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During the second session of the ICPD PrepCom, a number of governments raised the need for further dialogue on some of the most critical issues to be discussed at the 1994 Conference. As a result the ICPD Secretary-General convened a series of roundtable discussions, in cooperation with governments that have offered to host the meetings.

A roundtable on population policies, programmes and HIV/AIDS took place in Berlin, Germany from 28 September - 1 October 1993. Approximately 40 technical experts and representatives from developing countries and selected developed countries, NGOs and UN agencies attended the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to examine the short- and medium-term demographic impact of the AIDS epidemic and to explore the implications of AIDS on population and development policies and on maternal and child health and family planning programmes.

Participants at the roundtable concluded that AIDS will not have a significant impact on population growth, at global, regional or national levels. In some African cities, however, rates of natural population increase may be reduced, although this may be offset by migration. Participants also agreed that a more urgent issue is the negative impact on social and economic development caused by growing rates of premature death among the most productive segments of the population -- young and middle-aged adults. In addition, within some countries' health systems, resources needed for disease prevention are being diverted to treat diseases that accompany AIDS. They also concluded that family planning programmes have a major role to play in HIV/AIDS prevention, particularly in helping women and young people to better protect themselves from infection. Substantial additional resources are needed for both family planning and AIDS prevention.

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