Partners in Creating the Future
Jordan participates in the 57th session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development
Jordan participates in the 57th session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development
Sunday, 5 May 2024

Jordan, represented by HPC Secretary-General, Prof. Dr. Issa Masarweh, participated in the 57th session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development held at the UN headquarters in New York April 29 - May 3, 2024. The session convened under the theme, ‘Assessing the status of implementation of the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and its contribution to the follow up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.’            

In the course of the session, Secretary-General, Prof. Masarweh presented a paper, prepared in partnership with national partners, on Jordan's position on the subject theme of the session.                                                                             Ever since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) 1994, Masarweh stated, Jordan has constantly sought to align its strategies, development policies, national plans, executive programs and legislation at the national and sectoral levels with the ICPD’s work program and the goals and objectives of the Sustainable Development Agenda. The goals and objectives of the Agenda reflect Jordan’s commitment to ensuring social and economic inclusion, as it continues to comply to the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ alongside the development of future strategies that meet the priorities and needs of all population groups in adherence to the principles of human rights.                                                                                                                  Al-Masarweh indicated that Jordan's first centenary witnessed changes that included all areas of life as well as demographic, economic, social and political transformations. These developments were interpreted into tangible improvements in health, educational, economic, social and political fields, and in providing comprehensive, quality infrastructure and services.

In return, there have been fundamental changes in population dynamics; in less than two decades, the population of Jordan has doubled, and the number has risen by more than 6 million in the last twenty years. Today, the current population exceeds 11.6 million, and is likely to reach up to 12.5 million by the end of 2028. This rapid increase came as a result of conflicts in the region and the ensuing waves of forced migrations leading to the influx of large numbers of refugees into the country. Non-Jordanians constitute more than 31% of the total population. The number of refugees continues to grow due to the high rates of early marriages and births among refugees, and in particular, Syrian refugees.

Dr. Masarweh’s paper included a brief synopsis on the development efforts undertaken by Jordan.                                                                                                                                           Jordan has always been keen to coordinate between strategies and programs of the various development sectors with regard to integrating population dynamics into developmental planning with the aim of achieving sustainable and equitable growth, promoting gender equality and empowering women, in addition to reproductive health rights within the human rights structure.

Strategies that fully reflect the multiple dimensions of sustainable development have been developed. Jordan set the National Population Strategy 2021-2030. It also recently launched the country’s vision for economic modernization 2022-2033 and its executive program for 2022-2025, under the campaign ‘A Better Future’.

As for the health sector, public health indicators reflected the quality and efficiency of health services provided, thus placing Jordan in an advanced rank in this field.                                                                                                             In the field of strengthening reproductive and sexual health services, the following steps were undertaken, in addition to the preparation and fulfilment of a number of relevant strategies such as, the preparation and execution of the National Strategy for Sexual and Reproductive Health 2020-2030                                                                                                                       A national system to monitor and respond to maternal mortality at the national level has also been established and completed; reproductive health programs directed at young men and women have been fortified through starting youth-friendly health clinics; work has commenced to include reproductive health concepts within school curricula; the setting up of digital knowledge platforms to ensure that young men and women have access to reliable information related to sex education and reproductive health issues.

However, there still remain certain challenges facing the progress and advancement of reproductive and sexual health services. Despite the drop in the unmet need of spouses for family planning, there has been a rise of up to 22% in the rate of the use of traditional methods for planned pregnancies and births. Additionally, services available for women with disabilities are still inadequate and limited.

In the field of eliminating the marriage of girls under the age of 18, Al-Masarweh explained that the national plan for (2022-2024) to reduce this sort of marriage has been prepared.

The interventions of this plan, Masarweh added, have contributed to reducing the rate of marriage of those under eighteen from 14.6% in 2018 to 11.9% in 2022 of the total number of first-time marriages. Albeit these national efforts, early marriage is still quite high and common among Syrian refugees, where marriage of underage girls is still more prevalent, as the marriage rate there reached about 38% in 2022 of the total number of first-time marriages.

Masarweh stated that the Jordanian society is a young society, as 40% of the population is under the age of 18, and this demographic challenge has led to great pressures on infrastructure, natural resources and services, especially the health and education sectors, noting that Jordan has placed inclusive economic growth and decent work as one of its top priorities. Jordan, he added adopts policies, programs and projects that increase employment opportunities, strengthen the high-quality vocational and technical training system and link it to local and external needs, and establish productive projects to create jobs and reduce the development gap between governorates.

Despite all the efforts made, unemployment rates are still at their highest levels, reaching (20%) among Jordanians in 2023. Males constitute about 70% of the unemployed; about 60% of them do not have a secondary education, and are thus faced with competition by refugee workers in the labor market when seeking jobs.

Where the elderly (65 years and above) are concerned, Masarweh affirmed that the Jordanian government pays particular attention to this group in recognition of their role in the family and in developing their societies by providing them with an environment free of violence and by benefiting from their competencies and experiences.

In support of and in order to promote the rights of persons with disabilities (5 years and above) who constitute (16%) of the population and to ensure their participation and inclusion in society, Jordan launched a policy to guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities. Moreover, Masarweh added, Jordan adopted several programs aimed at enhancing the accessibility of persons with disabilities to various public services and to employment opportunities. Additionally, buildings were planned in a way to enable persons with disabilities to access public facilities with ease.


In the field of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, Secretary General Masarweh pointed out that Jordan over the past years, has exerted efforts to bridge and close the gender gap in various fields and eliminate gender-based violence. Yet, efforts at the national level are still faced with several challenges, most notably of which is the ongoing low participation of women in the country’s economy at 14% even though females enjoy a high level of education. As such, this requires continuous measures to provide the appropriate environment for women in the labour market.


Dr. Masarweh went on to explain that compiling and analysing classified data and investing in research is a cornerstone to support evidence-based policy-making in areas related to the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, Masarweh indicated that the Sustainable Development Goals database has been created. The database is in line with The National Strategy for Statistics Development NSSD which is currently being updated for the years 2024-2028.

Work is also underway to reinforce administrative records as a primary source of data, upgrade the information, and build capabilities to set up national response plans in times of crises based on characteristics of the population. The government has also adopted an all-inclusive strategy to develop the information and communications technology sector ICT and digitization to improve services and facilitate Jordan's transition into the digital economy.


Secretary General Masarweh pointed to the many challenges Jordan is facing which have contributed to a significant slowdown in progress in some sectors and a noteworthy decline in others.

Jordan stoically took on and endured the consequences of the Syrian influx of refugees when international aid drastically declined, at a time when the country was facing major economic challenges.

Additionally, the global repercussions resulting from the Russian-Ukrainian crisis created additional pressures due to the sharp rise in oil and food prices and interest rates globally, making it even harder for the Jordanian economy to recover. Then came the war on Palestinian citizens in Gaza and the resulting unprecedented loss of human lives and economic losses that cast a shadow over Jordan. The war resulted in huge losses to the tourism sector and an increase in the cost of shipping by sea, and its impact swiftly sprawled to social conditions as well.

Dr. Masarweh explained that regardless of these major challenges, as the Syrian crisis goes into its thirteenth year at war, Jordan stands its ground and continues to provide its aid and services to refugees, as it is also committed to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees operating in Jordan (UNRWA). From this podium here, Jordan stresses the urgency to end the war on Gaza, save the lives of civilians in Gaza and avoid more destruction and despair in the region caused by the war on Gaza.

Dr. Masarweh also pointed out to the fact that climate change is another major challenge due to its effects and repercussions on vital systems and national natural resources. Jordan has diligently worked to upgrade and update the Nationally Determined Contribution Document, which brought up the ambitious rate of reducing greenhouse emissions from 14% to 31% by 2030.

Moreover, Jordan joined international agreements and pledges on climate change such as the Jordanian National Urban Policy 2022, which aims for a more transformative, productive, inclusive, and resilient urban expansion in the long term. The Urban Policy 2022 takes into account the challenges that Jordan faces related to the unbalanced geographical distribution of the population, which is harmful to the environment, the rural economy, food security, and is of a high financial and administrative cost.

Masarweh concluded by calling on the international community for their continued support to Jordan to enable it to cope with the challenges resulting from conflicts in the region and from climate change so as to continue to perform its role to maintain security and stability in the region and to ensure that ‘no one is left behind’ in development.

On another relevant level, Masarweh participated in a side meeting on the side-lines of the session entitled ‘Review of existing and ongoing obstacles to repositioning the ICPD agenda in the context of major trends and new challenges in Arab countries’, organized by the League of Arab States Social Affairs Sector/ Population Policy Department (Technical Secretariat of the Arab Council for Population and Development) in cooperation with the UN Population Fund (Office of Arab States) and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia ESCWA.