Regional Dialogue: Demographic Resilience and Sustainable Development in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19 November 2020

On the occasion of the anniversary of the 2019 Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, the Government of Bulgaria, co-chair of the ICPD+25 regional review process and member of the Nairobi Summit International Steering Committee, and UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia co-hosted a regional dialogue on “Demographic Resilience and Sustainable Development” to exchange experiences and discuss priorities in addressing demographic shifts in Eastern Europe and Central Asia” on 18 November 2020. From Uzbekistan Makhmudjon Ziyadullaev, Deputy Chairperson of the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Statistics participated in the dialogue focused on Preparing population and housing census in challenging times.

This high-level event was an opportunity to highlight the demographic trends that influence progress on achieving the SDGs in the region and take stock of the headways Governments have made in drawing on demographic shifts to drive economic growth and achieve sustainable development. The event also served to update Member States and core donors on the status of UNFPA’s work assisting countries in the region in strengthening their resilience in the face of rapid demographic change. While many countries in Eastern Europe have concerns with respect to low fertility, migration, and population ageing; in Central Asia, demographic resilience relates to relatively large youth populations, and harnessing the demographic dividend. As the UN’s lead agency on population issues and sexual and reproductive health, UNFPA is increasingly requested by Member States to provide technical and comprehensive policy support to address these population trends. The current COVID-19 pandemic further highlights the need for population data, to allow identification of, and targeted responses for, the most vulnerable. Earlier this year, the UNFPA launched a new Regional Programme on Demographic Resilience that, in accordance with the ICPD Programme of Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, aims to support and strengthen the capacity of countries in the region in developing comprehensive population and social policies and programmes to respond to demographic change, strengthen human capital and shape a prosperous future.

 Objectives of the meeting included:

 ● To take stock of progress in drawing on demographic shifts to drive economic growth and achieve sustainable development in a post-COVID19 world.

● To exchange experiences on demographic diversity and ways to respond to population dynamics, taking into account how COVID-19 has highlighted vulnerabilities in certain population groups such as older people and women.                   

 ● To showcase the UNFPA programmes to strengthen demographic resilience in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and advance their implementation.