National Consultative Forum on the follow up to the ICPD Review in Burundi: key outcomes

8 April 2015

Burundi's consultative forum on the follow up to the ICPD Review and its links with the development agenda beyond 2015 was held on 3 April 2015 in Bujumbura. Under the distinguished patronage of the First Vice-President of the Republic (and also chair of the meeting), the forum was organized by the country's Ministry of External Relations and International Cooperation, in close collaboration with UNFPA Country Office.

The forum was attended by about 90 participants including various stakeholders amongst others Ministers, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Burundi to the United Nations, United Nations System, Financial and Technical Partners, Civil Society - academia , women and youth organizations, media and more. Statements were made by the Vice President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Ambassador of the Netherlands representing financial and technical partners, and the UNFPA Representative.
The forum was a success, with the following met objectives:
· a shared understanding of the findings and recommendations was fostered;

· key priorities for the implementation of the ICPD Beyond 2014 were identified and the importance for national ownership of that process stressed with some recommendations; ICPD Agenda's linkage to and integration of its key tenets into the post 2015 development agenda acknowledged and strongly recommended; and

· the Chair's draft resolution of the Commission on Population and Development Forty-eighth session (Integrating population issues into sustainable development, including in the post-2015 development agenda) discussed and "domesticated".

Discussions were live and rich, focusing on ICPD related issues, the country's demographic challenges and electoral context, and more. "It's urgent to organize a sensitization workshop for all political parties on demographic challenges facing Burundi", said one of the academicians who attended the meeting. "Political parties should also be sensitized on the importance of family planning and demographic dividend", said another one.

The Netherlands' Ambassador in Burundi, who represented technical and financial partners of Development, stressed in his speech the importance of the rights of girls and women, as an essential component of human rights: "Development activities should not promote a party while making it vulnerable to another part, which is often made up of girls and women"

During his interaction with the Press, the First Vice-President of the Republic said his satisfaction with UNFPA support to Burundi and his interest in the Fund's assistance to Burundi in the realization of its demographic dividend. He also acknowledged that it is important to establish a National Population Office. "Burundi is facing demographic challenges that are likely to jeopardize its socio-economic development efforts", said Prosper BAZOMBANZA, the First Vice-President of the Republic.

Key recommendations of this National Forum will inform the adjustment and/or formulation of new population policies in the country.