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PrepCom Chair Fred Sai (Ghana) opened the third session on 4 April 1994. He pointed out the impact that ICPD has already had on the world and the need for further harmonization of different viewpoints in order to come up with an action programme. He also welcomed the NGOs, whose accreditation was facilitated by early submission of their applications, and suggested that, where early applications have not been submitted, NGOs may seek information from the ICPD Secretariat. During the course of the session, the total number of NGOs accredited to the process reached 934.

In her opening statement, Dr. Nafis Sadik, Secretary-General of the Conference, pointed to the unprecedented number of countries interested in the interrelated issues of population and environmental sustainability. She emphasized the urgency to move from generalities to specifics in order to translate the recommendations into action. She also stressed the need to reach a balance between the rights and obligations of individuals and those of nations. She said that although 124 countries have already submitted their national reports, the remaining reports are needed to complete the final analysis document. She stated that most nations agree on the linkages between population, environmental sustainability and development, as well as on the centrality of individuals, especially women, to the planning and implementation of population policies. She invited delegates to focus on action-oriented proposals that are clear, while allowing for the diversity of national priorities, culture, and religion. She also called for an appropriate title for the final document.

The PrepCom then spent two and a half days in a general debate on Agenda Items 4, 5 and 6 -- preparations for the Conference; review and appraisal of progress made towards the implementation of the World Population Plan of Action; and national reports of countries on their population situation, policies and programmes. During the course of the debate, 64 representatives of governments and regional groups, 32 NGOs and 7 UN Agencies and intergovernmental organizations delivered statements.

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