Daily report for 13 May 1993

2nd Session of the ICPD Preparatory Committee

INDIA: Usha Vohra stated that poverty and environment aretwo facets of the same challenge. She advocated that populationpolicies and programmes should respond to specific nationalconditions. She also stated that the effective demand for familyplanning services must be increased; men must be actively involvedin family planning and child rearing; every woman has a right tocontrol her own fertility; and every woman has a right to abortion.

BURKINA FASO: The delegate from Burkina Faso stated thatAfrica gives the family an important place in the fabric of itseconomy and, therefore, any population programme should be based onthe family. Burkina Faso adopted a 5-year population policy in June1991 with objectives on the development of human resources;advancement of women; control of migration; urban development;literacy; and family planning. The main obstacle to implementationremains the low level of development.

IRAN: The delegate from Iran expressed hope that the ICPDwill lead to a reduction of numerous population problems andenhance the resources available for population programmes. Heasserted that the final output of the Conference must respectinternational rights and values, state sovereignty and thecultural, social and religious values of the countries affected. Hehighlighted several successful national population initiatives.

POPULATION ACTION INTERNATIONAL: J. Joseph Speidel,President of PAI, outlined a number of crucial issues: all nationsmust alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life whilepreserving the environment; both developing and industrializedcountries must commit vastly increased resources to make goodfamily planning services available; family planning programmes mustimprove the quality of services and the choice of availablemethods; universal access to safe abortion; access to sexeducation, contraceptive and abortion services by adolescents; andthat family planning services should not be held hostage to theavailability of comprehensive health care.

PERU: Amb. Fernando Guillen stated that the ICPD is animportant follow-up to the task begun last year in Rio. Hecommented that sustainable development will only become a realitywhen women have equal access to resources and services and play anactive role. He also mentioned that indigenous peoples areimportant and that Peru supports greater cooperation andcoordination with them. Peru enacted a national population law in1985 and Guillen then proceeded to outline some of the facets ofthis programme.

KENYA: Amb. Simon B. Arap Bullut noted that Kenya has beenat the forefront of the family planning movement in sub-SaharanAfrica. Kenya has now entered a demographic transition withpopulation growth rates declining to 3.3% in 1994. Bullut notedthat this progress has been achieved through a combination offactors, most notably favorable economic growth, information andeducation, and NGO participation. He cited that some of the adverseeffects of structural adjustment programmes have reversed many ofKenya's demographic gains.

ROMANIA: The delegate from Romania mentioned thatsignificant changes have taken place on all continents in the past20 years. As a result, the 1994 Conference should be theconfirmation of the importance of the Bucharest and Mexico CityConferences as well as a departure from them. He urged theConference to address the special needs of sub-populations; humanrights; and international migration. He specifically mentioned theproblems in Europe as a result of the war in the former Yugoslaviaand the painful processes of countries in economic transition.

AFRICAN NGOS: Sekai Holland spoke on behalf of the AfricanNGOs at PrepCom II. She referred to the negative impacts ofstructural adjustment programmes, especially those mandated by theWorld Bank and the IMF and the fact that Africa's debt serviceobligations are 20% of its export earnings. Holland spoke as wellon the relationship between population and AIDS, environment, thegovernance crisis, reproductive health and informed choice, women'sempowerment, adolescent health, resource mobilization, migration,and civil strife.

THAILAND: Dr. Thakur Phanit called on national governmentsto set long-term perspectives on population policies andprogrammes. He expressed hope that Thailand's population rate willdrop further to 1.2 %, once its national economic and socialdevelopment plan is fully implemented. He referred to the fact thatsuccess of Thailand's population programme in the past is owed toNGO involvement and reaffirmed his government's support for thefull participation of NGOs in the ICPD preparatory process.

BURUNDI: The delegate from Burundi stated that theConference document should place particular emphasis on displacedrefugees; regional and sub-regional cooperation; the central roleof the family in population policies; and the establishment ofnational population policies. She summarized the main strategies ofBurundi's population policy, which include increasing the use ofcontraceptives; training and education; integrating women indevelopment; collection and analysis of data; and numerous sectoralstrategies.

C"TE D'IVOIRE: The delegate from the C“te d'Ivoire suggestedthat the ICPD focus on why the objectives of the World Plan ofAction have not been achieved. Her speech focused on the fact thatmost sub-Saharan countries have had to cope with a drop in exportearnings, increased debt, drought, desertification, migration dueto natural disasters, and imbalances between overrun cities andempty countrysides. She suggested that debt conversion and thepeace dividend be used for social services, including populationprogrammes.

SENEGAL: The delegate from Senegal outlined nationalpreparations for the ICPD, including preparation of the nationalreport and establishment of a national preparatory committee. InSenegal, actions have been carried out on priority areas, includinghealth care, family planning, education, and increasingcontraceptive use from 20 to 40% by the year 2010.

TUNISIA: The delegate from Tunisia, on behalf of the MaghrebUnion (Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Libya and Tunisia), statedthat population policies should be linked to the process ofeconomic and social development, the natural environment, poverty,employment, and access to contraceptives. He said that globalpolicies must take into account the human rights of migrants aswell as the need to include local populations in thedecision-making process. He also stressed the important role of thefamily.

JAPAN: Dr. Makoto Atoh affirmed the importance of achievingsocial and economic development in a way that does not destroy theenvironment. He urged that this requires not only populationcontrol but a change in production and consumption patterns,especially in the developed countries. Atoh also announced that theGovernment of Japan will earmark US$500,000 of its contribution toUNFPA this year for Conference preparatory costs.

DR. NAFIS SADIK: At the conclusion of the general debate onAgenda Item 4, "Preparations for the Conference," Dr. Sadiksummarized several common themes: the relationship betweenpopulation, sustainable economic growth, sustainable developmentand consumption; centrality of the individual; empowerment ofwomen; and the full involvement of all men. She also reviewed thecontributions made to the Conference Trust Fund. The total amountpledged so far is US$3.481 million, of which US$2.7 million hasbeen received. She expressed hope that the ICPD could raise anadditional US$1 million from other sources.


At the end of this morning's session, the Chair announced thatHungary had been nominated by the Eastern European Group to fillthe remaining seat on the PrepCom Bureau.


At the first meeting of the ICW, the Chair, Nicolaas H. Biegman,said that in addition to discussion on the specific items assignedto these informal consultations, the ICW will address a draftdecision being introduced by the G-77 on organizational matters. Hesaid that the ICW must also draft guidelines for the Secretariat onthe elaboration of the final document. He also announced that theSecretariat has promised to sacrifice the weekend and their sleepto update the conceptual framework for Monday morning.

Biegman then added that unless the ICW can borrow interpreters fromother meetings, there may not be interpretation at future sessions.Both Colombia and France took the floor to express concern aboutthe lack of interpretation. The Secretariat apologized and promisedto do everything possible to ensure the availability ofinterpretation at the sessions.

The UK then requested clarification on how the Secretariat proposesto update the conceptual framework. Dr. Singh, from theSecretariat, responded that they intended to incorporaterecommendations tabled during the informal debate into an updatedor revised document to facilitate discussion. They also intend oncompiling the recommendations of the expert group and regionalmeetings to provide greater synthesis.

The Chair then moved to the draft decision proposed by the G-77,"Preparations for the International Conference on Population andDevelopment." Colombia summarized the draft that proposes to makethe ICPD a subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly, rather thanof ECOSOC. This would elevate the importance of the Conference andreflect recent decisions on UN restructuring. The draft alsorequests more resources to be provided from the regular UN budget;the continuation of a dialogue between the Secretary-General of theICPD and all Member States between the 2nd and 3rd sessions of thePrepCom; the expansion of the duration of PrepCom III from two tofour weeks; and the strengthening of Secretariat capacity.

The Chair then opened the floor for discussion of this document.Most of the delegations were not prepared to comment as they hadonly received the document minutes before. The US requested time toreview the G-77 draft. The Chair granted a 10-minute recess butthen decided to adjourn the meeting as it became clear that thedelegates were not ready to discuss the draft resolution at thattime.

Following adjournment, a small group of delegates disappeared intothe back room to conduct consultations on this matter.


THE BUREAU: Dr. Sai will hold a meeting of his now completedBureau this morning at 9:00 am. The possible items of discussionwill be the lack of interpretation and the organization of work forthe ICW. Dr. Sai may also discuss the possibility of holdinginformal-informals on the contentious areas of the ICW agenda,particularly the concept of guiding principles as elaborated in theconceptual framework document.

PLENARY: The Plenary will meet in Conference Room 2 soonafter 10:00 am to begin discussion on Agenda Item 5, "Proposedconceptual framework of the draft recommendations of theConference." The session will begin with remarks by Dr. Sadik, theSecretary-General of the Conference, followed by Colombia, onbehalf of the G-77, and Denmark for the European Community. Othercountries, as well as NGOs, will have the opportunity to presenttheir views on the conceptual framework today and into next week.The Secretariat will have been advised by the Bureau, following itsmeeting this morning, as to how it should consolidate the inputfrom the Plenary debate. The Chair has requested that governmentsscheduled to speak on this item next week should transmit theirwritten recommendations to the Secretariat today. The objectivewill be to prepare a revised conceptual framework to be circulatedon Monday.

Look for government positions regarding the overall balance of theconceptual framework document. While some countries view thisConference as an opportunity to set goals for population managementand the mobilization of resources for that purpose, others want tosee the problem of population addressed within the largerdevelopment context.

INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS OF THE WHOLE (ICW): The ICW willprobably hold it second session at 3:00 pm in Conference Room 6,following its aborted meeting yesterday afternoon. Discussion willmost likely focus on the G-77 resolution regarding preparations forthe ICPD. As the resolution has implicit financial implications,watch for the response of the donor countries, especially thosethat provide a large percentage of the UN budget.

NGO ACTIVITIES: The Women's Caucus will meet in ConferenceRoom 6 at 9:00 am. The Asia and Pacific Island NGOs, as well as theLatin American/Caribbean NGOs will meet in Conference Room D at12:30 pm. The NGO Planning Committee will convene from 1:00 pmuntil 3:00 pm on the second floor of the Church Center and theAfrican NGOs will meet at 5:00 pm in Conference Room D.