Summary report, 17–18 November 1994

UN General Assembly Discussions on ICPD

The General Assembly began consideration of Agenda Item 158 on the InternationalConference on Population and Development (ICPD) on Thursday morning, 17November 1994. While the debate was held in the Plenary, the action on this item willbe taken in the Second Committee. Delegates had before them the report of the ICPD,as contained in documents A/CONF.171/13 and Add. 1. The Conference took place inCairo from 5-13 September 1994.

During the course of the two-day debate, delegates praised the ICPD for itscomprehensive treatment of population and development, since it was the first timethat an international conference on population did not focus on demographics.Furthermore, delegates expressed satisfaction with the advances made in theProgramme of Action with regard to the role of NGOs, the empowerment of women,reproductive health, reproductive rights and treatment of unsafe abortion as a publichealth issue. While delegates stressed the need for effective follow-up to theConference, the majority did not think that any new UN institutions should beestablished, but rather the UN Commission on Population, the Population Division ofthe UN Secretariat and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) should be strengthened.

The following is a summary of the two-day debate with special emphasis on issuesrelating to implementation of the Cairo Programme of Action that must be addressedby the 49th General Assembly.


ALGERIA: On behalf of the G-77 and China, Amb. Ramtane Lamamra saidthat the urgency of implementing the Cairo Programme of Action requires rapidmobilization of human and financial resources to carry out the actions agreed to by theinternational community. Given the enormous amount of work to be done, thedeveloped countries must provide the resources they committed to in Chapters XIIIand XIV of the Programme of Action to support the efforts of the developingcountries. With regard to Conference follow-up, the G-77 and China are considering adraft resolution that reflects the provisions of Chapter XVI. The G-77 and Chinabelieve that efforts must be made system-wide to improve coordination among UNagencies and to harmonize procedures for the submission of reports to ECOSOC. TheSecretariat should carry out a study on future institutional arrangements for thispurpose.

GERMANY: On behalf of the European Union, Gerhard Walter Henze saidthat the Programme of Action redefines the global agenda for population from anemphasis on demography and population control to a focus on sustainabledevelopment. The EU is committed to making substantial increases in its contributionto population programmes. The EU believes that ECOSOC should act as the principalmonitoring mechanism. The mandate and the functioning of the PopulationCommission should be reviewed and adjusted to respond to the broader scope andintegrated approach of the Cairo Programme of Action. There should be greatercooperation between the UN Population Fund and the Population Division of the UNSecretariat. The EU does not, however, see the need to establish a separate ExecutiveBoard for UNFPA. The EU also stressed the importance of collaboration with NGOsand the need to seek an appropriate consolidated reporting system for the follow-up ofall UN conferences in related fields.

EGYPT: The representative said that the success achieved in Cairo must beseen as the beginning of a movement towards implementation. There is both a need tomaintain the momentum generated by the success of the Conference and to increaseawareness on the Programme of Action. The Programmes of Action to be adopted inCopenhagen, Beijing and Istanbul must reflect what happened in Cairo. ThePopulation Commission is the logical alternative to establishing a new follow-upmechanism, since it is a functional committee of ECOSOC and has followed up on theprevious UN population conferences. The focus of the Commission should shift fromdemography to the relationship between population and development. Its membershipshould be increased from 27 to 53 and it should meet annually instead of bi-annually.Egypt support the establishment of a separate Executive Board for UNFPA.

INDONESIA: Amb. Nugroho Wisnumurti said that unlike the previouspopulation conferences, the ICPD tackled the population question within the broadcontext of development. Indonesia is pleased that the Programme of Action highlightsthe sovereign right of each country to implement the recommendations of theProgramme of Action consistent with national laws and development priorities. Thereis also a need to strengthen South-South cooperation and to encourage NGO andprivate sector involvement. Indonesia sees a significant need to strengthen both thePopulation Commission and UNFPA. The Commission"s mandate should be reviewedand strengthened. Likewise, UNFPA should have its own Executive Board and shouldbe strengthened to increase its effectiveness as the operational arm of the UN in thefield of population and development.

FINLAND: On behalf of the Nordic countries, Elizabeth Rehn, Minister ofEquality Affairs, said that Cairo confirmed that population-related issues are aninherent part of the global agenda for sustainable development. The message of Cairomust be carried through the Social Summit, the Women"s Conference and HABITATII. The main part of the implementation of the Programme of Action takes place at thelocal level and the dissemination of the ICPD Programme of Action is vital in thisregard. At the international level, the UN, the international financial institutions,NGOs, the private sector and the research community have important roles to play.The responsibility for overall policy guidance and coordination on population anddevelopment issues belongs to ECOSOC. There does not seem to be justification for aseparate Executive Board for UNFPA. She stressed the need for: greater inter-agencycooperation; a combined reporting and monitoring system for the follow-up of variousconferences; and assurance of the effectiveness and predictability of financing forpopulation and development activities.

CHINA: Amb. Wang Xuexian said that the national conditions of eachcountry must be fully respected in implementing the Cairo Programme of Action. Theimplementation of the Programme calls for the efforts of the governments of allcountries, as well as effective international cooperation. With this regard, no countryshould attach any conditions to its donations made in the field of population anddevelopment. The relevant agencies of the UN system should give top priority to theimplementation of the Programme of Action. The Population Commission shouldexamine the implementation of the Programme of Action on a regular basis.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA: On behalf of the member States ofCARICOM and Suriname, Amb. Lionel Hurst said that the key to achieving thesustainable population growth goals recommended in the Programme of Action restswith the participation of women in every aspect of development. This begins with theeducation of the girl-child. A significant challenge faced by these 13 low-lying coastaland small island developing States is the problem of out-migration and they arepleased that the Programme of Action addresses this issue. More attention should havebeen paid to the environment, and CARICOM and Suriname insist that theindustrialized countries must cease and desist from harmful production, wastefulconsumption and deadly disposal patterns. He supported the proposal to establish anexpert group with participants from WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNDP to move theconcept of reproductive health from the discussion stage to the implementation stage.

JAPAN: Amb. Shunji Maruyama said that Japan will extend its cooperationto developing countries in the amount of US$3 billion as part of its ODA programmefor the period 1994-2000. With regard to follow-up, there is no need to establish anew intergovernmental body. UNFPA and the Population Division in the UNSecretariat should strengthen their cooperative relationship. The Population Divisionshould assume responsibility for overall coordination while UNFPA should assumeresponsibility for implementing operational programmes. The General Assemblyshould request the Secretary-General to submit a report on the roles of UNFPA andPopulation Division and the resources required. The report could be examined at thenext meeting of the Population Commission in February. A substantially reinforcedPopulation Commission should be the major expert-level institution. It could berenamed the Commission on Population and Development. The new Commissionshould meet annually for one week and it should address several chapters of theProgramme of Action at each meeting. The current membership of 27 member Statesshould be maintained. Japan is not convinced that UNFPA needs its own ExecutiveBoard, however the UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board should allocate more time toUNFPA"s operational activities.


CANADA: Amb. David Karsgaard said that unprecedented consensus wasreached on international migration. He noted the call for an international conference onmigration. Such a conference could serve to advance the progress made on these issuesat the ICPD, but Canada is not interested in a conference for the sake of a conference.Canada could support such a conference if it builds on the ICPD consensus and thereis broad agreement in advance on its objectives and process. He noted that a proposalfor a similar conference on migration has been addressed pursuant to GeneralAssembly resolution 48/113. The international community should be dealing with onlyone proposal for an international conference. He also stressed the importance of non-governmental partnerships in the implementation of the Programme of Action.ECOSOC should provide system-wide coordination in implementing the Programme ofAction. While all UN bodies and related organizations should review their programmesand strategies there should be no shifts in responsibilities until after completion of acomprehensive review of their mandates.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION: The representative said that the Cairo decisionsprovide a new approach to population beyond regulating demographics and birthrates.This will require changes in national policy and international programmes. TheProgramme of Action presupposes a more active role for the non-governmental sector.The sovereign rights of States to develop their own population policies must be takeninto account. The Russian Federation agrees to assign some of the follow-up functionsto the Population Commission. There will need to be an expansion of its mandate, itsparticipants and its relationship with UNFPA, which should remain the center of UNpopulation-related activities.

IRAN: Amb. Kamal Kharrazi said that the question of financing theProgramme of Action received less attention since it was overshadowed by othercontroversial issues. Although developing countries are working hard to respond tourgent needs, the financial requirements of the Programme of Action go well beyondnational capabilities. Without provision of substantial external resources on an assuredbasis, the chances of full and expeditious implementation of the Programme of Actionare slim. He stressed the importance of strengthening the Population Commission andUNFPA, and coordination among all relevant organizations of the UN system. Withregard to the establishment of an Executive Board for UNFPA, there is a need for adetailed report on the advantages as well as financial costs.

SAMOA: The representative said that perhaps the greatest contribution andachievement of Cairo is recognition that enhancing political, economic and educationopportunities for women will ensure stable population growth. In the Pacific region,there is a need for wide dissemination of relevant information in the Cairo Programmeof Action. To enhance the implementation of the Cairo Programme, overseas fundingwill be required to assist and supplement national resources. There is also a need for:an energized and revitalized UNFPA; strengthened UNFPA regional and subregionaloffices; and a separate UNFPA Executive Board. The role, composition and mandateof the UN Population Commission also must be reviewed. Just as we set out in Cairoto move the debate beyond family planning, now we need to act rapidly to move thecommitments beyond words.

ZIMBABWE: The representative said that people must be put at the centerof development efforts. Zimbabwe has made some progress with regard to theempowerment of women since independence. However, there are still high rates ofmaternal mortality related to unsafe abortions in developing countries. All efforts mustbe made to obviate the need for recourse to abortion. Without resources, theProgramme of Action will remain a paper promise. The international community mustprovide new and additional financial resources to ensure adequate implementation.Zimbabwe attaches great importance to the chapter on partnership with NGOs.

NEW ZEALAND: John McKinnon said that for the first time at the CairoConference the international community addressed population growth in the broadercontext of achieving sustainable development. Now is the time to ensure that the effortput into the Cairo Conference is carried forward and the advances made are not lost.New Zealand recently announced a 20% increase in its 1995 contribution to UNFPA.At the international level, regular review by the General Assembly will be necessaryand any reporting requirements by member States should be realistic. There is no needfor new institutional or governance structures, however, there should be acomprehensive review of the roles of the Population Commission, the PopulationDivision of the UN Secretariat and UNFPA at the 1995 ECOSOC meeting. TheUNFPA/UNDP Board should give more attention to governing UNFPA.

AUSTRIA: Amb. Ernst Sucharipa said that while previous populationconferences concentrated almost exclusively on family planning, in Cairo theinternational community recognized that decisions related to human fertility areinfluenced by a wide range of factors including education, health and the status ofwomen. With regard to follow-up, Austria looks forward to the discussion at ECOSOCon the implications of the ICPD recommendations on UN operational activities fordevelopment. The Population Division and UNFPA should intensify their cooperationbased on their respective comparative advantages. The Population Commission shouldexamine its role in the implementation of the ICPD recommendations and to report toECOSOC. The establishment of an Executive Board for UNFPA deserves furtherconsideration.

ROMANIA: Ion C. Popescu from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said thatin Romania there is a severe decline in fertility rates, a high level of mortality and anincrease in the proportion and number of elderly persons. Romania supports theprinciples and objectives of the Cairo Programme of Action and especially notes theright to development, the recognition of the problems of population and developmentin the countries with economies in transition, and the importance of partnership withthe non-governmental sector. Romania increased her voluntary contribution to UNFPAfor 1995 by 30%. Regional organizations should play an active role in theimplementation of the recommendations of the ICPD. Bucharest has offered to host ameeting of the UN/ECE member States on ICPD follow-up.

MEXICO: Dr. Manuel Urbina, Secretary-General of the National PopulationCouncil, underlined the Conference conclusions on the subject of internationalmigration. There is a need to adopt a global approach, which requires: dialogue andcooperation between countries of origin and countries of destination; economic andsocial integration of migrants in the destination countries; and elimination of alldiscriminatory practices. Mexico supports convening an international conference onmigration. Mexico is also convinced that the Population Commission must bestrengthened, since it should serve as the intergovernmental agency for ICPD follow-up.

MALTA: Amb. Joseph Cassar said that population and development policiesrequire more than the assent of governments and international organizations. Theirsuccess necessitates the active support of our populations. The Programme of Actionplaces the right emphases on the respect for religious and ethical values and fordiverse cultural backgrounds. A selective approach, which emphasizes theimplementation of a restrictive demographic orientation and sacrifices thedevelopmental perspective, would be detrimental to the success of the Programme ofAction. Apart from reservations that Malta still has with regard to the inadequateprotection of the rights of the unborn child, the Programme of Action does offer apositive strategy that integrates population issues within the much wider context ofdevelopment.

BANGLADESH: The representative said that the goals of the ICPD will fallshort if poverty is not eradicated. National governments have been assigned theresponsibility for implementation, but developing countries will need support from theinternational community. Sub-regional and regional cooperation on population shouldbe encouraged and strengthened,. and the special needs of the poor and vulnerablemust be considered. The UN should continue to play an important role in the field ofpopulation and development. The existing mechanisms of the UN, particularly thePopulation Commission, should be reviewed and strengthened. The question of aseparate executive board for UNFPA should also be considered.

BRAZIL: S‚rgio Florencio noted that ICPD follow-up involves giving thePopulation Commission the means with which to carry out the responsibility ofintergovernmental monitoring of the Cairo recommendations and commitments. Thiswill require a review of the mandate, composition and working methods of theCommission. UNFPA should retain the overall responsibility for the operationalimplementation of international cooperation in the population field. While theestablishment of a separate Executive Board for UNFPA does not have widespreadsupport, at the very least one full session of the UNDP/UNFPA Executive Boardshould be devoted exclusively to UNFPA affairs.

INDIA: Manoranjan Bhakta, Member of Parliament, expressed satisfactionwith the outcome of the ICPD. As a developing country, India is happy that the rightto development has been included as a human right and the empowerment of womenand elimination of discrimation have been supported. With regard to funding, the20:20 proposal requires further discussion and more clarity before being adopted inany manner. India agrees with the consensus that governments should deal with thehealth impact of unsafe abortions and that prevention of unwanted pregnancies mustbe given highest priority, thereby eliminating the need for abortions. He also stressedthe need for access to new technologies and increased availability of resources. Aseparate Executive Board for UNFPA should only be considered if substantialresources become available.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Amb. Utula U. Samana said that success of theICPD depends on establishment of realistic and practical strategies involving allsectors of the community at the national level and international support by donoragencies and multilateral organizations. He elaborated on the needs of Papua NewGuinea in implementing the Programme of Action and what progress has been madeso far. With regard to institutional follow-up to the Conference, Papua New Guinea isfollowing the current debate on the mechanisms for implementation of the Programmeof Action and the future Executive Board of UNFPA.

FIJI: Amb. Manasa K. Seniloli said that the ICPD set standards ofexcellence that will be the yardstick against which other international meetings will bejudged. The availability and early mobilization of financial resources will be a criticalelement underpinning the success of activities at the national level that will breathelife into the Programme of Action. International financial institutions will play astrategic part in providing the enabling environment for the implementation of theProgramme of Action. Fiji agrees that ECOSOC must play an integral role in broadlymonitoring and coordinating the follow-up to Cairo. The General Assembly shouldalso organize a regular review of the implementation of the Programme of Action. Atthe subregional level, Fiji will seek to engage its neighbors in a dialogue as to how theSouth Pacific Forum can better respond to the challenges posed by the Programme ofAction.

PANAMA: The representative said that the Cairo Programme of Action willonly be a positive and dynamic force if governments, local communities, NGOs andthe UN system translate the recommendations of the Conference into positivemeasures. These measures must have coherence with earlier effective programmes,feasibility, synergistic qualities to make it possible for organs to work together, andmoral consensus. Projects must be related to national values. The General Assemblyand the UN organs must bear in mind that the UN is working within the framework ofa changing international environment.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA: The representative said that one of the mostpositive outcomes of the ICPD was recognition of the importance of empoweringwomen. Other strong sections in the Programme of Action are the ones onreproductive health and rights and grassroots participation. The challenge now isimplementation, and developing countries need the support of the internationalcommunity. The Republic of Korea and UNFPA will be hosting a seminar in Seoulfrom 21-24 November on gender preferences and female infanticide.

POLAND: Dr. Jan Woroniecki said that no single group in the ICPDprocess had as profound an impact as the non-governmental sector. Mechanismsshould be examined to further expand the participation of NGOs in UNFPA-financedactivities. Interagency and intersectoral cooperation and collaboration must bestrengthened in the field of population. The General Assembly and ECOSOC shouldcarry out their respective responsibilities in providing system-wide coordination andguidance in the monitoring and implementation of the Programme of Action. Creationof a more coherent reporting system, taking into account the reporting procedures thatare required in follow-up to other international conferences, should also be taken intoconsideration.


NEPAL: The representative said that the Cairo Conference was not justanother meeting for the benefit of a few. If implemented fully, the Programme ofAction has the capacity to transform the lives of billions. The Programme gives themajor burden of implementation to developing countries. The importance ofinstitutional follow-up to the Conference cannot be over-emphasized. The role of theUN system in the implementation of the Programme is very important. They mustmake the best use of existing institutions without compromising effective follow-up.Existing institutional arrangements must be strengthened and a separate ExecutiveBoard for UNFPA must be considered.

AUSTRALIA: Richard Rowe said that the Cairo Conference achievedunprecedented international agreement on the central issues of sustainabledevelopment, human rights and the promotion of individual choice. Australia looks toECOSOC to fulfill its role in coordination of the follow-up process among relevantUN agencies. He called for active field-level support by resident coordinators to themeasures taken by UN agencies to assist countries in implementing the Programme ofAction. On the question of a separate Executive Board for UNFPA, furtherconsideration should be given to this matter at a later date. With regard to additionalresources to translate the goals of Cairo into reality, Australia has already trebledfunding for population and development activities. The centrality of internationalmigration issues was reflected in the discussion on family reunification. Australiawelcomes the proposal that an international conference on migration be convened bythe UN. It should be carefully planned so that it does not overlap with the work ofother international organizations like the OECD.

ARGENTINA: The representative said that Argentina welcomes theadoption of the Programme of Action in Cairo. There are four levels where theanalysis should move forward: the General Assembly, ECOSOC, a functionalcommission of ECOSOC on population and development; and an Executive Board forUNFPA to provide follow-up from an institutional point of view. The Secretary-General should prepare a report on this, including budgetary implications and logisticalsupport. Argentina believes that the UN should include international migration anddevelopment on its agenda and supports holding a conference on this subject.

TURKEY: The representative said that at the national level, governmentsshould work to increase the consciousness of population issues by giving utmostattention to these issues in the schools. At the international level, governments mustcooperate better to achieve common goals.

PAKISTAN: Jan Ali Junejo said that the success of Cairo reflects a genuinecommitment by the international community to lay aside all differences of opinion.The chapeau of Chapter II underscores that the implementation of therecommendations in the Programme of Action is the sovereign right of each countryand should be in accordance with the religious and ethical values and culturalbackgrounds of its people. Only after a review of the respective roles of the bodies inthe UN system dealing with population and development issues can an appropriatefollow-up mechanism be identified. If the General Assembly is unable to consider theneed for a separate Executive Board for UNFPA this year, the matter should be takenup by ECOSOC next year.

PHILIPPINES: Ronald B. Allarey said that the Philippines is committed tothe objectives of the Programme of Action. The concept of development recognizesthat sustained development does not depend only on governments but on families,individuals, cooperatives and NGOs. He raised the importance of a number of issues,including the centrality of women in the population and development process,discrimination and violence against women, and the need for empowerment ofwomen. The Philippines has called for an international conference on migration andhas presented a draft resolution on this matter to the G-77. The PhilippinesGovernment has forged a closer partnership with NGOs to implement the CairoProgramme of Action. Philippine laws reject abortion as a method of family planning.The Government has made available a choice of other family planning methods toenable lowering the incidence of illegal and unsafe abortions.

TUNISIA: The Tunisian Ambassador described his country"s experiencewith population and sustainable development policies. Population growth has droppedfrom 3% in the 1960s to less than 2% today, partially as a result of the availability offamily planning services. The success in solving population and development problemslargely depends on strengthening cooperation among States, while bearing in mind thecharacteristics and priorities of each society. He stressed the need to ensure furtherfinancial resources to implement the Programme of Action. Given all of theramifications of the immigration problem, Tunisia feels that this phenomenon must becontrolled and the international community should convene an international conferenceon immigration before 1997.

NIGERIA: The Nigerian Ambassador noted the need for respect of eachnation"s sovereignty in the implementation of the Programme of Action. Genderequality and the empowerment of women are vital. The Programme of Action must bebacked by financial support and countries must consider specific targets for assistance,especially for education, infant and maternal mortality and for the provision of healthservices. Increased coordination is needed among all relevant UN agencies.

BENIN: Amb. Ren‚ Val‚ry Mongbe said that the ICPD is a newnavigational aid for achieving sustainable development. Now that the TV newscameras are no longer pointed at the participants, we can now calmly analyze theresults of the Conference and its implementation. The first phase of theimplementation of the Programme of Action should be reflected in the draft resolutionin the Second Committee, which should note the comparative advantages of thevarious UN organs and committees that deal with population issues. Regarding thePopulation Commission, it is important to: draft new terms of reference on themandate of the Commission; rename the Commission to include the developmentdimension; and raise the number of member states to 53. The issue of the UNFPAExecutive Board cannot be dealt with at this session of the General Assembly sincemore study is needed.

LIBYA: The representative said that all efforts must be made to enhance andestablish population policies that will guarantee the growth and prosperity ofdeveloping societies. UN organs should play a greater role to prevent negative trendsby evaluating these challenges in a practical manner. At the time when theinternational community is exerting great efforts to integrate the human being indevelopment planning, Libya believes that one of the most important organs is theSecurity Council, which issues decisions that impose embargoes that have led to greatsuffering. The Programme of Action must be implemented with respect for nationalsovereignty and the religious values.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: The representative said that although the SolomonIslands has a small population of 350,000, it has a growth rate of 3.5%. Theconsequences of such rapid population growth made the ICPD process and itsoutcome particularly important for the Solomon Islands. Fourteen Pacific Islanddelegations participated in the Cairo Conference, compared to three at the Mexico CityConference. The adoption of the Port Vila Declaration on Population and SustainableDevelopment in 1993 was a firm commitment of the collective efforts of the PacificIsland States. He stressed the important role that the UNFPA regional office in Fijiplays in backstopping the population programmes in the South Pacific.

MARSHALL ISLANDS: The representative said that the ICPD was alandmark event for all those involved in population and development. The highpopulation growth rate in the Pacific region will require strong efforts and a newglobal partnership for successful implementation of the Programme of Action. Whilethe roles, responsibilities and mandates of the UN organs dealing with population anddevelopment issues should be reviewed and strengthened, current realities must bereflected and implementation of the Programme of Action should not wait until afterthis review. The Population Commission should be restructured to be a Population andDevelopment Commission. Expansion of its membership should be considered. TheMarshall Islands supports establishment of an Executive Board for UNFPA.

THAILAND: The representative said that the Programme of Action hasincorporated new concepts of development and will provide important inputs toCopenhagen, Beijing and Istanbul. The dynamic role of NGOs must be recognized asessential to the effective implementation of the Programme of Action. To reap thebenefits of Cairo at the international level, political will must be backed by financialresources. The Population Commission should have an important role to play inmonitoring and reviewing the Programme of Action in close collaboration with thePopulation Division and UNFPA.

UNITED STATES: The representative said that in Cairo delegates agreedon a forward looking Programme of Action that embodies a new approach for dealingwith population and development issues. As we celebrate the success of Cairo, thelasting importance of the Programme of Action rests with its implementation bygovernments, in partnership with NGOs, international agencies and the privatecommercial sector. UN agencies and international financial institutions have a keyleadership role in follow-up. Better coordination is needed among donors and it iscrucial to develop a monitoring system to track progress toward implementing theProgramme of Action. This monitoring system must be active rather than passive.Monitoring reports should be packaged to encourage use by policymakers and themonitoring system must not be overly burdensome to governments.

DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE"S REPUBLIC OF KOREA: The representativesaid that the ICPD raised awareness about the interrelationship between population anddevelopment issues. The outcome of the ICPD should make a positive contribution tothe Social Summit and Women"s Conference. With regard to implementation: eachcountry should give priority to the formulation of national population policies; the willof the people should be respected; peace and security is a prerequisite; mobilization offinancial resources is needed at the national and international levels; and South-Southcooperation is important. Monitoring implementation at the national, regional andinternational levels is needed and UNFPA should play an enhanced role in this regard.

CONGO: The delegate said that without the political will, the valuable gainsin Cairo will be lost. The time has come for the General Assembly to consider thepossibility of giving UNFPA its own governing body.

KAZAKHSTAN: Amb. Akmaral Kh. Arystanbekova said that the report ofthe Cairo Conference provides the General Assembly with a chance to evaluate whatwas achieved in Cairo and set the follow-up process in motion. The principleimportance of the Cairo Programme of Action is that it recognizes the empowermentof women as an important part of sustainable development. Each country has its ownpriorities as it faces its own unique challenges. The situation in Kazakhstan isaggravated by environmental degradation and the transition to a market economy. Highrates of migration, increasing unemployment, and problems in providing education andhealth care are also affecting the country. Technical and financial assistance from theinternational community is essential. It is not the adoption of the Programme of Actionthat matters, but our ability to translate it into concrete action.

SLOVAKIA: The representative said that the Programme of Actionrepresents a diverse number of views. The implementation of the Programme ofAction requires effective follow-up. ECOSOC can play a useful role in this regard.Slovakia will prepare a national Programme of Action in preparation for the WSSDand the Women"s Conference. The advancement of the role of women is crucial tobringing about change. There is a need to re-evaluate national and internationalprogrammes to bring them in line with the Cairo Programme of Action.

SENEGAL: The representative said that there is a need to raise furtherresources to assist African countries in implementing population programmes. ThePopulation Commission must be strengthened.

CHILE: The representative said that the Programme of Action highlightedthe need for cultural co-existence. At the national level, various plans and programmesmust be promoted. NGOs have an important role to play in this regard. Cairo opened anew phase in the consideration of population issues and now the initiatives must betaken to effectively implement the Programme of Action while respecting culturalrights.

HOLY SEE: Archbishop Renato R. Martino noted that consistent with itsown moral convictions and teachings, the Holy See associated itself through a partialconsensus on selected chapters and supported specific sections in the Programme ofAction. The Holy See is pleased to find in the chapeau of Chapter II that nationalimplementation of the recommendations in the Programme of Action must respectvarious religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds, in conformity withuniversally recognized human rights. The Holy See had hoped for a morecomprehensive treatment of the relationship between population and development inthe document. He expressed support for language on strengthening the family,recognition that women must be full and equal participants in development, reductionof child and maternal mortality, and international and internal migration. However, the Holy See cannot, does not and will not accept abortion as a component of reproductivehealth care. He also noted that there was notable absence of concern about the rightsof children in the Programme of Action.