In an Open Letter to the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, more than 60 civil society organizations demand urgency in the re-creation of the National Commission on Population and Development (CNPD).
“Brazil is back! We celebrate the return of the Brazilian government to the international stage as a global actor defending human rights, we celebrate the efforts to broaden social participation and we celebrate the resumption of dialogues between the federal government and organized civil society.
The National Commission on Population and Development (CNPD) was set up in 1995, a year after the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD 1994), held in Cairo. It was the mechanism for social participation and for monitoring the implementation at national level of the agreements signed by our country at the ICPD 1994 and the agreements subsequently established in the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, within the framework of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (2013).
The CNPD, which was abolished in 2019 as a result of the dismantling of social participation structures by the previous government, played a key role in evaluating and proposing on population and development issues in Brazil during its almost 25 years of existence, and is a global benchmark for participatory governance mechanisms on this agenda. It is particularly important to note that during the federal administration between 2013 and 2015, the CNPD was the coordinating body for the Brazilian government’s expressive position at the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, its developments and the country’s participation in the annual sessions of the UN Commission on Population and Development.
The definition of the Final Report of the Social Participation Council of the Government Transition Commission (2022) indicating the re-creation of the CNPD and the parameters for this was celebrated by civil society, which in the years of the CNPD’s extinction under the last government, arduously defended the issues of population and development and monitored the implementation of the agenda without government support.
In these almost 11 months of the Lula administration, we have worked in partnership with the federal government on the actions to re-establish the CNPD, coordinated by the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic. The Technical Working Group (GTT) to recreate the CNPD had the active participation of civil society organizations and academia, which contributed in dialogue with ministerial representatives to draft the new Decree to recreate this body.
The GTT of the new CNPD delivered its Final Report on August 30th, 2013, with the text of a Decree unanimously approved by the ministries and representatives of civil society. However, we are concerned about the current Brazilian government’s failure to deliver a Voluntary National Report on the country’s implementation of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development in 2023, the year in which this document, considered the most advanced in the field of population among all regions, turns 10 years old.
We emphasize the urgency of re-establishing the CNPD. Approximately two months after the delivery of the GTT’s final report proposing a decree for the new body, we are concerned about the lethargy and failure to re-establish the CNPD to date. On November 14th and 15th, 2023, the Executive Board of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean will meet at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Between 2013 and 2018, Brazil was vice-president of this important Conference and in 2022, under the last government, the country declined to take part in this intergovernmental forum as vice-president, demonstrating the previous administration’s disregard for the agenda and multilateral dialogue.
Since January 2023, President Lula’s government has shown a real commitment to rebuilding channels for social participation and to Brazil’s relevance on the international stage in the search for dialogue between countries, especially in our Latin American region. We believe that the Brazilian government cannot present itself at the meeting of the board of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean in November without its monitoring, analysis, proposal and participation body for the agenda, the CNPD, which has been abolished. It is essential that the CNPD be reinstated as soon as possible, in line with the commitment made in the GTT Report to recreate this body.
We believe that Brazil has returned to the forefront of the full defense of participation as a method of government, of dialogue and of population and development issues! In this sense, we emphasize the need for the immediate resumption of the CNPD as a forum for dialogue and participation on the population and development agenda in the current government. Count on the UNION of civil society, which has been active since the origin of this agenda, for the mission of helping to RECONSTRUCT the postulates for the full implementation of population and development issues in our country!”
See the organizations that signed the letter Carta Aberta da Sociedade Civil SG-PR_ retomada da CNPD v.pdf