Empowering youth voices ahead of ICPD+30

UNFPA organized a critical youth-led consultation with over 75 young people in Kathmandu to hear their voices.

NL Today

  • Read Time 2 min.

Kathmandu: In commemoration of International Youth Day 2023, UNFPA organized a critical youth-led consultation with over 75 young people in Kathmandu to hear their voices on challenges and issues that hamper them from achieving their full potential in relation to the agenda of International Conference on Population and Development, commonly referred to as ICPD.

At the 1994 ICPD conference, countries including Nepal, made several commitments related to human rights, population development, sexual and reproductive health and gender equality, a remarkable global consensus that placed individual dignity and human rights at the heart of development.

Over the years, Nepal has made good progress, especially in developing progressive policy frameworks and in providing essential basic services like education and health care. Yet, the 2021 census shows that one in five women (22 percent) marry as children, with three percent married before turning 15; two women die everyday due to pregnancy-related complications; only around 10 percent of people aged 25-30 years have an undergraduate degree; and there is a growing trend of sex selection with a clear preference of boys.

At the same time, multifaceted global crises continue to threaten to erode hard-won gains, and therefore action must be taken now to make the vision of ICPD a reality.

2024 marks a crucial year as it is the 30th anniversary of the ICPD, which is a reminder of the importance of its agenda, which champions people-centred development, rights and choices for all, and the pursuit of peace and prosperity. As such a series of consultations with a wide range of stakeholders have been organized by UNFPA in partnership with the Government of Nepal, at federal and provincial levels, to assess progress, identify emerging issues and agree to collective actions to achieve the national ICPD targets committed by Nepal by 2030. 

Addressing the youth at the consultation, Country Representative of UNFPA Nepal Won Young Hong stated: “There are many barriers that prevent young people from achieving their potential, but we want to hear from you. What matters to you the most? What is the future you want to see? At UNFPA we believe that when you are empowered to make your own informed choices in life, when you have bodily autonomy, rights and opportunities, the possibilities for all 8 billion people on this planet are infinite.”

UNFPA will continue to host these consultations in 2023 across Nepal where the input from each session will feed into the ICPD30 in 2024.