Population forum launches in Nanning

February 28, 2012   China.org.cn Edited by He Shan

China-ASEAN Population and Family Development Forum launched in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on Oct. 11, 2011. The forum aims to promote coordinated and sustainable development of ASEAN families' well-being against globalization and urbanization, in order to realize the Action Program of the International Conference on Population and Development and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the region.

Li Bin, director of Chinas National Population and Family Planning Commission, said population played a fundamental and strategic role in economic development and social progress, and the family served as the basis for population development and social harmony. Both China and ASEAN countries emphasize the importance of historical and cultural traditions. This laid a good foundation for better bilateral exchanges and cooperation in population and family development.

With increasing depletion of resources, urbanization, aging and other challenges, China and ASEAN should further their cooperation, find new ideas and methods, develop more appropriate policies in family planning, reproductive health, maternal and child health, girls education and poverty eradication, and injected more fund to materialize positive changes in population and family development.

Thomas Osais, executive director of the Population Commission of the Philippines said that according to the current high rate of growth, the population of the Philippines will exceed 100 million in 2012, with one fifth of the total families still suffering from poverty. The Philippines launched the "responsible parenthood movement" to help and mobilize couples to become responsible and reliable parents, and to help their children reach their full potential.

Malaysian officials said that the country was carrying out a host of prevention, sponsorship and intervention projects in population, family development and reproductive health, which aim to ensure the sustainability of family-based society and culture, establishing a caring society and achieving national progress.

Codyp Dorset, director-general of the Reproductive Health Bureau of Thailand, said that Thailand would continue its international cooperation in population and family, emphasizing experience-sharing, new technologies, new inventions, and improving population quality.

Tverdes Meles, secretary-general of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), said that China and ASEAN countries faced multiple challenges in achieving the objects of the Conference of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Millennium Project goals. Their cities are increasingly pressured from the inflow of people from rural regions. In addition, the popularity of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services in the region also lags behind the rest of the world. He also suggested that governments and non-governmental organizations should work together in these efforts.

Harry Chaucer, executive director of the South-South Cooperation Organization for Population and Development, said he believed that cooperation in population and family was the best way to promote knowledge sharing and to establish a model of practice.

He said that the local governments had achieved a lot in response to family planning, maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS, gender empowerment, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, and the experience could be used for imitation and reference.