A new document prepared by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), analyzes progress on the implementation of the priority measures of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, ten years after its adoption.
The document entitled Population, Development and Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean: Draft second regional report on the implementation of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development analyzes achievements, challenges and good practices to facilitate sharing and learning between countries, and constitutes Latin America and the Caribbean’s contribution to the global review and appraisal of the International Conference on Population and Development’s Programme of Action.
“The results of this second regional stocktaking exercise suggest the need to concentrate efforts on continuing and furthering the progress made, and on leveraging the strengths that have made the Montevideo Consensus the powerful instrument it has become over the course of the last 10 years. Participation, diversity and dialogue are valuable assets that must be protected and developed if we are to build Latin American and Caribbean societies that are more democratic, inclusive and just, leaving no one behind,” José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, affirmed in the document’s foreword.
The report was presented to countries by Simone Cecchini, Director of Latin American and Caribbean Demographic Centre (CELADE)-Population Division of ECLAC, in the framework of the Fifth Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Population and Development, which is taking place through Wednesday, November 15 at the regional organization’s main headquarters in Santiago, Chile.
The report consists of four chapters, the first of which focuses on demographic trends in Latin America and the Caribbean, analyzing figures on mortality, total and adolescent fertility, the age structure and demographic change, and internal and international migration.
It specifies that the region’s population currently totals 665 million people, approximately four times the population size in 1950. It is projected that the population will peak in just over 30 years, in 2056, when it reaches 752 million people. After that, the population is expected to start declining.
The second chapter analyzes regional follow-up on the implementation of the priority measures of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development: (A) Full integration of population dynamics into sustainable development with equality and respect for human rights; (B) Rights, needs, responsibilities and requirements of children, adolescents and youth; (C) Ageing, social protection and socioeconomic challenges; (D) Universal access to sexual and reproductive health services; (E) Gender equality; (F) International migration and protection of the human rights of all migrants; (G) Territorial inequality, spatial mobility and vulnerability; (H) Indigenous Peoples, interculturality and rights; and (I) Afro-descendants: rights and combating racism and racial discrimination.
The third and fourth chapters, meanwhile, are respectively focused on identifying progress and challenges in relation to implementing the Montevideo Consensus in the Caribbean, and on the report’s conclusions.
The document underscores that 10 years since its adoption, the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development has brought to light the significant inequalities that exist in Latin America and the Caribbean related to socioeconomic status, age, area of residence, gender identity, ethnicity and race, sexual orientation, migration status and disability, among other factors. Likewise, it has provided impetus and a basis for implementing public policies with a human rights-based approach and gender, intercultural and intersectional perspectives.
The report stresses the need to continue strengthening and building on that approach to population and development issues and in the design and implementation of public policies and programs to improve the well-being of the population.
“Despite the progress between 2018 and 2023, the region still has a long way to go in terms of implementing the priority measures of the Montevideo Consensus. Therefore, it is vital that governments demonstrate firm political resolve, translating that resolve into long-lasting population and development policies that build on the progress already achieved,” it concludes.