The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will celebrate Prof Fred Torgbor Sai, Ghana’s renowned physician, on his 95th birthday to acknowledge his contribution to the organisation, as part of the 50th anniversary of the UNFPA.
Prof Sai is known to have “played an excellent overarching leadership role of chairing the main committee”, which saw the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
When the ICPD was held in 1994 to draw up a visionary 20-year Programme of Action (which sought to improve the quality of life of every person; to ensure sustained economic growth and achieve sustainable development), among the many renowned delegates who made valuable inputs, was Ghana’s Professor Fred Sai, UNFPA said in release.
UNFPA said that Prof. Sai turns 95 years old in June and the Ghana office “deems it necessary to celebrate this international icon and national legend, to spur all stakeholders in population and development to revamp the ICPD agenda in the country”.
In 1969, the UNFPA was born with a declaration that family planning is a basic human right under the administration of the United Nations Development Fund. UNFPA transitioned and was placed under the authority of the United Nations General Assembly in 1971. UNFPA has therefore been in existence for the past 50 years (UNFPA@50).
Twenty-five years after its establishment, a blueprint which forms the basis of UNFPA’s work: The International Conference on Population Programme of Action, ICPD PoA, came into existence.
The ICPD PoA was prepared in September 1994, in Cairo, Egypt. Representatives from 179 countries participated in discussions to finalise a Programme of Action on population and development for implementation. The primary recommendations of ICPD’s Programme of Action were the calls for linking the provision of sexuality education to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services; building awareness, acceptance and support for youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education and services; addressing gender inequity in terms of beliefs, attitudes and norms; and targeting the early adolescent period (10-14 years).
Twenty years later, (2014), a review process dubbed “the ICPD Beyond 2014”, provided a unique opportunity to forge a new African regional position to review the progress, persistent and emerging gaps and challenges of population and development, in relation to the achievement of the goals set out in the ICPD agenda. 2019 will be 25 years since the inception of the programme.
Interestingly, Ghana will host the 3rd China-Africa Conference on Population and Development same week of the celebrations under the theme: Population Data Management and Universal Access to Reproductive Health as Key Drivers of Sustainable Development.
The Ghana Conference is the third in the series of population and development conferences being held since 2017, with the first one in Kenya and the second held in Guangzhou City of China in July 2018. A Youth4Youth forum is a thought-provoking part of the 2019 conference.
The Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, Dr Natalia Kanem who assumed Office in October 2017, would for the first time pay a working visit to Ghana for the packed celebrations: UNFPA@50, ICPD25 and Fred Sai@95 As well as well as participate in the China Africa Conference on Population and Development.
As part of the road to Nairobi in November, UNFPA Ghana developed a road-map as shown in the diagram below, taking advantage of the UN commemorative days to highlight the twin celebrations of UNFPA@50 and ICPD25 with the peak in June.
• Swop launch in collaboration with Glitz Africa and UNFPA Ghana Honorary Ambassador.
• High-level dialogue of Female CEOs to have an ICPD thought leader’s conversation on the unfinished business on gender bias, discrimination as well as sexual and gender-based violence at the workplace.
• Young people led Youth-launch of the SWOP. 300 Young people gathered to support and witness the launch of the SWOP and discuss the unfinished business and the future of ICPD in the context of a digitised generation.
International Day of the Midwife
• Community durbar to acknowledge the role of Midwives in defending the rights of women.
International Day to End Obstetric Fistula
• Senior Editors’ Forum
– Title: Demystifying Obstetric Fistula in light of deep-seated perceptions among Ghanaians.
Official Launch of UNFPA@50 and ICPD25
• Intergenerational dialogue on ICPD
• Creation of a platform for the older generation to hand over the future of ICPD programme to the current generation.
World Population Day
• Thought Leaders meeting to shape ICPD discourse in Ghana
– Convene all Actors in the Development Community (Serving and Retired)
– The Premier Fred Sai recognition lectures on Population and Development in collaboration with the University of Ghana.
International Youth Day
• Youth caravan across Regions in Ghana to increase momentum for accelerating the ICPD promise among young people
• Youth Camp on SRHR and the ICPD POA
Family Planning Week in Ghana
• National Inter-University Debate and Quiz on “Family Planning in Ghana
International Day of the Girl Child
• Mock Assembly with identified Girls Clubs and Members of Parliament on Girls Empowerment.