By virtue of resolution 670 (XXXIV) of 2012, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean decided to convert the ECLAC Ad Hoc Committee on Population and Development into the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and ratified all mandates expressed in Agreement 1 adopted by the Ad Hoc Committee at its last meeting that took place in Quito from 4 to 6 July 2012.
The Ad Hoc Committee on Population and Development was established under the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Plan of Action on Population and Development in accordance with the provisions of resolution 536 (XXV) of ECLAC. Its main responsibility was to follow up and review all population and development related issues at the regional level. Eventually, it started acquiring additional responsibilities such as following-up the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing in the region, and looking at the issues related to international migration as well as indigenous peoples and afro-descendants. As a result of the increasing responsibilities, the ordinary sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee in 2010 and 2012 were carried out independently from the thirty-third and thirty-fourth sessions of the Commission respectively.
The Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean assumes all the roles of the Ad Hoc Committee and will act on the basis and in full respect of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD-PoA). The Conference will hold ordinary sessions every two years, while its Presiding Officers will meet at least once between ordinary sessions. The Regional Conference also recognizes the importance of the participation of civil society in its ordinary sessions.
In compliance with the agreements adopted in the last meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee, the first session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean will be held in Uruguay with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The main theme of the Conference is the ICPD-PoA Beyond 2014, under the general title of “Full integration of population dynamics into rights-based sustainable development with equality: key to the agenda beyond 2014.”
In the framework of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action Beyond 2014, the first session of the Regional Conference will include 8 panels on topics that should be prioritized and strengthened in the future regional agenda on population and development to deal with the new challenges arising from the ongoing transformations at the global and especially regional levels. The panels include the following topics: (a) Rights, needs and demands of children, adolescents and youth; (b) Ageing, social protection and socioeconomic challenges; (c) Gender equality; (d) Gaps in universal access to sexual and reproductive health services; (e) International migration and protection of the rights of all migrants; (f) Territorial inequality, spatial mobility and environmental vulnerability; (g) Indigenous peoples: multiculturalism and rights; (h) Afro-descendants: rights and combating racial discrimination. The Conference will also focus, through high-level round tables, on the frameworks for fully integrating population dynamics into sustainable development with equality and a rights-based approach.
During the first session of the Conference, the Secretariat will report on its activities during 2012-2013 and its perspectives for 2013-2015. It will also present a review of the implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD+20), as well as a proposal for a regional agenda on population and development for Latin America and the Caribbean beyond 2014. Additionally, a general debate is scheduled for delegations to present their national experiences on population and development and their perspectives beyond 2014.