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The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) is being convened under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The process began in July 1989 when ECOSOC passed resolution 1989/91 that called for an international meeting on population. In the later resolution 1991/93, the Council decided to call the meeting the "International Conference on Population and Development" and further defined the objectives and themes of the Conference. A third resolution, 1992/37, accepted the offer of the Government of Egypt to host the Conference in Cairo on 5-13 September 1994.

The Preparatory Committee had its first substantive session in New York from 4-8 March 1991. This session recommended the adoption of a draft resolution that further defined the objectives and themes of the Conference, identified groups of priority issues, and proposed convening expert group meetings, regional population conferences and two additional sessions of the PrepCom. The six groups of priority issues were addressed by a series of expert group meetings organized by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Development of the United Nations Secretariat in consultation with UNFPA.

The first expert group meeting focussed on population, environment and development and was held in New York from 20-24 January, 1992. The second, on population policies and programs, was hosted by the Government of Egypt in Cairo, from 12-16 April, 1992. The third, on population and women, was hosted by the Government of Botswana in Gaborone from 22-26 June 1992. The fourth, on family planning, health, and family well-being was hosted by the Government of India and took place in Bangalore from 26-29 October 1992. The fifth, on population growth and demographic structure, hosted by the Government of France took place in Paris from 16-20 November, 1992. The sixth, on population distribution and migration, hosted by the Government of Bolivia, took place in Santa Cruz from 18-23 January 1993. These meetings are summarized in document E/CONF.84/PC/12, "Synthesis of Expert Group Meetings."

Another source of input was a series of regional population conferences that were held in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East. The reports of these meetings have been released as conference documents.

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