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2nd Ministerial Confce on CRVS

Call for increasing number of birth, death registrations

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 20 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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Call for increasing number of birth, death registrations

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Ministers from across Asia and the Pacific on Friday recommitted to increasing the number of national birth and death registrations, with an emphasis on reaching the most vulnerable populations.

The second ministerial conference on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) in Asia and the Pacific, which began on Tuesday in Bangkok, concluded with a joint declaration highlighting the crucial role CRVS plays in enabling governments and authorities to prepare for and respond to crises such as the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Across the region, more than 65 million children under the age of five still do not have their birth registered. Birth registration is the first step to establishing one’s legal identity and without a birth certificate a person might be denied access to education, health and other social protections.

UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission of Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana said, “Many countries are close to registering all births and deaths, while others are rapidly closing the gap. Nevertheless, we have yet to get everyone in the picture.”

Speaking at he programme, Local Government Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD) Tazul Islam said that Bangladesh is working relentlessly to ensure 100 percent death and birth registration by 2024.

“Bangladesh has started the death and birth registration digitally in 2010 to meet the targets of CVRS.   The government also takes different innovative ways to ensure the registration. The service is now available in all city corporations, municipalities, Union Parishad, cantonment board, and embassies abroad,” he said.

“These last two years have been a tragic reminder of our inability to accurately count the human lives we lost during the Covid-19 pandemic. There is no excuse for this,” said Dr Samira Asma, Assistant Director-General for Data, Analytics and Delivery at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Michael F Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies which supports the Data for Health initiative, noted that reliable CRVS data is a key to good policy and that governments are too often “forced to make critical policy decisions and allocate scarce resources without good information.”

ESCAP and partners remain committed to supporting countries in Asia and the Pacific in implementing the Regional Action Framework, which facilitates collaborative action at the local, provincial, national and international levels by enabling multiple stakeholders to align and prioritize their efforts under agreed upon CRVS goals and targets.

Over 400 participants, including 40 ministers, joined the virtual conference, which marked the mid-point in the Asia and the Pacific CRVS Decade (2015-2024).