Kyrgyzstan: President Bolsters Protections Against Domestic Violence
KYRGYZSTAN: Kyrgyzstan has in a landmark decision adopted legislation designed to provide greater protections for victims of domestic abuse. Kyrgyzstan already has laws in place criminalizing violence in the home, but the legislation approved by President Almazbek Atambayev on April 28 constitutes a substantial and important revision. One fresh provision will require police to respond to every reported instance of domestic violence. This means that any member of the public can file complaints, even if they are only witnesses not direct parties to the violence. (Read More)

Australia urged to put women and girls at centre of foreign policy
AUSTRALIA: International aid organisations have told the Turnbull government to place women and girls at the centre of Australia’s new foreign policy initiative. Concentrating on educating girls aged 10 to 19 would also give families living in neighbouring countries the greatest chance of moving out of poverty, they say. “Greater gender equality delivers stronger economic growth and security. It is strongly correlated with greater peace and stability,” Care Australia chief executive Sally Moyle said in the organisation’s submission to the white paper process. “It is beyond doubt that supporting gender equality internationally, and particularly in our Indo-Pacific region, is in Australia’s interest.” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is looking to establish a new “philosophical framework” to guide Australia’s engagement with the world. (Read More)

Saving Asia’s Mothers
THAILAND: With all the talk about the impending “Asian century,” one might imagine that the region had moved beyond what are often viewed as poor-country health challenges, like high rates of maternal mortality. The reality is very different. In 2015, an estimated 85,000 women died of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth across the Asia-Pacific region – 28% of the global total. Up to 90% of those deaths, which were concentrated in just 12 countries, could have been prevented through quality antenatal, obstetric, and perinatal care. In the absence of such care, the average maternal mortality rate (MMR) in the Asia-Pacific region is extremely high: 127 per 100,000 live births, compared to the developed-country average of 12 per 100,000. (Read More)

CPD 50 Debates Impacts of Changing Population Age Structures
GLOBAL: The UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD) will conduct a four-year review cycle for the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and its contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, based on a decision taken during CPD’s 50th session. CPD 50 also considered the impacts of changing population age structures, but did not reach consensus on an outcome document on this topic. CPD 50 convened from 3-7 April 2017, in New York, US. The newly agreed four-year review cycle for the Cairo Programme of Action will begin with its 53rd session.(Read More)

UNGA Launches Global Conversation on Financing SDGs
GLOBAL: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) convened a high-level event on financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with support from the UN Environment Programme’s Inquiry into Design Options for a Sustainable Financial System, to “foment a global conversation” on mobilizing the needed resources from a range of sources. Opening the SDG Financing Lab on 18 April 2017, in New York, US, UNGA President Peter Thomson said financing the SDGs will require US$6 trillion per year, or US$90 trillion over 15 years, while the cost of inaction would be far greater. (Read More)

DISCLAIMER: This policy round-up is a collection of news and feature articles related to population and development from media organizations around Asia and the Pacific. Any views or opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of AFPPD nor WFO.