As a middle-income country with a Muslim-majority population and given its relative success in family planning, Indonesia can play an expanded role in sharing its experiences with other members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to strengthen the role of Muslim religious leaders in family planning, a UNFPA executive has said.
UNFPA executive director Natalia Kanem said Indonesia had a wealth of experience to offer to other countries entering similar demographic stages, especially in Africa, such as on how to take advantage of the demographic dividend while at the same time reaping the population bonus across sectors.
“I look forward to Indonesia playing a greater role in this area,” she said on day one of a two-day international inter-ministerial conference on population and development in Yogyakarta on Tuesday.
Around 250 delegates from 26 member countries of Partners in Population and Development (PPD) are attending the meeting.
National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) principal secretary Nofrijal said PPD was an intergovernmental initiative created to expand on and improve South-to-South collaboration in the fields of reproductive health, population, and development.
Kanem expressed appreciation toward the Indonesian government for having been active since the early 1980s in sharing its experiences among developing countries.
“To date, I’m told that around 5,500 officials from 94 countries learned through exchanges about Indonesia’s family planning program. This is evidence of the country’s commitment to facilitating global sustainable development in the era of sustainable development goals,” she said. (ebf)