultative Workshop on HIV/AIDS Advocacy, Bangkok, Thailand 11 – 13 October Pacific Parliamentarians Conference on HIV/AIDS, Suva, Fiji

2005

8 – 9 March Asia-Pacific Workshop of Academic Parliamentarians on Education, Population and Sustainable Development, Krabi, Thailand 6 – 10 June Regional Training Workshop for Parliamentary Staff on Proposal Development, Bangkok, Thailand 29 – 30 June 1st Focus Group Meeting: Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Cebu, the Philippines 2 – 3 August 3rd Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference: Engendering MDGs, Colombo, Sri Lanka 12 – 13 November 8th AFPPD General Assembly: Culture and Religion Matter, Jakarta, Indonesia 17 – 18 December 2nd Focus Group Meeting: HIV/AIDS and Domestic Violence, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 27 – 28 December 3rd Focus Group Meeting: Maternal and Child Health, New Delhi, India

2006

5 – 6 April Asian Parliamentarians’ Seminar on Poverty Alleviation, Hanoi and Tuyen Quang Province, Vietnam (Supported by IFAD) 11 – 12 June 4th Asian-Pacific Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference: Gender Responsive Governance – The Key to the Population and Development Agenda, Wellington, New Zealand 27 – 28 June Central Asian Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Adolescents Reproductive and Sexual Health, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 21 – 22 November 2006 International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of

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Chronological List of Key Events


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

2006

Action (IPCI/ICPD), Bangkok, Thailand (with UNFPA)

2007

24 – 25 January Asian Parliamentarians Workshop on HIV/AIDS Accountability and Transparency, Bangkok, Thailand 9 – 13 July Regional Training Workshop for Parliamentary Staff on the Development of Culturally Sensitive Programme, Chiang Mai, Thailand 19 – 23 August AFPPD-IPPF Health Minister and AFPPD-APA-ADB Satellite Meeting of Parliamentarians at 8th International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP), Colombo, Sri Lanka 28 August – 2 September 2nd Afro-Asian Parliamentarian Conference, Tokyo, Japan 20 – 22 September Central Asian Inter-Parliamentarians’ Conference on Family Policy in the Former Soviet Republic, Astana 18 – 20 October Special Parliamentarians Symposium at Family Care International’s Women Deliver International Conference, London, UK 31 October Symposium on Enhancing Political Commitment for Reproductive and Sexual Health in Asia and Pacific at 4th Asia-Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCRSH), Hyderabad , India 27 – 28 November 5th Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference: Educational Empowerment for Women and Girls, Beijing, China 11 – 13 December Regional Workshop on Reproductive Health Commodity Supply (RHCS) Advocacy in Strengthening National Capacity for Achieving RH Commodity Security, Bangkok, Thailand 14 – 15 December Regional Workshop on the Promotion of HIV/AIDS – Drug Prevention and Harm Reductions for Staff of the National Parliamentary Committees, Chiang Mai, Thailand

2008

26 – 28 March Regional Training Workshop for Parliamentary Staff on Review of Advocacy Techniques, Bali, Indonesia

Chronological List of Key Events

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Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

2008

1 – 3 July G-8 Parliamentary Conference, Tokyo, Japan 21 – 22 August AFPPD Standing Committee on Women Meeting, Wellington, New Zealand 3 – 4 September Central Asian Women Parliamentarians’ Conference, Dushanbe, Tajikistan 23 – 24 September 6th Asian Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference: Financing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with a Focus on Health and Gender, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 13 – 14 December 9th AFPPD General Assembly: Addressing Climate Change and Food Security – Linking Population as a Factor, Hanoi, Vietnam

2009

16 – 17 February Regional Parliamentarians’ Forum on Inequality and Hunger, Colombo, Sri Lanka 28 – 31 July SAARC Parliamentarians Conference on MDG-5 focus on Supplies, Kathmandu, Nepal 13 –15 August Asia and the Pacific Consultation on Maternal Health and Rights, Bali, Indonesia 6 – 7 September Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians’ Meeting on Engaging Men in Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls, Bangkok, Thailand 1 – 4 October Capacity Building of Parliamentary Staff Training in Management of Projects and Log Frame (JTF), Bangkok, Thailand 18 – 21 October Regional Male Parliamentarians Session on Male Involvement in Elimination of Violence against Women at Asia-Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCRSH), Beijing, China 14 –15 November 7th Asia-Pacific Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference: Parliamentarians’ Actions for Gender Issues, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1 – 3 December South East Asia Regional Workshop on Advancing Healthy Advocacy for Reproductive Health , Bangkok, Thailand

106

Chronological List of Key Events


Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

2009

19 – 20 December Inter-Country Medical Parliamentarians Conference on Emerging Health Issues, Bangkok, Thailand 19 – 20 December Inter-Country Medical Parliamentarians Conference on Emerging Health Issues, Bangkok, Thailand

2010

21 – 23 January Parliamentarians’ Session on Harm Reduction at the 2nd Asian Consultation on the Prevention of HIV Infection Related to Drug Use, Bangkok, Thailand 25 – 26 March Asia-Pacific Regional Parliamentarians Seminar on Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change and Rural Poverty: Promoting Innovative Approaches and Solutions, Manila, the Philippines 7 – 9 May Workshop on Global Consultation on Reviewing Advocacy Techniques for Working with Parliamentarians, Koh Samui, Thailand 7 – 9 June Parliamentarians’ Side Event on Delivering Solutions, Delivering Resources, Delivering Leadership – The Role of Parliamentarians to Advance Maternal Health at the 2nd Global Women Deliver Conference, Washington D.C., the United States 7 – 9 July Indonesian National Advancing Healthy Advocacy for Reproductive Health (AHEAD) Training, Jakarta, Indonesia 18 July Parliamentarians’ Side Event at the XVII International AIDS Conference, Vienna, Austria 30 – 31 August Regional Consultation on “Emerging Economies and Population: Reproductive Health Programs, Bangkok, Thailand 21 – 22 October 8th Asian-Pacific Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers Conference: Review of Parliamentarians’ Actions and Legislations on the Elimination of Violence against Women, Yogyakarta, Indonesia 7 – 10 November Parliament Staff Training on Population Policy Tracking and Monitoring, Bangkok, Thailand 16 -20 November Parliamentarians’ Panel on Moving from Evidence to Dialogue at the Asian Population Association (APA) Conference, New Delhi, India

Chronological List of Key Events

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Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

2010

27 – 28 November Young Parliamentarians’ Consultations on ICPD Issues, Bangkok, Thailand 29 November AFPPD Standing Committee on Women Meeting, Bangkok, Thailand 18 December AFPPD Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians on Prevention of Violence against Women Meeting, Port Macquarie, Australia

2011

26 – 27 March 8th Asia-Pacific Women Parliamentarians’ and Ministers’ Conference on Young Women and Girls: Enhancing Parliamentary Support for and Monitoring of Gender Equality, Jakarta, Indonesia 27 – 28 May South-Asian Parliamentarians’ Workshop on Advancing Reproductive Health and Rights, Chiang Mai, Thailand 20 – 21 August Regional Consultation on Emerging Economies and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Chiang Mai, Thailand 24 – 25 September South-Asian Parliamentarians’ Workshop on Engaging Parliamentarians in Developing Health and Rights Platforms in the South Asia Region, Phuket, Thailand 12 – 13 November AFPPD Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians on Prevention of Violence against Women Meeting, Krabi, Thailand 15 – 16 November Global Young Parliamentarians’ Dialogue on ICPD Issues, Krabi, Thailand

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Chronological List of Key Events


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Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

ontact Information of AFPPD National Committees

Afghanistan National Committee on Population and Development National Assembly of Afghanistan Daraulaman Road, Karta 3 Kabul, Afghanistan

Iran Iranian Parliamentarians on Population and Development Committee (IRPPDC) Majlis Baharestan Square Tehran, Iran

Australia Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (PGPD) c/o CARE Australia 218 Northbourne Ave, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

Japan Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) 8F Kazama Bldg. 2-19-5 Nishi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku Tokyo 105-0003, Japan

Bangladesh Bangladesh Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development Bangladesh Parliament Secretariat Shere-e-Banglanagar, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh

Kazakhstan Parliamentarians’ Group on Family and Population of Kazakhstan (Otbasy) Parliament House Astana 010000, Kazakhstan

Cambodia Cambodian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (CAPPD) National Assembly St. Tonle Bassac, Chamcar Morn Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Kyrgyzstan Association of Kyrgyz Parliamentarians on Population and Development Parliament of Kyrgyzstan 207 Abdimomynova Bishkek 720053, Kyrgyzstan

China Education, Science, Culture and Public Health (ESCPH) Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) 23 Xi Jiao Min Xiang, West District Beijing, China

Lao PDR Lao Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (LAPPD) That Luang Square P.O. Box 662 Vientiane, Lao PDR

India Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IAPPD) 1/6 Siri Institutional Area Khel Gaon Road New Delhi – 11004, India

Malaysia Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development in Malaysia (AFPPD-Malaysia) 13th Floor, Parliament Bldg. 5068 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Indonesia Indonesian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IFPPD) Jl. H. Saumin No. 8A Bendungan Hilir, Pejompongan Jakarta, Indonesia

Maldives Maldives Parliamentary Group on Population and Development People’s Majilis Secretariat Medhuziyaaraiy Magu Male, Maldives Contact Information of AFPPD National Committees

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Asian Parliamentarians’ Network for Change: A 30-Year Review

110

Mongolia Mongolian Parliamentarians Committee on Population and Development (MPCPD) The State Great Hural State Palace-431 Ulaanbaatar-12, Mongolia

South Korea Korean Parliamentary League on Children, Population and Environment (CPE) 115 National Assembly Members’ Bldg, 1 Yeuido-dong, Youngdeungpo-ku Seoul, South Korea

Nepal Population and Social Committee in the Parliament of Nepal Constituent Assembly Kathmandu, Nepal

Sri Lanka Sri Lankan Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (SLPGPD) c/o Ministry of Health and Nutrition Beddegama Wimalawansa Thero Mawatha Colombo 10, Sri Lanka

New Zealand New Zealand Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development (NZPPD) Level 7, Southmark House 203-209 Willis Street Wellington 6142, New Zealand

Tajikistan Committee on Social, Family and Healthcare Issues Majlisi Namoyandagon of Majlisi Oli Dushanbe Rudaki ave. 42 Tajikistan

Pacific Islands Pacific Legislatures for Population and Governance Incorporated (PLPG Inc.) Parliament House P.O.Box 13 Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Thailand Standing Committee on Public Health of the Thai Senate Senate of Thailand U-Thong Nai Road, Dusit Bangkok 10300 Thailand

Pakistan Pakistan Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development (PPGPD) National Assembly of Pakistan Parliament House Islamabad, Pakistan

Vietnam Vietnamese Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (VAPPD) 35-Ngo Quyen Hanoi Vietnam

The Philippines Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD) 2/F AVECSS Building #90 Kamias Road cor. Kalayaan Ave. (K-J Street) East Kamias Quezon City 1102, Philippines

Bhutan and Myanmar have also become members.

Contact Information of AFPPD National Committees


Asian Parliamentarians' Network for Change- A 30 Year Review  

Asian Parliamentarians' Network for Change- A 30 Year Review

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