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Although the next meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) will not take place until April 1994, there is much to report upon the conclusion of the 48th session of the United Nations General Assembly. This special year-end issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin will review relevant activities that have taken place since September 1993, summarize the results of the General Assembly's consideration of the ICPD, and highlight upcoming events. This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin is published as part of a series of year-end issues intended to summarize the current state of play in the various conferences and negotiations reported on by the Bulletin in 1993.


The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was created by United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 1989/91 in 1989. The Government of Egypt will host the Conference in Cairo on 5-13 September 1994. The Secretary-General of the Conference is Dr. Nafis Sadik, the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The Preparatory Committee had its first substantive session in New York from 4-8 March 1991. This session defined the objectives and themes of the Conference, and proposed convening expert group meetings, regional population conferences and two additional sessions of the PrepCom. The PrepCom identified six clusters of priority issues: population, environment and development; population policies and programmes; population and women; family planning, health and family well-being; population growth and demographic structure; and population distribution and migration. These clusters 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. Another source of input to the Conference preparations was a series of regional population conferences that were held in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East.

The second session of the Preparatory Committee was held in New York from 10-21 May 1993. The overriding objective was to reach agreement on the form and substance of the final document to be adopted in Cairo. Delegates agreed on a set of population and development issues to be discussed and elaborated a draft structure for the final document. There was support for adoption of a new, free-standing document which will include action-oriented recommendations to effectively address population and development challenges into the next decade. Delegates also reached consensus on the inclusion of a number of issues in this document, including the relationship between population, environment, sustained growth and economic development; the empowerment of women; population aging; health and mortality; population distribution, urbanization and internal migration; international migration; and the partnership between governments, NGOs and the private sector. (For more information, see the report of the Preparatory Committee (E/1993/69) and Earth Negotiations Bulletin Vol.6 No. 11.)


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