Continuing efforts to ensure targeted national development planning in the Solomon Islands reached a milestone today with the launch of its National Population Policy 2017-2026.

The launch which was held at the beginning of the three-day Solomon Islands annual provincial planners conference on population and development marks the end of a collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, which provided technical support including the validation process both by Government officials which was complemented by provincial outreach and consultations (on the policy).

Key population and development issues the population policy 2017-2026 is designed to address are: Sustainable and inclusive social and economic development; Respect for human rights of all people; Essential social and community services are accessible by all community members; The policy is for all people equally and inclusively; and Maintaining the social and economic security of the Solomon Islands.

“Today marks a key milestone and in this connection I would like to congratulate the Solomon Islands Government and particularly the Ministry of National Development Planning and Aid Coordination in formulating this strategic document that would support people across different age groups, and all the more so when population dynamics shift very slowly,” Solomon Islands UNFPA Programme Specialist Pauline McNeal said in her remarks.

“The National Population Policy places great priority on overcoming inequalities and exclusions – building fairer, freer and more caring communities that include everyone, regardless of differences. But this cannot depend on individuals and families alone.

“It needs the commitment of the government, backed by sufficient resources, to support individuals in all their diversity – particularly the poorest and most vulnerable in our rural areas – to provide a good quality of life across the spectrum, beginning at birth itself, for all.”

The policy also recognizes, amongst other important population and development factors, the critical role men play in a couple’s uptake of contraception and recommends the promotion of male involvement in family planning. In the Solomon Islands, the use of modern family planning has remained modest and the total fertility rate still high at 4.7 children per woman.

The policy has eight goals to guide the work of planners towards the vision of improved harmonization between population and development and an improved quality of life through more effective planning od development efforts.

Press Release: UNFPA