2-day global dialogue on demographic diversity begins in Dhaka


BSS photo

A two-day long global dialogue demographic diversity, jointly hosted by Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Japan and UNFPA, began in the capital on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated the international event titled "ICPD30 Global Dialogue on Demographic Diversity and Sustainable Development" at a local hotel.

The dialogue has created a platform to discuss the challenges and explore the opportunities of the world's shifting demographics.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

The global dialogue will unpack global and regional population dynamics and diversity, covering topics such as intergenerational wellbeing and healthy ageing, the future of population data, and the changing demography of rural communities, according to UNFPA.

Around 200 representatives from local and national governments, academics, think tanks, technical experts, civil society organizations, and the private sector will share practical insights into the investments in health, education, housing or infrastructure, population change that are needed to adapt to changing demographic trends.

This dialogue will honour that legacy by focusing on practical responses to demographic change that reinforce a human rights-based approach to population policies that put gender equality and reproductive rights at the core.

Other sessions will cover - demographic diversity and dividends - promoting sustainability in a context of changing fertility and mortality; gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, and demographic resilience in contexts of low fertility: unlocking the 1st demographic dividend in a context of high fertility and youthful populations; Future of sexual and reproductive health in a context of population change technology and life science: Promoting resilience for a smart future; Intergenerational wellbeing, and healthy ageing and the future of population data.

It will also cover - Population dynamics and the climate crisis; Inequality of climate risks and impacts; Where will we live? The impact of climate on habitable spaces, relocation and forced migration; Universal Health Coverage and strategies for strengthening health systems in light of demographic change and technology advances; Promoting green, diverse ICPD - friendly cities; the changing demography of rural communities; and the future of population policies for the post-2030 agenda and sustainable development.

Thirty years have passed since the landmark International Conference on Population and Development, at which world leaders agreed to make individual rights and dignity, the heart of sustainable development.

The conference's Programme of Action transformed global thinking on population issues at a time of anxiety about a rapidly growing global population, setting the standard for people-centered development.

With the world now facing diverse demographic changes, the thirtieth anniversary provides an opportunity to explore how the values of the Programme of Action can remain a beacon for common, global approaches to sustainable development - today and in the future.

These discussions will be informed by the principles and actions of the Programme of Action on demographic change and diversity, the environment, reproductive health, the universality of human rights and gender equality.

Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, UNFPA Executive Director Dr Natalia Kanem, Minister of Social and Family Development of the Maldives Aishath Shiham, Kiribati's Minister for Women, Youth, Sports and Social Affairs Martin Moretti, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Yasushi and State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Rokeya Sultana, among others, spoke at the programme.

Representative from the Government of Bulgaria also joined the opening ceremony.

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