In preparation for the 48th Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development holding from 13 – 17 April 2015, at the United Nations headquarters New York, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, in partnership with Community Agenda for Peace and Youth Transparency International Nigeria, organised a pre-conference dialogue for delegates and NGO partners.
Welcoming participants to the dialogue session, the UNIC Lagos National Information Officer, Oluseyi Soremekun, called for a better understanding of population dynamics by development partners. ‘Population issues,’ according to him, ‘is very germane to ensuring sustainable development, including the post-2015 development agenda.’
He added that UNIC would continue to facilitate engagements with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and government partners to stimulate development initiatives within the framework of post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
In his presentation on ‘Demographic Dividend’, the Head of Lagos Office, United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA), Dr Omolaso Omosehin, noted that there was a window of opportunities to harness the demographic dividend which required immediate investments.
He, therefore, called for critical investments on the youth and adolescent girls with regard to sexual and reproductive health, quality education, along with investments on infrastructure development and good governance.
Delivering the keynote address, the Managing Director of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr Ola Oresanya, highlighted the impact of population movement on the environment and its implication on waste management in a metropolitan city like Lagos. He added that cooperation of the populace with the government was a critical success factor in addressing the issue of population and the environment.
Speaking on the occasion, the National Coordinator of Community Agenda for Peace, Barrister Obuesi Phillips, explained that domesticating discussions on integrating issues of poverty eradication, migration and urbanization into sustainable development goals would form the bedrock for civil society agenda for Nigeria’s delegates to the 48th Session of the UN Commission on population and development.
Contributing during the interactive session, the Executive Director of Women in Politics and Governance, Barrister Obiageli Obi, called for a change of strategy in addressing population issues. She said communications about family planning for women should directed at men.
Other Speakers were Dr Tayo Oyetunji, representing the Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC); the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Women Affairs and Ethics, Mrs Chinyere Anokwuru; the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Mr. Eke Ubiji; an accomplished musician, Dr Tee Mac Itseli and a renowned environmentalist, Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi.
The theme of the conference is “Realizing the future we want: Integrating population issues into sustainable development, including the post-2015 development agenda”.