B. The private sector

Basis for action

15.13. The private, profit-oriented sector plays an important role in social and economic development, including production and delivery of reproductive health-care services and commodities, including appropriate education and information relevant to population and development programmes. In a growing number of countries, the private sector has or is developing the financial, managerial and technological capacity to carry out an array of population and development activities in a cost-efficient and effective manner. This experience has laid the groundwork for useful partnerships which the private sector can further develop and expand. Private-sector involvement may assist or supplement but must not mitigate the responsibility of Governments to provide full, safe and accessible reproductive health services to all people. The private sector must also ensure that all population and development programmes with full respect for the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of each country's people adhere to basic rights recognized by the international community and recalled in the present Programme of Action.

15.14. Another aspect of the private sector's role is its importance as a partner for economic growth and sustainable development. Through its actions and attitudes, the private sector can make a decisive impact on the quality of life of its employees and often on large segments of society and their attitudes. Experience gained from these programmes is useful to Governments and non- governmental organizations alike in their ongoing efforts to find innovative ways of effectively involving the private sector in population and development programmes. A growing consciousness of corporate responsibilities increasingly is leading private-sector decision makers to search for new ways in which for-profit entities can constructively work with Governments and non- governmental organizations on population and sustainable development issues. By acknowledging the contribution of the private sector, and by seeking more programme areas for mutually beneficial cooperation, Governments and non-governmental organizations alike may strengthen the efficiency of their population and development activities.

[Go to start of Document]