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CSO Meeting after the Regional UNECE Conference


On 3-4 July 2013 ASTRA had the pleasure to co-host the Civil Society meeting “ICPD Beyond 2014 – From Promise to Action, CSOs Defining the Way Forward” which was organized by IPPF European Network in Geneva following the UNECE Regional Conference that took place in Geneva on the 1-2nd of July 2013. It reviewed the status of implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. European Women’s Lobby, a regional network, was the other co-host of this meeting. This collaboration across the region reinforced the ICPD Beyond 2014 process and the engagement of CSO within it, and ensured that the priorities of this region are taken into account in the international agenda.

The meeting was an opportunity to provide space for dialogue and action for the CSO on how to advance the ICPD PoA and related issues in the region following the review, and define strategies to address these challenges and priorities in the upcoming global discussions, such as the ICPD Beyond 2014 and post 2015 negotiations.

The meeting gathered 70 participants from civil society organizations working in various themes such as Human Rights, HIV/AIDS, Sex work, youth organizations, SRHR amongst others from both national and regional level to broaden the level of support and strengthen advocacy power within the region.

The meeting was organized around plenary sessions and working group sessions. The 1st day the meeting focused on the regional perspectives and presented the findings of the regional ICPD survey and outcomes of the UNECE conference. It also gave an introduction to the ICPD+20 processes and the role of the High Level Task Force. The group session on the first day worked on the three thematic topics from the UNECE conference to identify the regional priorities: i) Population Dynamics and Sustainable Development; ii) Families, Sexual and Reproductive Health over the Life Course; iii) and Inequalities, Social Inclusion and Rights.

The 2nd day focused on global advocacy opportunities. The international post 2015 agenda was presented and the importance of putting SRHR on the agenda, different ongoing strategies and initiatives such as the Platform to Promote SRHR Beyond 2015, Youth organizations’ advocacy activities, and IPPF’s Vision2020 were also presented. The group sessions on this day focused on identifying advocacy opportunities at national, regional and global level.

The meeting worked towards ensuring that the outcomes of the UNECE Conference will be translated into action and progress for the region and that pressure will be maintained at
a national, regional and global level, so that the voice of this region is heard.

ASTRA representation at this meeting was very strong and a few members had a chance to meet personally, few for the very first time. Galina Maistruk from Women Health and Family Planning, Ukraine, Camelia Proca from A.L.E.G., Romania, Bojan Jovanovski from H.E.R.A, (ASTRA Youth) Macedonia, Milena Kadieva from Gender Alternatives, Bulgaria and Daniela Draghici, honorary ASTRA member from Romania brought their expertise and experience into the discussions and ensured that the unique reality of Central and Eastern Europe remains visible within the European region and within the ICPD+20 process.

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