By Ntsoaki Motaung
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA ) held a dialogue on engagement of young people on International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) on it’s 25th Anniversary in Maseru on the 5th.
Speaking on the event on behalf of the ministry of Development Planning, Mrs Mahlape Ramoseme the director of policy and strategic planning passed her gratitude to UNFPA for consistently and relentlessly providing technical and financial support to the government of Lesotho for the advancement of the agenda for population and development ( ICPD agenda).
At the ICPD conference in 1994, 179 governments including the government of Lesotho then, agreed on a visionary program of Action which recognized that reproductive health as well as sustainable development, for young people the programme of Action was a promise. A promise whose intention was to give young people hope that their rights, their needs and their demands would be met.
On her remarks Ms Esperance Fundira says since 1994, the progress achieved has been remarkable. There has been transformative progress in advancing access to sexual and reproductive health rights and services. According to LHDS of 2014, the unmet need for family planning has dropped by 5% from 23% to 18% while the Contraceptives Prevalence Rate (CPR) increased by 13% from 47% to 60%.
There has also been a reduction of maternal deaths from 1055/100 000 live births, according to the Lesotho Demographic Health Survey of 2009 to 1024/100 00 live births according to 2014 LHDS.
The event was therefore meant to serve as an unprecedented opportunity for youth to become part of a global community that will have their say during the Nairobi Summit and for youth to be able to demand for the changes that they deserve, to fulfil their rights and exercise their choices.