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The objectives set out in resolution 1991/93 are: (1) to review and appraise the progress made in reaching the goals and objectives of the 1974 World Population Plan of Action; (2) to identify ways to implement the recommendations of the Plan; (3) to increase awareness of population issues on the international agenda; (4) to consider the desired focus of action on population issues; (5) to adopt a set of recommendations for the next decade; and (6) to mobilize the necessary resources.

The six groups of priority issues identified in the ECOSOC resolution as requiring the greatest attention are: population growth and demographic structure; population policies and programmes; population, environment and development linkages; population distribution and migration; population and women; and family planning, health and family well-being. These issues were the topics of six expert group meetings which were convened in 1992 and 1993 in order to provide input and an adequate scientific basis for the formulations of recommendations to be tabled at the Conference.