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LAC Countries Adopt Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development

Unfpalogo15 August 2013: Countries in the Latin American and Caribbean have adopted the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development, agreeing to prioritize population dynamics in sustainable development, issues of youth and aging, and access to sexual and reproductive health services. The Montevideo Consensus was agreed at the close of the first session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Government of Uruguay organized the conference in Montevideo, Uruguay, which took place from 12-15 August 2013, with support from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Over 800 participants including representatives of governments, UN agencies and NGOs attended the conference, which followed up on the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo, Egypt, in 1994.

UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said the conference was an opportunity to link the current ICPD Beyond 2014 Review process with discussion on the post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) era. He stressed that promoting gender equality in a post-2015 world should include “finishing the work” of the Millennium Declaration, particularly fulfilling the MDGs relating to maternal deaths, and ensuring universal reproductive health and rights.

President of Uruguay José Mujica highlighted the need for equality and non-discrimination, as “freedom predisposes a fundamental respect for human diversity.”

The Montevideo Consensus prioritizes, inter alia: youth issues, including preventing teenage pregnancy and eliminating unsafe abortion; strengthening social security and social protection for older adults; and including international migration and the protection of migrants' human rights in the post-2015 development agenda. On indigenous peoples' rights, the Consensus affirms the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and calls on countries to guarantee the territorial rights of indigenous peoples. On gender, it commits countries to increasing equal participation for women in public decision-making, preventing violence against women and girls, and incorporating domestic and care work into social protection systems. It also welcomes the offer from the Government of Mexico to host the second meeting of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is expected to convene in 2015.

The Montevideo Consensus serves as the region's input to the UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD) and the UN General Assembly (UNGA). [Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development] [ECLAC Press Release] [UNFPA Press Release] [ICPD Beyond 2014 website]