AFPPD/APDA/JPFP Global Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development Toward the G7 Hiroshima Summit25-24 April 2023, Tokyo Japan
The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on. Population and Development (AFPPD), Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) and Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) held the Global Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development toward the 2023 G7 Hiroshima Summit (GCPPD2023) in Tokyo on 25-26 April. In light of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflict, political conflict, environmental crises and other issues have on global health, human security and economic stagnation, the deliberations centered on parliamentarians’ roles and responsibilities in addressing and overcoming these issues. They also deepened discussions on concrete measures together with representatives of international organizations, governments, private-sector companies, and civil society and adopted the Declaration for the G7 and G20. The Declaration was directly submitted to Prime Minister H.E. Fumio Kishida, who will chair the G7 Hiroshima Summit.
The Opening Ceremony was moderated by Hon. Keizo Takemi, MP Japan and Chair of AFPPD. H.E. Yasuo Fukuda, former Prime Minister and Chair of APDA, first gave an address on behalf of the organizer, in which he called on the parliamentarians to find a way to reconcile rather than divide in the current global situation and to discuss a new version of "development" that is needed in the coming era.
In his address, H.E. Yoshimasa Hayashi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, emphasized that Japan, which holds the G7 presidency this year, will contribute to addressing issues we face, by sharing with other countries its experience and lessons learned in achieving economic growth while overcoming the postwar challenges of population growth and poverty, mainly through health promotion policies and employment policies. Mr. Ian McFarlane, Director of Division for Communications and Strategic Partnerships of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), represented the supporting organizations, while Hon. Abdelhady El-Kasbey, MP Egypt, and Hon. Fredrick Outa, Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs of Kenya and Vice-President of the Africa Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (FPA), represented their regions. Lastly, H.E. Hiroyuki Hosoda, Speaker of the House of Representatives, expressed his hope that this conference would contribute to addressing global issues and then declared the opening of the conference.
In the Keynote Session that followed, as a moderator, Hon. Yoko Kamikawa, MP Japan and Chair JPFP, expressed JPFP's willingness to continue to approach pressing problems from the perspective of population and development and bring about concrete outputs. H.E. Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, noted that the international community must accelerate its efforts to realize global transformation in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and affirmed the importance of this conference as incorporating a population perspective is essential to achieve the SDGs.
Session 1 “World Population hits 8 Billion: What’s next?” addressed population issues from a variety of perspectives including population growth, population movement, environment pressures and global health, and discussed how to deal with challenges associated with population issues. Hon. Ichiro Aisawa, MP Japan and Senior Vice Chair of JPFP, served as Session Chair. Session 2 “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Promotion of SRHR and Prevention of GBV in Conflict Areas” examined the role of parliamentarians in promoting the healthy lives and well-being of all women and girls, drawing on gender disparities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, research on GBV in conflict, and the firsthand accounts of a former Afghan parliamentarian.
Session 3 “Investing in Youth: Demographic Dividend and Employment Opportunity” discussed the approaches that each country should take to address the challenges and needs faced by young people. Hon. Takuma Miyaji, MP Japan, spoke on the employment situation and employment measures for young people in Japan, attracting a high level of interest. Session 4 “Ageing Population and Healthy Longevity“ looked ahead to a future in which many countries will be facing ageing populations, and examined measures to help the elderly lead healthy, productive, and dignified lives while achieving economic and social development as a second demographic bonus. In addition to the experiences of the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, which have a progressive ageing population, specific initiatives by the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and Sanofi K.K. were shared.
On 26 April, in Session 5 “The Parliamentarians Networks in Addressing ICPD25 Commitments and 2030 Agenda in the Post-COVID World”, parliamentarians from Asia, Africa, Arab and Europe echoed the importance of parliamentary networks, including the one supported by the Japan Trust Fund (JTF). Hon. Yoshinori Suematsu, MP Japan, spoke on the role of the parliamentarians’ network on population and development that is becoming increasingly important to address various transnational issues and stated that he and his fellow Japanese parliamentarians would promote networks among parliamentarians and partnerships with various stakeholders. In Session 6, Hon. Keizo Takemi chaired the session, and the declaration was adopted after enthusiastic discussions. (*Iran reserved the adoption.)
In the Closing Ceremony, which was moderated by Hon. Hitoshi Kikawada, MP Japan and Secretary General of JPFP, Mr. Alvaro Bermejo, Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Hon. Lia Quartapelle Procopio, MP Italy, and Mr. Klaus Beck, Deputy Regional Director a.i. of UNFPA APRO, made remarks. H.E. Katsunobu Kato, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, touched on the international issues surrounding health and labour, which were positioned as one of the important issues at the G7 Hiroshima Summit, and stressed the need for international cooperation. Finally, Hon. Keizo Takemi concluded the meeting by reaffirming the importance of effective implementation of the commitments and accountability frameworks for better cooperation that is necessary to address issues we share, and expressed his resolve to continue to develop the network of parliamentarians and his gratitude to the participants.
The GCPPD2023 was attended by a total of more than 150 participants from 32 countries, with support from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA), UNFPA, JTF and Keidanren-Japan Business Federation and in cooperation with IPPF.