Daily report for 5 April 1994
3rd Session of the ICPD Preparatory Committee
During the course of the day 59 countries, IGOs and NGOs commentedon the ICPD draft action programme.
THE INDEPENDENT COMMISSION ON POPULATION AND THE QUALITY OFLIFE presented a number of recommendations, includingimposition of a new internationally monitored taxation system toalleviate the cost of population policies and programmes.PARAGUAY stressed the need to improve the managementcapacity of UNFPA and to make more resources available toorganizations that deal with population and health issues.CANADA agreed with the basic tenets of the document, butsaid that it was too lengthy and repetitive. The action programmeshould emphasize research and monitor the effectiveness of UNpopulation activities.
THE UNITED STATES confirmed its commitment to the underlyingprinciples of the draft document, including: reduction of thegender gap in education; emphasis on the family; and cooperativeefforts in contraceptive research. THE PHILIPPINES supportedthe basic principles of the draft programmes of action, especiallyhuman rights, the family, migration, reproductive rights andreproductive health. He did not endorse the use of abortion as ameans of contraception. NICARAGUA objected to the idea thateducation expenses are seen as a cost, rather than investmentsthat yield long-term positive returns. Adoption should replaceabortion as a solution to unwanted pregnancies.
SWITZERLAND advocated increased national budgets forpopulation activities. He discouraged setting objectives that areweaker than those set in other fora, such as the Children's Summit.IRAN emphasized nations' rights to define their ownpopulation policies within their own cultural and religious values.He supported greater focus on unsustainable consumption patterns asa major contributing factor to underdevelopment. CROATIApointed out the diversity of population density and structure amongnations. He called for strengthening capacity building andtechnology transfer in newly emerging States.
MALAWI recommended increased emphasis on the needs ofdisabled families, especially those afflicted by AIDS, and the needfor more emphasis on the role of men in family planning andreproductive health. THE HOLY SEE expressed criticism on thelack of ethics in the document. He supported the concept ofreproductive health for the well-being of women, but rejected theconcept of reproductive rights. He reiterated their opposition toabortion and lamented the lack of reference to natural methods offamily planning. ARGENTINA urged against anysupra-nationally imposed planning objectives for population anddevelopment. The objective of all population policies should be theprotection of the family and each of its members.
THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION assured its continued supportfor the ICPD and its collaboration with UNFPA. He placed priorityon education in population and health policies, especially in theareas of reproductive health and AIDS. ZERO POPULATIONGROWTH supported the new US policies on population, environmentand economic growth. She called for focus on issues such as theroot causes of migration and universal access to contraceptives andabortion. YOUTH DELEGATES FOR POPULATION INFORMATION pointedto such problems affecting youth as: early marriages, early andunwanted pregnancies, sexually-transmitted diseases and substanceabuse, all of which have grave impacts on population density.
FAMILY CARE INTERNATIONAL announced a collaborative paper onissues related to population and development. Its recommendationsincluded increased male responsibility in family planning, a weakpoint in the ICPD document. BRAZIL reiterated the concern ofdeveloped and developing nations regarding the main concepts ofpopulation and development. He placed emphasis on the importance ofICPD follow-up to ensure the implementation of the actionprogrammes. INDIA said that the Cairo Document should notcontain a basis for action and the objectives, but, instead, shouldfocus on the action points. She supported the recommendation that20% of national public sector expenditures and 20% of developmentassistance be devoted to the social sector.
FINLAND, on behalf of the Nordic countries, said thatpopulation-relevant policies and programmes should be based on theconcept of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The chapterson follow-up require more substance and clarity. PERUrecommended that environmental linkages appear throughout thedocument; social, economic and demographic differences betweendeveloping and developed countries be better articulated; andgreater coordination is needed at all levels. BANGLADESHhighlighted poverty alleviation; education and access to jobs;international cooperation; empowerment of women; creation ofincreased employment opportunities; and development of new and safefertility control methods.
MICRONESIA, on behalf of the Pacific island States, reportedon the South Pacific region's preparations for the ICPD, includingthe Port Vila Declaration on Population and Development adoptedlast September. He stressed the role of NGOs. NEPALstressed the centrality of the human person in achievingsustainable development. Political commitment, partnership betweengovernments and NGOs, adequate funding, the empowerment of women,and adequate follow-up should be stressed. MEXICOhighlighted the importance of the relationship between population,sustained economic growth and sustainable development; the role ofregional mechanisms; education; and internal and internationalmigration.
VENEZUELA said the action programme can serve as a guide fordiscussion of population problems and poverty. Population policiesshould be considered within economic and social developmentstrategies. AUSTRIA called for more emphasis on humanrights, education for all by the year 2000, shared responsibilitybetween men and women, and migration policy. INDONESIA, onbehalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, stressed the importance ofcapacity building, human development, the status of women withinthe context of the family, and the need for internationalcooperation, including South-South cooperation.
BOLIVIA said poverty exacerbates rural migration to urbancentres. The ICPD goals can only be met through better commitmentby the funding agencies. UNIDO said education, food supply,and income generation are among the central needs of newlyindustrialized developing countries. The key issue is how theindustrial sector can better meet the needs of the poor.ESTONIA, on behalf of the Baltic Countries, mentionedpopulation problems related to Soviet domination and forcedmigration policies. Abortion is now widely practiced in the absenceof safe contraceptives.
NAMIBIA mentioned the importance of human resources,especially where HIV is predominant. Research on the short-term andlong-term impact of population displacement on family structure isneeded as well as more emphasis on male responsibility. THEINTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF SETTLEMENTS questioned the lack ofreference to ILO Conventions. Principles regarding migration couldbe strengthened through reference to adequate housing. The actionprogramme must provide more attention to NGO involvement.ASSOCIATION FOR VOLUNTARY SURGICAL CONTRACEPTION said theproblem of post-abortion care must be addressed. The importance ofmale involvement should be highlighted. Informed and free choicemust be upheld.
INTERNATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE said the draft document mustmention the rights of unborn children. It enshrines children, butalso advocates violence against them. The document imposes a formof imperialism on developing countries, endangering the dignity ofwomen. NATIONAL FAMILY PLANNING AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHurged access to culturally acceptable family healthcare anduniversal access to contraceptives. The document should focus moreon adolescent pregnancy. DEVELOPMENT ALTERNATIVES WITH WOMEN FORA NEW ERA said that religious and political fundamentalismthreatens women since it defines the family as one headed by a man.Policies should recognize the current reality to ensure protectionof women's rights.
ROMANIA mentioned that there is a decrease in population inthe Eastern bloc that has been paradoxically associated withdecreases in the quality of life. THAILAND said thatSouth-South cooperation is important and collective self-relianceshould be encouraged. International cooperation should includetechnical cooperation among developing countries. ORGANIZATIONOF AFRICAN UNITY raised the importance of women. Financial andtechnical support is needed to ensure sustainable economic growth.
JAMAICA said more information on the character of migrationis needed to ensure the appropriate legal framework to monitormigration and to protect migrants and women. PAKISTAN saidpopulation policies can only be effective through a bottom-upapproach. The role of women must be guaranteed. NGOs can play animportant role in public education. MALI said that in orderto provide universal access to primary health care, full popularparticipation must be assured. AIDS information programmes andadolescent education are needed.
JORDAN raised the importance of the enhancement of women,especially in political life. Each country should adopt its ownpopulation policies in accordance with local cultural and religiousvalues. DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA saidpopulation must be at the center of development planning, based onthe philosophical and historical foundation of each country.MYANMAR said that diversity in population density andstructure should discourage universal policies. The right ofindividuals to control the number and spacing of their childrenshould be protected.
GUINEA BISSAU supported the G-77 statement on the draftprogramme of action. TURKEY said the linkages betweenpopulation and social development should not be limited to theICPD. The role of women and NGOs should be acknowledged. UGANDAaffirmed the negative impact of population growth on economicsustainablity, and expressed concern about the lack of financialand technical resources.
AFGHANISTAN said policy implementation in the leastdeveloped countries is costly, especially where war has causedpopulation displacement. INDIAN ASSOCIATION OF PARLIAMENTARIANSON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT called for increased resourcesfrom the developed to developing countries. Women should beincluded in policy-making and implementation. BENINacknowledged the linkage between population and economic growth.Policies should focus on such issues as employment, education,family rehabilitation, and AIDS and malaria.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA said particular emphasis should be givento the family, education for family planning, and a comprehensivestrategy to cope with migration and AIDS. BURKINA FASOemphasized that many existing programmes have not been effectivelyimplemented because of the lack of financial resources. WORLDALLIANCE FOR THE FAMILY deplored the use of abortion andcompulsory sterilization. Third World men and women have been usedas slaves in medical testing.
FAMILY LIFE COUNCIL said that he had been unable toparticipate in NGO discussions because he was pro-abortion. TheChair requested the Secretariat to look into this matter ofdiscrimination. ETHIOPIA mentioned the importance of genderequality, education for girls, employment opportunities for women,international and internal migration, and domestic capacitybuilding. CZECH REPUBLIC: said that health care, child care,and comprehensive population education are essential. Thewell-being of vulnerable groups must be addressed.
GLOBE said that goals for unsustainable consumption must beaddressed in the action programme. Early warning systems must bedeveloped for international migration crises. FOUR DIRECTIONSCOUNCIL said that increased information on birth control isgreatly needed in indigenous areas. Resources must be provided tostimulate research on traditional methods and technologies forsustaining population and development in indigenous communities.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary will meet again this morning since theywere unable to complete the lengthy speakers list on Tuesday.Approximately 18 speakers remain on the list.
WORKING GROUP II: Working Group II will begin its work at10:00 am in Conference Room 3 under the chairmanship of NicolaasBiegman (the Netherlands). After discussing its organization ofwork, the Group will begin a paragraph-by-paragraph review ofChapters IV (Gender equality and the empowerment of women) and V(The family, its roles, composition and structure).
WORKING GROUP I: This afternoon, Working Group I willconvene for the first time in Conference Room 1. Under thechairmanship of Lionel Hurst (Antigua and Barbuda), the Group willdiscuss its organization of work and then begin aparagraph-by-paragraph review of Chapters XII (Technology, researchand development) and XV (Partnership with the non-governmentalsector).