United Nations

E/CN.9/1995/5


Economic and Social Council

 Distr. GENERAL
20 January 1995
ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


POPULATION COMMISSION
Twenty-eighth session
21 February-2 March 1995
Item 4 (b) of the provisional agenda*


     INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT: 
      FOLLOW-UP ACTION TO BE TAKEN BY THE UNITED NATIONS:     

      IMPLICATIONS OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE INTERNATIONAL
       CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT FOR THE WORK   
                    PROGRAMME ON POPULATION

     Implications of the recommendations of the International
        Conference on Population and Development for the work     
        programme on population

            Report of the Secretary-General


                            SUMMARY

       The present report has been prepared in response to General
Assembly resolution 49/128 and in accordance with Economic and
Social Council decision 1994/227.  The report provides an overview
of the results of the International Conference on Population and
Development, which took place in Cairo from 5 to 13 September 1994,
and its implications for the work programme on population of the
Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis.

The report consists of three sections.  Section I contains a brief
summary of the substantive results of the Conference that are of
major significance for the activities in the population programme
of the Department.  Section II examines the programmatic
implications of the results of the Conference for the medium-term
plan of work of the Department in the field of population.  The
institutional implications of the Conference recommendations for
the United Nations are considered in section III.


                           CONTENTS

                                                                  
                                                  Paragraphs  Page

INTRODUCTION ....................................   1 - 8       4

  I.  SUBSTANTIVE RESULTS OF THE CONFERENCE .....   9 - 43      6

      A.  Principles ............................   9 - 12      6

      B.  Objectives and goals ....................13 - 14      7

      C.  Clusters of issues ....................  15 - 43      8

          1.  Population growth and demographic 
              structure .........................  16 - 19      8

          2.  Population policies and programmes.  20 - 25      9

          3.  Population, environment and
              development .......................  26 - 30     10

          4.  Population distribution and 
              migration .........................  31 - 35     11

          5.  Population and women ..............  36 - 38     12

          6.  Family planning, health and 
              family well-being .................  39 - 43     13

 II.  IMPLICATIONS FOR THE WORK PROGRAMME ON 
      POPULATION ................................  44 - 61     14

      A.  Analysis of demographic variables 
          at the world level  ...................  45 - 50     14

          1.  Fertility .........................     46       15

          2.  Mortality .........................     47       15

          3.  Urbanization and internal migration  48 - 49     15

          4.  International migration ...........     50       15

      B.  World population projections ..........  51 - 52     16

      C.  Population policy and socio-economic 
          development ...........................  53 - 54     16

          1.  Population and development ........     53       16

          2.  Population policy .................     54       17

      D.  Monitoring, review and appraisal, 
          coordination and dissemination of 
          population information .................  55 - 57     17


                              CONTENTS (continued)

                                                                  
                                                   Paragraphs  Page

      E.  Technical cooperation ...................  58 - 59     18

      F.  Closely related work of the Statistical 
          Division ................................  60 - 61     19

III.  INSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE CONFERENCE   62 - 79     19

      A.  Background of the population programme 
          of the United Nations system.  ..........  65 - 69     21

      B.  Coordination mechanisms .................  70 - 74     23

      C.  Follow-up to the Conference .............  75 - 79     24



                            INTRODUCTION


1.   In accordance with Economic and Social Council decision
1994/227 of 14 July 1994, the Population Commission will consider
at its twenty-eighth session follow-up action to be taken by the
United Nations on the International Conference on Population and
Development and will review the implications of the recommendations
of the Conference for the work programme on population.  Similar
action was taken by the Population Commission on the reviews of the
1974 and the 1984 population conferences. 1/

2.   In 1974, the General Assembly requested the Population
Commission, at its eighteenth session, in 1975, to report to the
Economic and Social Council on "the implications of the World
Population Conference, including the implications for the
Population Commission itself" (resolution 3344 (XXIX), para. 10). 
For that purpose, however, no particular document was prepared by
the Secretariat.  Instead, the Commission convened a working group,
composed of seven member States (open also to other interested
members), that selected the items for discussion.  As a result of
the deliberation, the Council decided to enlarge the mandate of the
Commission to include the biennial monitoring of population trends
and policies and the quinquennial review and appraisal of the Plan
of Action, as part of the regular functions of the Commission.

3.   Ten years later, the General Assembly invited the Commission,
at its twenty-third session, in 1985, "to review, within its area
of competence, the recommendations of the Conference and their
implications for the activities of the United Nations system, and
to transmit its views" to the Council (resolution 39/228, para.
11).  A report of the Secretary-General reviewing the implications
was prepared (E/CN.9/1985/2).  The discussions at the Commission
dealt with the substantive contributions of the Conference and its
programmatic and institutional implications.  The Council
reaffirmed, among other things, the role of the Commission "as the
principal intergovernmental body to arrange for studies and advise
the Council" on population matters and requested the preparation of
reports on the monitoring of multilateral population assistance and
an overview of population activities within the United Nations
system (resolution 1985/4, paras. 1 and 7).  Subsequently, in its
resolution 1986/7, the Council also requested reports on the
activities of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations
related to the implementation of the Plan of Action.

4.   At its twenty-fifth session, the Population Commission
discussed the possibility of holding an intergovernmental
conference on population to be convened in 1994.  A report of the
Secretary-General indicating some alternatives was submitted to the
Commission (E/CN.9/1989/4).  The Council endorsed the Commission's
conclusion that a conference would be the best option and the
suggestion that the 1994 conference should assess the progress made
and identify the obstacles encountered in achieving the goals and
objectives of the World Population Plan of Action.  The Council, in
its resolution 1989/91, designated the Population Commission,
meeting with the participation of all member States, as the
Preparatory Committee for the Conference. 2/  Two years later, the
Council, in endorsing the views of the Commission, further
specified that the Conference should contribute to the review of
the progress made towards achieving the goals of the World
Population Plan of Action, increase awareness about population and
development issues and adopt new courses of action (resolution
1991/93).

5.   The Council designated the then Department of International
Economic and Social Affairs and the United Nations Population Fund
(UNFPA) as the two lead organizations in charge of the preparations
for the Conference.  UNFPA, in consultation with the Department,
was responsible for coordinating the overall preparations, and the
Department, in consultation with UNFPA, was responsible for
coordinating the substantive aspects of the preparations, which
included the convening of six expert group meetings, preparing the
report on the review and appraisal of the World Population Plan of
Action, and the formulation of the draft recommendations of the
Conference. 3/  The preparatory work was characterized by extensive
collaboration among the different units, bodies and organizations
of the United Nations system, particularly between UNFPA and the
Department.  It should be noted that the five regional population
conferences, which were convened to provide regional perspectives
to the preparatory work for the Conference, were organized by the
United Nations regional commissions and UNFPA.  In addition, other
preparatory activities initiated by some States and
non-governmental organizations, such as round tables, lectures,
town-hall meetings and colloquia, were convened with the
participation of the secretariat of the Conference.

6.   The International Conference on Population and Development,
hosted by the Government of Egypt, took place in Cairo from 5 to 13
September 1994.  It was the fifth population conference organized
under the auspices of the United Nations.  While the first two
conferences (Rome in 1954 and Belgrade in 1965) were mainly
technical meetings aimed at exchanging scientific information, the
World Population Conference, which was held in Bucharest in 1974
and was the first global intergovernmental conference on
population, adopted the World Population Plan of Action.  The Plan
of Action was reviewed and complemented by a set of recommendations
for its further implementation as a result of three quinquennial
reviews and appraisals, the second of which was facilitated by the
deliberations at the International Conference on Population held at
Mexico City in 1984.  The Cairo Conference represented a major
contribution to a better understanding of population and
development issues, and the consensus built around what has to be
done constitutes an important achievement and owes much to the
substantive approach and the terminology negotiated and accepted by
the international community at the two previous intergovernmental
population conferences.  On the basis of the experience gained in
the past two decades, the Conference convened in Cairo adopted a
Programme of Action as a new intergovernmental instrument aimed at
guiding national and international action in the area of population
and development during the next 20 years. 4/ 

7.   The General Assembly, in its resolution 49/128 of 19 December
1994, took note of the report of the Cairo Conference and endorsed
its Programme of Action.  In the same resolution, it was decided
that the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and a
revitalized Population Commission shall constitute a three-tiered
intergovernmental mechanism that will play the primary role in the
follow-up to the implementation of the Programme of Action (para.
23); that the Commission shall be renamed the Commission on
Population and Development (para. 24); that it will monitor, review
and assess the implementation of the Programme of Action (para. 23
(c)); that it shall meet on an annual basis (para. 25); and that
the Economic and Social Council, at its substantive session of
1995, shall review the Commission's terms of reference, mandate and
composition (paras. 26 and 27).  Furthermore, in the same
resolution, the General Assembly invited the Commission, at its
twenty-eighth session, to review the Programme of Action and its
implications and to transmit its views to the Economic and Social
Council at its substantive session of 1995 (para. 34).  In its
resolution 49/127, the General Assembly requested the
Secretary-General to prepare, in consultation with all States and
relevant international and regional organizations, a report on
international migration and development, including the possibility
of convening a United Nations conference on international migration
and development.

8.   The present report has three sections.  Section I is devoted
to the substantive contributions of the Conference that are of
major significance from the point of view of the research and
technical cooperation programme of the Department for Economic and
Social Information and Policy Analysis.  Section II concentrates on
the implications of the Conference for the work programme on
population of the Department.  The institutional implications of
the recommendations of the Conference are considered in section
III. 

     I.  SUBSTANTIVE RESULTS OF THE CONFERENCE

         A.  Principles

9.   The Cairo Conference reaffirmed fundamental international
human rights and principles relating to population and development.

Particular attention was given to the basic principles contained in
the World Population Plan of Action.  The Programme of Action
contains a set of 15 principles that provide a careful balance
between the recognition of individual human rights and the right to
development of nations.  The set of principles is preceded by a
mindful statement affirming that the implementation of the
Programme of Action is the sovereign right of every country,
consistent with national laws and development priorities, with full
respect for the various religious and ethical values and cultural
backgrounds of its people, and in conformity with universally
recognized international human rights.  This formulation was a
reaffirmation of one of the key principles of the 1974 Plan of
Action. 

10.  The principles maintain that human beings are at the centre of
sustainable development and that all human beings are born free and
equal in dignity and rights.  The right to development is
recognized as a means to facilitate the enjoyment of all human
rights.  In addition, the Programme of Action clearly states that
the lack of development should not be invoked to justify the
curtailment of internationally recognized human rights. 
Furthermore, the Programme of Action reiterates, with strong
emphasis, that all human rights violations and discrimination,
especially all forms of coercion, must be eliminated and that
population policies and programmes should avoid the use of any form
of coercion.

11.  The Programme of Action also reaffirms the principle that all
couples and individuals have the basic right to decide freely and
responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have
the information, education and means to do so.  Other principles
refer to critical issues in the area of population and development,
such as gender equity and equality, the empowerment of women, the
integration of population into sustainable development, poverty
eradication, access to reproductive health care and family
planning, the role of the family, the right to education, the
situation of children, the rights of migrants and refugees, and the
needs of indigenous people.

12.  The new concept of "empowerment of women" as well as the
advancing of gender equality and equity appears in the Programme of
Action as one of its principles.  The Cairo Conference was able to
bring out the women's perspective in relation to all relevant
population and development concerns.  An indicator of this
particular emphasis is reflected by the fact that out of the 243
recommendations for action contained in the Programme of Action,
approximately one third explicitly mention women or girls.


             B.  Objectives and goals

13.  The Programme of Action adopted a set of prominent population
and development objectives and goals that are both qualitative and
quantitative and are mutually supportive.  Some of those objectives
refer to the attainment of sustained economic growth in the context
of sustainable development; reaching gender equity and equality;
facilitating the demographic transition in countries where there is
an imbalance between demographic rates and social, economic and
environmental goals, thus contributing to the stabilization of the
world population; and ensuring that all social and economic
development policies are fully responsive to the diverse and
changing needs and to the rights of families and their individual
members.  In addition to those broad objectives, the document has
a large number of more specific objectives corresponding to the
extensive and diverse nature of the issues included in the
Programme of Action. 

14.  The goals that were adopted at the Cairo Conference are of
critical importance for the attainment of the objectives of the
Programme of Action.  Those goals, which are mutually reinforcing,
include the following: 

     (a)  To achieve universal access to primary education as
quickly as
possible and, in any case, no later than 2015;

     (b)  To achieve universal access to reproductive health care
and family planning as soon as possible and, in all cases, no later
than 2015;

     (c)  To reduce infant and under-five mortality rates by one
third, or to 50 and 70 per 1,000 live births, respectively,
whichever is less, by the year 2000; by 2005, countries with
intermediate mortality should strive to reach an infant mortality
rate below 50 deaths per 1,000 live births and an under-five
mortality rate below 60 deaths per 1,000 births.  By 2015, all
countries should aim at achieving an infant mortality rate below 35
per 1,000 live births and an under-five mortality rate below 45 per
1,000;

     (d)  To reach a life expectancy at birth greater than 70 years
by 2005, and greater than 75 years by 2015; countries with higher
levels of mortality should aim at attaining a life expectancy at
birth greater than 65 years by 2005 and greater than 70 years by
2015;

     (e)  To reduce maternal mortality by one half of the 1990
levels by the year 2000 and a further half by 2015.  Countries with
intermediate levels of mortality should aim to achieve a rate below
100 per 100,000 live births by 2005 and below 60 per 100,000 by
2015.  Countries with the highest levels of mortality should strive
to achieve rates below 125 per 100,000 by 2005 and below 75 per
100,000 by 2015.


              C.  Clusters of issues

15.  The Economic and Social Council decided that the Conference
should concentrate on six clusters of issues that were identified
as requiring the greatest attention:  (a) population growth and
demographic structure; (b) population policies and programmes; (c)
population, environment and development; (d) population
distribution and migration; (e) population and women; and (f)
family planning, health and family well-being. 5/


         1.  Population growth and demographic structure

16.  In addition to addressing challenges resulting from population
growth and demographic structures, the Programme of Action stresses
other issues such as the ageing of the population and the regional
diversity of such changes, with particular emphasis on the
interaction between demographic variables and socio-economic
development.  For example, the Programme of Action recognizes that
the momentum built into the age structure of most developing
countries will result in continued growth well into the next
century.

17.  Another major interest of the Conference was the recognition
that the majority of countries are converging towards a pattern
characterized by low fertility and mortality.  One of the
objectives of the Programme of Action is to facilitate the
demographic transition, which will contribute to the stabilization
of the world population.  Nevertheless, countries are completing
their demographic transition at different speeds, thus displaying
a large mosaic of varied demographic situations.  For example,
specific demographic characteristics that used to accompany
distinctive configurations of social and economic development are
less common than in the past; in some cases, fertility declines
have not been accompanied by improvements in the standard of living
of their populations.

18.  The simultaneous alteration of levels of mortality and
fertility have also modified the age structure of populations.  The
persistence of high fertility levels with declining mortality has
produced a relatively large proportion of children and young people
in the populations of developing countries.  Declines in fertility,
reinforced by further declines in the levels of mortality, have
increased the proportion and number of elderly persons, which is
the case in the majority of the developed regions.  The Conference
produced a series of specific measures to deal with those trends. 
Of particular interest is the increasing use of the concept of
solidarity between and within generations, and the growing
recognition of the valuable contribution that the elderly can make
to families and society.

19.  In contrast with the World Population Plan of Action, the
Programme of Action gives particular attention to two other groups
that received little attention in the past.  The Cairo Conference
recognized that indigenous people have a distinct and important
perspective on the way population, the environment and the process
of development are interrelated and that not only their neighbours
within their national boundaries but also the world may benefit
from analysing such perspectives.  The second group that received
particular recognition for the first time is the group of persons
with disabilities; the Programme of Action recognizes their
contributions and needs and puts special emphasis on ensuring the
realization of their human rights.


      2.  Population policies and programmes

20.  While at the time of the Bucharest Conference few countries
had adopted population policies, 20 years later, at the time of the
Cairo Conference, a large proportion of developing countries (more
than 75 per cent) had a national development plan or strategy
currently in effect.  In addition, two thirds of the Governments
had reported to have at least one agency for formulating or
coordinating population policies and a unit for taking into account
population variables in development planning within the central
planning or programming agency.

21.  Because of the interrelationship between population and
development, it is more widely recognized that not having an
explicit population policy is also a policy, because policies of
non-intervention also affect demographic variables.  In this
respect, the Programme of Action reaffirms the importance of
identifying the demographic impact of cultural, social, political
and economic variables.

22.  The Conference also emphasized that population policies
require a strong political commitment at the highest level and that
local communities, the private sector and non-governmental
organizations should participate in their formulation,
implementation, monitoring and assessment.  In this respect, it
appears that the role of the public sector has evolved from one of
being the only locus of policy-making to a new position of
coordinator, "team-leader" or catalyser amid many actors and
interests.  Along this line, the concept of "development planning"
is being replaced by other terms such as "formulation of
development strategies" and "programming".  Nevertheless, countries
continue to have strong public sectors and an increasing number of
them have offices or units where population considerations are
taken into account when development strategies are discussed and
adopted.

23.  Related to this evolution, population policies are also
evolving from strong macro-social perspectives, where the use of
incentives and disincentives are widely recommended to achieve
specific quantitative demographic targets to new policies that
refer to smaller units (e.g., couples, the family or the community)
and pay particular attention to individual rights and the quality
of services.  This new trend has given particular emphasis to the
condition of women, their rights and aspirations and to measures
aimed at achieving gender equality and equity.

24.  The Conference echoed the importance that national Governments
and the international community are increasingly giving to
non-governmental organizations, the private sector and local
communities in various areas, including population.  This view
represents a major evolution from the 1974 (Bucharest) call to
Governments to utilize the support of non-governmental
organizations, to the 1984 (Mexico City) encouragement of their
innovative activities and the drawing upon their experience, to the
view of full partnership with the non-governmental sector as
expressed in the Programme of Action.  Non-governmental
organizations participated in all the steps of the preparatory
process (expert group meetings, regional conferences and informal
consultations) and more than 1,200 non-governmental organizations
were accredited to the Conference.

25.  Another topic that received particular emphasis in the
discussions around this cluster is the mobilization of resources
for developing countries, at the international and national levels.

The Conference noted that approximately two thirds of the costs of
population programmes in the group of developing countries are
being covered by the countries themselves.


           3.  Population, environment and development

26.  The Programme of Action reaffirms the strong linkages between
population, sustained economic growth and sustainable development,
and recognizes that countries around the world manifest a wide
variety of population and development issues.  The Programme of
Action emphasizes the need for harmonizing population trends and
patterns of development, including reducing and eliminating
unsustainable patterns of production and consumption.  Sustainable
development aims at increasing the standard of living of the
current population, while at the same time not jeopardizing the
needs of future generations.

27.  The topic of integrating population and development
strategies, which was mentioned in Bucharest in 1974 and was
emphasized in Mexico City in 1984, received strong reaffirmation in
Cairo.  Nevertheless, the preparatory work indicated little
progress made in this area.  Two major reasons have been identified
in this respect.  First, it is important to recognize that although
economic, environmental and demographic processes are inextricably
interrelated, the extent of their reciprocal impact varies
according to the ecological, socio-cultural and political setting
where such processes take place.  Secondly, the magnitude of such
interrelationships has not been sufficiently documented to
facilitate the acceptance of indisputable conclusions.

28.  The concept of sustainable development, understood as
development that implies long-term sustainability in production and
consumption, gained wider recognition, particularly after the
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. 6/  This
approach to the process of development accommodates demographic
concerns and requires their integration into development
strategies.  In this sense, population policies are viewed as
important instruments of a general strategy for development.  The
Programme of Action contains a great number of references to
sustainable development and derived concepts such as unsustainable
patterns of production and consumption; sustainable management of
natural resources; sustainable development policies; sustainable
regional development strategies; and sustainable rural employment
opportunities.

29.  Another topic that received major attention was the
relationship between population, sustained economic growth and
poverty.  The Programme of Action affirms that slowing population
growth has a considerable positive impact on the quality of life. 
Concurrently, sustained economic growth is essential to eradicate
poverty.  Eradication of poverty will contribute to achieving early
population stabilization.  In this sense, achieving economic
progress, improving environmental protection, and reducing
unsustainable consumption and production patterns are mutually
reinforcing.

30.  In relation to environmental issues, the Programme of Action
reaffirms the principles of Agenda 21 adopted at the United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development.  The Programme of Action
stresses that rapid population growth, inadequate patterns of
migration and spatial distribution of the population may cause or
exacerbate environmental degradation and resource depletion and
thus inhibit sustainable development.


     4.  Population distribution and migration

31.  The Programme of Action provides a more comprehensive
treatment of the issues related to both internal and international
migration than its predecessors.  A new topic is the need to pay
attention to internally displaced persons, either because of
environmental degradation or armed conflicts in the place of origin
or owing to forced resettlements.

32.  The process of urbanization, which at the time of the 1974
Conference was perceived as characterized by a number of adverse
factors, was recognized in Cairo to be a major force of social
change, amplifying the view already expressed in the 1984
Conference.  While such a view represents a major shift, in
relation to the measures needed to rationalize the process where it
is taking place in a rapid and disruptive manner, the Programme of
Action repeats the set of measures that were agreed upon on
previous occasions, namely, to encourage the growth of small and
medium-sized cities, to foster the development of rural areas and
to decrease the disequilibrium between rural and urban places.

33.  In relation to the large urban agglomerations, which in some
cases dominate the urban network and could be properly labelled
"mega-cities", it was recognized that in many developing countries
they represent the most dynamic centres of cultural and economic
activity.  This recognition represents a major shift from the views
prevailing 10-20 years ago that focused on the need to control
growth.  The new emphasis is rather being put on increasing the
needed managerial capacity and competence to deal with adverse
factors.  Specific measures include strengthening the capacity of
local governments for land management and promoting effective
environmental management (including water, waste and air
management, and sound energy and transport systems). 

34.  International migration is increasingly perceived as a
consequence of the stronger interdependence of nations, and the
Programme of Action affirms that migration can have positive
impacts on both communities of origin and destination when it is
orderly; in those circumstances, migration can facilitate the
transfer of skills and contribute to cultural enrichment.  Although
more modulated than in the past, the thrust of the new
recommendations is mostly directed at "making the option to remain
in one's country a viable one for all people".  The various means
listed, such as alleviation of poverty, democratization, good
governance and the prevention of environmental degradation, are
actions that should be taken irrespective of their effects on
migration.  It is recognized that the economic situation of
countries of emigration will improve in the future only gradually
and that migration flows will continue in the short to medium term.

Taking this view into account, the Programme of Action calls for
countries to allow certain forms of temporary migration.  A strong
stand is made on the rights of documented migrants and their
integration, in particular through naturalization.  It is also
recommended that family reunification be integrated into national
legislation.

35.  With respect to undocumented migration, the Programme of
Action underscores the need for cooperation between countries of
origin and destination, particularly in identifying the causes of
such flows, and new considerations include the need to adopt
sanctions against those who organize undocumented migration.  The
right to seek asylum is validated and the principle of
non-refoulement is emphasized.  Although the need to find durable
solutions to the plight of refugees is recognized and reaffirmed,
Governments are also called upon to provide at least temporary
protection to refugees and displaced persons.


             5.  Population and women

36.  In 1974, the Bucharest Conference included recommendations on
the improvement of the condition of women as part of the strategies
to influence the levels of fertility; 10 years later, the Mexico
City Conference adopted a number of recommendations that were
included in a separate chapter, emphasizing that the improvement of
women's status was an end in itself, independent of demographic
considerations.  The Programme of Action goes further, devoting a
chapter to the topic of gender equality, equity and empowerment of
women, and stressing gender issues throughout the document. 
Furthermore, one of its prominent principles refers to advancing
gender equality and equity.

37.  Recommended actions include, among others, ensuring the full
participation of women in development efforts, establishing
mechanisms for women's equal participation and equitable
representation at all levels of the political process and public
life; promoting women's education, skill development and
employment; and taking positive steps to eliminate all practices
that discriminate against women, adolescents and girls.  In
addition, development interventions should take better into account
the multiple demands on women's time, with greater investments made
in measures to lessen the burden of domestic responsibilities, and
with attention to laws, programmes and policies that will enable
employees of both sexes to harmonize their family and work
responsibilities.  Recommendations in the area of reproductive
health, including family planning, stress measures to improve the
ability of services to respond to women's needs and to involve
women fully in all aspects of programme management and
policy-making.

38.  The Programme of Action also recognizes men's key role in
bringing about gender equality and equity.  Recommendations deal
with actions to promote equal participation of women and men in all
areas of family and household responsibilities, including, among
others, responsible parenthood, sexual and reproductive behaviour,
prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, and shared control of
and contribution to family income and children's welfare.  The
Programme of Action also proposes a range of actions aimed at
eliminating discrimination against the girl child and eliminating
the root causes of son preference.  Countries are urged to take
full measures to eliminate all forms of exploitation, abuse and
violence against women and girls, including rape in the context of
war and "ethnic cleansing", to prohibit female genital mutilation,
and to prevent infanticide and prenatal sex selection, among other
things.


       6.  Family planning, health and family well-being

39.  These topics are covered in three major chapters of the
Programme of Action:  reproductive rights and reproductive health;
health, morbidity and mortality; and the family, its roles, rights,
composition and structure (without mentioning the reference made to
those topics in other chapters).  The centrality of those issues in
the Programme of Action is coupled with precise financial
requirements and specific goals to be achieved at exact dates. 
Such centrality gives the impression that the blueprint for action
that will emerge in the coming years is centred on reproductive
health and, in particular, family planning.

40.  One of the major contributions of the Programme of Action has
been the introduction of the concepts of reproductive rights and
reproductive health, thus broadening the scope of family planning. 
Reproductive health is defined as a state of complete physical,
mental and social well-being in all matters relating to the
reproductive system and to its functions and processes.  It
includes, among other things, family planning, sexual health,
freedom of choice and the recognition of the right to be informed
and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable
family planning and health-care services.  Reproductive rights
refers to certain internationally recognized rights such as the
freedom of couples and individuals to decide on the number and
spacing of their children.

41.  Family-planning programmes are presented as a means of
facilitating the exercise of reproductive rights.  As noted above,
the Cairo Conference set the goal of universal access to
reproductive health care and family planning as soon as possible,
and in all cases, by the year 2015.  Other actions include steps to
help women avoid abortion, which in no case should be promoted as
a method of family planning.  Particular emphasis was put on the
quality of such services.  The Programme of Action also stresses
the needs of adolescents with regard to sexual and reproductive
health, including unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted
diseases.

42.  The Conference also emphasized the issues of morbidity,
mortality, primary health care and the health-care sector.  The
Programme of Action contains observations and actions addressing
child survival, women's health and safe motherhood, and specific
actions on means to prevent, reduce the spread of and minimize the
impact of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.  As was
mentioned above, the Programme of Action has adopted a set of
quantitative goals to be achieved in reducing infant, child and
maternal mortality during the period up to 2015.

43.  The family was another major subject stressed in the Programme
of Action and the Conference reaffirmed that the family is the
basic unit of society, although it also recognized the variety of
processes of rapid demographic and socio-economic changes that have
affected the formation of families, their lifestyles and their
structure and composition.  The set of actions recommended in Cairo
and at other preparatory meetings aimed at achieving the contents
of the motto of the International Year of the Family:  "building
the smallest democracy at the heart of society".


      II.  IMPLICATIONS FOR THE WORK PROGRAMME ON POPULATION

44.  The current medium-term plan of the work of the Population
Division covers the period 1992-1997.  It was reviewed by the
Population Commission at its twenty-fifth session, in February
1989, 7/ and was modified in 1992 to reflect the restructuring of
the economic and social sectors of the Secretariat.  The programme
elements of the current medium-term plan were prepared taking into
account the priorities set by the World Population Conference in
1974 and the recommendations of the International Conference on
Population in 1984.  Nevertheless, it is important to recognize
that the medium-term plan was prepared also taking into account
that in 1994 a population conference would take place and that it
was difficult at that moment to anticipate the magnitude and scope
of the recommendations of the Conference that would affect the
current programme of work.  The Population Commission, after
reviewing the results of the Conference, may wish to recommend
changes in the medium-term plan.  The following subsections are
presented along the lines of the five subprogrammes of the
population programme of the United Nations.


     A.  Analysis of demographic variables at the world level

45.  The objective of this subprogramme is to produce scientific
assessments of levels and trends of demographic variables, such as
fertility, morbidity and mortality, urbanization, and internal and
international migration, all of which affect the population size,
the rate of growth, and the age and sex structure of the
population.  The Programme of Action calls for strengthening
information networks dealing with demographic and socio-economic
data, and for providing information desegregated by gender,
geographical area, ethnicity and social and economic
characteristics.  The subprogramme also gives special consideration
to gender issues and to some aspects of the family as they are
related to the analysis of demographic variables.


          1.  Fertility

46.  The Conference gave a prominent role to those aspects related
to reproductive health, including family planning, and the largest
number of recommendations for data collection, research and
analysis are in those areas.  The current subprogramme in this area
already covers many of the items recommended in the Programme of
Action, such as identifying new and emerging patterns of fertility
and family-planning practice, the study of their determinants and
linkages to the status of women and the changing conditions of
families.  Of particular importance was the Conference
recommendation on the development of indicators for monitoring and
evaluation of reproductive health programmes and services,
including assessment of quality of services.  Male responsibility
in family planning and the needs of adolescents are also equally
emphasized in the recommendations.


          2.  Mortality

47.  In the area of mortality, the medium-term plan includes the
study of trends and changing causes of mortality differences. 
Particular emphasis has been given to the analysis of the
relationships between mortality differences with the status of
women; an example is the study being undertaken on "excess female
child mortality".  In this respect, the current programme of work
is consistent with the recommendations of the Programme of Action
and will be strengthened by incorporating the monitoring of
mortality levels and trends in adult ages. 

      3.  Urbanization and internal migration

48.  In relation to urbanization and population distribution the
medium-term plan refers to some specific areas of research.  Recent
activities include the study of the concentration of urban
population in a number of very large metropolitan areas or
mega-cities.  Work in this programme element may be expanded to
accommodate the increased interest in the relationship between
sustainable development and rapid urbanization.

49.  The study of the determinants of population distribution and
urbanization requires the analysis of internal migration trends and
policies.  This area of work may be further strengthened in the
current medium-term plan, particularly in regard to its
contribution to urban growth in developing countries.  The analysis
of national experiences in reorienting migration flows is another
topic for possible future expansion.


            4.  International migration

50.  In the area of international migration, current activities
concentrate on the monitoring of levels and trends (documented,
undocumented and refugee movements).  This topic was an issue of
major importance at the Cairo Conference.  The Programme of Action
calls for efforts in the areas of data collection and analysis,
comparability of data, dissemination of information and development
of estimation methods.  The current programme may include those
concerns as well as other requests to contribute to the
identification of the "root causes" of migration and the processes
that sustain those movements over time.  Activities may be expanded
to include the contribution of the subprogramme to the request made
by the General Assembly to the Secretary- General to prepare a
report on international migration and development, including
aspects related to objectives and modalities for the convening of
a United Nations conference on international migration and
development (Assembly resolution 49/127, para. 2).


         B.  World population projections

51.  World population estimates and projections and demographic
change is another area recommended by the Cairo Conference.  Under
this subprogramme, the United Nations prepares the official United
Nations population estimates and projections for countries, their
urban and rural areas, and their major cities for all countries and
areas of the world.  These population estimates, and corresponding
demographic indicators, provide the standard and consistent set of
population figures that are used throughout the United Nations
system as the basis for activities requiring population information
as an input.  In particular, these population and demographic
figures are used by the specialized agencies and other units of the
system to prepare sectoral-specific estimates and projections such
as labour force, school enrolment and literacy, agriculture and
household size.  Work under this subprogramme also includes the
demographic impact of HIV/AIDS.  In this respect, the current
programme of work is also consistent with the recommendations of
the Cairo Conference.

52.  A careful review of the Programme of Action shows the central
role of estimates and projections of population and underlying
demographic variables.  From the Preamble to the sections on bases
for actions and objectives, the document is solidly based on
quantitative information.  The basic background and the numerical
goals set out are based on the population and demographic estimates
prepared by the United Nations under this subprogramme.  The
emphasis given by the Conference to the monitoring of demographic
change and the level of achievement of goals calls for
strengthening efforts for careful and specific estimation of
country-specific demographic trends and expansion of demographic
estimation and projections into new areas such as child mortality. 

        C.  Population policy and socio-economic development

        1.  Population and development

53.  One of the objectives of the subprogramme is to analyse the
consequences of population levels and trends that affect
socio-economic development and environmental conditions; particular
attention is to be paid to ageing and the changing age structure of
the population.  The Conference and its preparatory process
reiterated the importance of integrating population and
environmental and development concerns, and the Programme of Action
suggests that research on population and development should include
in particular two critical components:  the population/poverty
nexus and the interrelationship between population and the
environment.  While research on the interrelationship between
population and the environment is encouraged in a broad manner,
emphasis is nevertheless put on selected geographically defined
areas such as ecologically fragile ecosystems and urban
agglomerations.  It is also emphasized that environmental
degradation is one aspect of the multidimensional problem of
poverty in developing countries.  Finally, the document calls for
research on the global issue of production and consumption patterns
vis--vis population growth.


               2.  Population policy

54.  The second objective of this programme is to analyse the
effectiveness of population policies.  The current programme of
work is concentrated on the monitoring of policies affecting
population growth, fertility, mortality and internal and
international migration.  Important work is also being done on the
implications of the process of urbanization and the growth of large
metropolitan areas.  The results of the United Nations Population
Inquiry among Governments (the seventh of which is in the process
of being analysed), along with other information contained in the
Population Policy Data Bank maintained by the Population Division,
provide the material needed for preparing biennial monitoring
reports on population policies.  The Programme of Action suggests
a substantial number of research topics in the area of population
policies and many of the recommended subjects can be accommodated
in the current programme of work.


       D.  Monitoring, review and appraisal, coordination
           and dissemination of population information  

55.  The purpose of this subprogramme is to assess and disseminate
information on the world demographic situation; to monitor,
biennially, population trends and policies at the national level;
and to review and appraise, quinquennially, the level of success in
achieving the goals and objectives of the World Population Plan of
Action.  The Plan of Action indicates that the monitoring shall be
a specialized activity of the United Nations and the review and
appraisal shall be undertaken by the United Nations system.  During
the past two decades both activities have been carried out by the
Population Division of the Secretariat with the collaboration of
all relevant units, bodies and organizations of the United Nations
system.  After the Mexico City Conference, the Economic and Social
Council decided that periodic reports on the monitoring of
multilateral population programmes shall be part of the monitoring
system; since 1987, UNFPA, on behalf of the Secretary-General, has
been responsible for the preparation of those biennial reports of
the Secretary-General.  In relation to the review and appraisal,
the Secretariat has prepared four reports; the fourth of such
reports (A/CONF.171/PC/3), which covered the period since the
adoption of the Plan of Action in 1974 in Bucharest, served as one
of the basic sources of information for the deliberations of the
Preparatory Committee and for the Conference as it identified major
achievements, deficiencies, lessons to be learned and the emergence
of new issues.  A discussion on the implications of the Cairo
Conference is presented in the last section of that report. 

56.  This subprogramme also includes two other important elements,
namely, the publication and dissemination of the main results of
the activities of the population programme and the coordination of
population information activities through the Population
Information Network (POPIN).  Improved technology, especially
during the past few years, has greatly expanded both the nature and
the extent of the dissemination of the results of this programme. 
In addition to the publication of a vast array of studies, reports,
bulletins, newsletters and wall charts, population information is
increasingly being distributed electronically.  An important
consequence of these technological improvements has been a dramatic
increase in the demand for such information and services.

57.  POPIN consists of interrelated networks of population
institutions in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and
Northern America; plans are also under way for the creation of such
networks in Europe and Western Asia.  Consistent with the
objectives of the Programme of Action, POPIN aims to increase
awareness, knowledge and understanding of population-related issues
at all levels of society.  In particular, the regional networks
affiliated to POPIN are working towards harnessing the tremendous
potential of print, audiovisual and electronic media, including
databases and networks, to disseminate technical information and to
promote and strengthen understanding of the relationships between
population, consumption, production and sustainable development. 
Use of new electronic information technologies is expected to bring
about a multifold increase in the availability of population
information world wide.  In view of the emphasis on population
information in the Programme of Action, POPIN will need to
strengthen and expand its efforts in the area of information
dissemination so as to facilitate equitable access to population
information for all audiences and to support the implementation of
the Programme of Action. 

             E.  Technical cooperation

58.  This subprogramme contemplates the provision of technical
assistance in all of the above-mentioned areas.  The Conference
made reiterated calls for increased technical cooperation and
invited the United Nations system to strengthen its programme of
work in this area.  The Programme of Action not only identifies a
large number of areas of assistance but also raises some points
which would require further analysis.  One of them is the
demographic implications of the 20/20 initiative, which will be
considered at the World Summit for Social Development; in
particular, the relevant question is how and to what extent the
restructuring of national budgets would impact on the needs of
developing countries for international financial assistance in the
field of population and development.

59.  In the light of the results of the Cairo Conference and taking
into account the modalities recently adopted for the delivery of
technical cooperation in the field of population, particularly
through the new Technical Support System (TSS) and the strategic
planning of country programmes of the Programme Review and
Strategic Development country missions of UNFPA, the Population
Commission may wish to review the role that the population
programme of the United Nations would have in future technical
cooperation activities.



        F.  Closely related work of the Statistical Division

60.  The Statistical Division of the Department for Economic and
Social Information and Policy Analysis is responsible for
activities related to four major areas of demographic and social
statistics:  (a) preparation of methodological studies on the
collection, processing, dissemination and utilization of
statistics, including population censuses, sample surveys, and
civil registration and other administrative recording systems; (b)
collection, compilation and dissemination of international
statistics; (c) coordination of international statistical
programmes; and (d) technical cooperation in statistics.  The
objectives of the Cairo Conference in monitoring world population
trends will be greatly facilitated by these activities by assisting
countries in conducting improved population censuses and
disseminating timely census results, and by strengthening their
vital statistics system through improved civil registration and
other administrative recording systems. 

61.  The Statistical Division is also the technical secretariat of
the Statistical Commission.  In 1985, the Statistical Commission
designated the period 1985-1994 as the 1990 World Population and
Housing Census Decade, with a view to promoting the undertaking of
national population and housing censuses.  At its twenty-eighth
session, in 1995, the Commission also may designate the next 10
years as the 2000 World Population and Housing Census Decade.  As
mentioned above, the work of the two Divisions and the two
Commissions has been complementary and mutually supportive. 

      III.  INSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE CONFERENCE

62.  The Conference affirmed that the success in implementing the
Programme of Action would depend on the commitment of national
Governments, local communities, the non-governmental sector, the
international community and all other concerned organizations and
individuals.  At the national level, the follow-up to the Programme
of Action will be the responsibility of national Governments, and
the international community should be prompt in providing
assistance for its implementation when invited to participate.  At
the regional and subregional levels, the Programme of Action
invites the United Nations regional commissions and other
organizations to participate in the follow-up to the Conference by
designing appropriate actions on population and development.  At
the international level, the Conference made a series of specific
suggestions, mainly addressed to the United Nations system.

63.  The Conference recommendations contained in the section on
activities at the international level may have important
institutional implications.   The Programme of Action requests some
specific actions of various intergovernmental bodies and the
Secretary-General.  The General Assembly, at its forty-ninth
session, initiated a careful study of the report of the Cairo
Conference and adopted a series of measures to be taken in response
to the requests made in the Programme of Action of the Conference. 
These measures include the following:

     (a)  The General Assembly should organize a regular review of
the implementation of the Programme of Action, which includes the
timing, format and organizational aspects of such review (para.
16.21 of the Programme of Action).  In this respect, the General
Assembly, in its resolution 49/128 of 19 December 1994, decided
that the primary role in the follow-up of the implementation of the
Programme of Action would be performed by a three-tiered
intergovernmental mechanism composed of the General Assembly, in
its policy formulation role, the Economic and Social Council, in
its coordinating role and the revitalized Population Commission, in
its role of monitoring, reviewing and assessing the implementation
of the Programme of Action (resolution 49/128, para. 23).  The
General Assembly also decided that the revitalized Population
Commission shall be renamed the Commission on Population and
Development and that it shall meet on an annual basis, beginning in
1996 (resolution 49/128, paras. 24 and 25);

     (b)  The General Assembly, during its forty-ninth session, and
the Economic and Social Council, in 1995, should review the roles,
responsibilities, mandates and comparative advantages of the
relevant intergovernmental bodies and organs of the United Nations
system addressing population and development (para. 16.25 of the
Programme of Action).  In resolution 49/128, the Council is
requested to review, at its substantive session of 1995, the terms
of reference, mandate and composition of the Population Commission,
with a view to revitalizing it (paras. 26 and 27);

     (c)  The Economic and Social Council, as part of this review,
should consider the roles of UNFPA and the Population Division
regarding the follow-up to the Programme of Action (para. 16.26 of
the Programme of Action); 

     (d)  The General Assembly, taking into account the results of
the above review, should give further consideration to the
establishment of a separate Executive Board of UNFPA (para. 16.27
of the Programme of Action).  The General Assembly, during its
forty-ninth session, decided to request the Economic and Social
Council to consider such possibility at its substantive session of
1995 (General Assembly resolution 49/128, para. 28 (a));

      (e)  The Council should review the reporting system in the
area of population and development, taking into account the
follow-up to other international conferences, with a view to
establishing a more coherent reporting system (para. 16.24 of the
Programme of Action and para. 29 of General Assembly resolution
49/128); 

     (f)  The Secretary-General is invited to consult with relevant
bodies of the United Nations system and other financial
institutions, agencies and organizations on the requirements for
international assistance in the field of population and development
(para. 16.28 of the Programme of Action and para. 16 of General
Assembly resolution 49/128).

64.  In order to facilitate the deliberations of the Commission on
the follow-up to the Conference, three sections are presented:  a
brief historical background of the population programme of the
United Nations, a short description of the coordination mechanisms
in the field of population and, finally, some considerations on the
follow-up to the Cairo Conference.



        A.  Background of the population programme of the
            United Nations system

65.  The United Nations system is involved in a large variety of
population activities that cover a wide range of topics such as
data collection, research and analysis, training, dissemination of
information, technical cooperation and the provision of financial
assistance, monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes,
and the substantive servicing of intergovernmental bodies.  More
than 20 units, bodies and organizations of the system participate
in those activities, within the limits of their mandates and
expertise, which are carried out in response to specific requests
made by intergovernmental bodies, particularly the General
Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the corresponding
governing bodies of the regional commissions, programmes and
specialized agencies. 

66.  Since its early days, the United Nations has been actively
involved in the field of population.  The initial population
activities included, basically, research and analysis and, in this
area, the programme accomplished pioneering work in the development
of methodologies for demographic analysis and, particularly, in
creating awareness of the key role that population variables play
in social and economic development.  The Population Commission was
among the first subsidiary bodies established by the Economic and
Social Council.  Since its early days, the Commission has provided
guidance to the United Nations population programme and, although
the best known part of the programme has been its quantitative and
methodological work, particularly its authoritative estimates and
projections and research manuals, significant work has been
accomplished in response to the mandate given to it for arranging
for studies and advising the Council not only on the size and
structure of populations and the changes therein, but also on "the
interplay of demographic factors and economic and social factors"
as well as on the "policies designed to influence the size and
structure of populations and the changes therein". 8/

67.  Since the beginning, strong links have been established with
other functional commissions, particularly with the Statistical
Commission, in the preparation of guidelines for the collection of
demographic data.  The Population Division of the now Department
for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis has been
the technical secretariat of the Commission since its inception. 
With the creation of the regional commissions, population research
and analysis also expanded and incorporated the regional dimension
into the work of the United Nations.  In the early 1960s, the
Council, on the recommendation of the Population Commission,
requested the Secretary-General to conduct a population inquiry
among Governments to obtain their views on the impact of major
population variables in their process of development, whether they
had adopted policies aimed at modifying those trends, and to
ascertain if they would like to request any assistance from the
United Nations in those matters.  After discussing the results of
the inquiry, the Commission recommended the expansion of the
population programme of the United Nations and the inclusion of the
delivery of technical assistance as a regular activity; the Council
then made suggestions to the General Assembly in this respect and
the Assembly adopted a resolution authorizing the United Nations
and the specialized agencies to provide such assistance. 9/ 
Subsequently, in July 1967, the Secretary-General announced in his
statement to the Economic and Social Council the establishment of
a special United Nations Trust Fund for Population Activities to
supplement resources provided under the regular budget and the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in order to allow the
United Nations system to broaden its work in the field of
population and to expand technical cooperation activities. 
Initially, the Trust Fund was managed by the United Nations
Secretariat, mainly by the Population Division of the then
Department of Economic and Social Affairs.  In May 1969, as the
need for and the resources of the Trust Fund increased, the
Secretary-General decided to transfer the responsibility of the
Fund from the United Nations proper to UNDP and renamed it the
United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA).  The
Population Division remained an analytical office, involved not
only in research and analysis, but also in the appraisal of project
requests received from UNFPA.  In 1977, the technical cooperation
activities of the Population Division were incorporated in the then
recently created Department of Technical Cooperation for
Development and, since early 1992, such functions have been given
back to the Population Division.  However, the substantive work of
technical cooperation activities related to population data
collection has always been a part of the functions of the
Statistical Division.

68.  The terms of reference of the Commission remained the same
until 1975 when the Council decided that the Commission should also
examine the results of the monitoring of the World Population Plan
of Action and contribute to the review and appraisal of the Plan. 
In 1985, after the Mexico City Conference, the Council decided that
the monitoring of multilateral population programmes should be part
of the monitoring of population activities and that such reports
shall be submitted to the Commission.  In 1987, the Council made an
in-depth study of the United Nations intergovernmental structure
and functions in the economic and social fields.  For that
exercise, the Chairman of the Population Commission consulted with
the members of the Commission and transmitted a summary of their
views and proposals to the Chairman of the Special Commission in
charge of the review.  Among the issues raised was the need to
amend the mandate of the Commission to include four specific
mandates:  (a) coordinating population activities in the United
Nations system; (b) providing the Governing Council of UNDP/UNFPA
with policy guidance on priority population needs; (c) preparing
and organizing the follow-up to international conferences convened
under the aegis of the United Nations; and (d) making explicit
reference to the monitoring of population assistance programmes as
one of its regular activities.  The adoption of measures to
strengthen the scientific and technical capabilities of the
Commission was also stressed.  The Special Commission considered
those proposals but did not take action on them.

69.  The work programme on population of the United Nations is an
important component of the programme of international cooperation
for development at the United Nations.  It is organized along four
major functions:  (a) substantive servicing of intergovernmental
bodies (principally, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social
Council and the Population Commission); (b) conducting research and
analysis and disseminating results; (c) providing technical
cooperation; and (d) organizing and coordinating the follow-up to
major intergovernmental decisions and gatherings, such as
population conferences.  At present, the population programme of
the medium-term plan refers to the activities of the Population
Division of the Department for Economic and Social Information and
Policy Analysis.

            B.  Coordination mechanisms

70.  Supported by General Assembly resolution 2211 (XXI) of 17
December 1966, the specialized agencies established and/or expanded
their population activities in response to the increasing demands
from Governments.  The need for coordination, harmonization and
collaboration among the members of the United Nations family led to
the creation of inter-agency mechanisms.  In 1968, the
Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) established a
Subcommittee on Population to review the mandates and work
programmes of its members and to make arrangements for joint
activities; the Subcommittee was abolished in 1977 as a result of
the restructuring of the economic and social sectors of the United
Nations Secretariat.  Nevertheless, other coordination mechanisms
have been enacted for specific purposes.  For example, ACC
established as far back as 1967 the Inter-agency Meeting on
Demographic Projections.  This Meeting has proved to be an
efficient instrument of inter-agency collaboration; this mechanism
was upgraded to subcommittee status by ACC in 1993.  In 1970, UNFPA
established the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee (IACC) to
discuss the Fund's programmes, policies procedures and coordination
issues.  IACC and the Subcommittee worked closely and ensured a
high level of collaboration.  IACC continued to meet regularly
through 1978 when UNFPA decided to convene new meetings, when
needed, on an ad hoc basis.  In 1981, the heads of the United
Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), UNDP, UNFPA and the World Food
Programme (WFP) decided to establish the Joint Consultative Group
on Policy (JCGP) for the coordination of child survival, family
planning and the needs of vulnerable groups in their programmes of
work; other areas of collaboration include women and development,
training of personnel, and programme collaboration and coordination
in Africa (including the sharing of common premises and services). 
For the Mexico City and Cairo Population Conferences, ACC decided
to establish ad hoc task forces to ensure inter-agency
collaboration and coordination.

71.  Cooperation, collaboration and harmonization at the
inter-agency level is a means to achieve mutual support between
analytical and operational activities.  The analytical activities
of the Secretariat have been recognized internationally for their
scientific objectivity, ideological neutrality and comprehensive
substantive approach to population and development issues.  Such
activities are not for the purpose of replicating the work done at
universities or research centres (although the results of such
activities have been widely used as teaching materials).  The
analytical part of the programme is aimed at helping in the
identification of issues, elucidating the complex nature of issues,
facilitating a better understanding of such issues, creating the
conditions for building consensus about the proper response to such
issues and providing guidance to operational activities.  The
interrelationship between analytical and operational activities is
particularly crucial in the field of population.  In spite of the
highly sensitive and controversial character of population issues,
the United Nations has served as a neutral forum to debate openly
such issues and to negotiate common strategies.  The successful
results of five international conferences on population convened by
the United Nations since 1954 attest to the success achieved in
linking and focusing on a stronger collaboration between analytical
skills and operational activities.

72.  The Economic and Social Council coordinates the population
activities of the United Nations system and in this function is
assisted by the Population Commission.  The Council receives
periodic reports in the field of population mainly from the
Population Commission and from the UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board.  In
addition to these reports, the regional commissions, other
programmes (e.g., UNICEF, the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP), the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat)
and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR)), the specialized agencies and other functional commissions
(e.g., statistics, sustainable development, women and social
development) may include in their reports to the Council matters
that are related to the field of population and development.

73.  The Population Commission, through its follow-up to the
recommendations adopted by various United Nations population
conferences, is periodically informed about the work done by the
various units, bodies and organizations of the United Nations
system, including the World Bank, as well as about the activities
of relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. 
Representatives of other functional commissions, as well as of the
regional commissions, programmes, specialized agencies and
intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations participate in
various agenda items of the Commission.  In this way, the
Commission has been able to have a global picture of what is being
done by national Governments, the United Nations system and
intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.  This
arrangement has facilitated the work of the Economic and Social
Council in its function of coordination within the United Nations
system. 

74.  The implementation of the Programme of Action adopted in Cairo
calls for ample and sustained inter-agency cooperation and
collaboration, where each agency, within the scope of its
respective mandate, would fully contribute to the system-wide
follow-up to the Conference.  Taking into account the need for
follow-up activities to draw on the existing capacity within the
system, the Executive Director of UNFPA has been requested by the
Administrator of UNDP, on behalf of the Secretary-General of the
United Nations, to develop a coordinated approach for the
implementation of the Programme of Action of the International
Conference on Population and Development.  In this regard, an
Inter-Agency Task Force on the Implementation of the Programme of
Action has been recently established in order to ensure a
system-wide follow-up to the Conference.  The Task Force will
benefit from the experience and expertise of all relevant
system-wide partners, in particular those with field-level
operations.  The first meeting of this Task Force, which took place
on 13 December 1994, was attended by representatives of the
Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis
and the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable
Development of the Secretariat, as well as of UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA,
the International Labour Organization, the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World Health Organization
and the World Bank.


          C.  Follow-up to the Conference

75.  The contents of the Programme of Action go beyond the
traditional notion of population.  The Programme of Action calls
for the participation of all relevant units, bodies and
organizations of the system in the follow-up to the Conference.  In
particular, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social
Council are asked to review the intergovernmental and secretariat
arrangements for population activities to ensure proper
implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Programme of
Action.

76.  In undertaking such reviews, it is important that due
consideration be given to the relationship between research and
policy analysis on the one hand, and operational activities on the
other.  It is widely recognized that solid and reliable analytical
activities should provide sound guidance to operational activities;
in turn, the study of the country-level experience and the specific
needs for achieving the goals and objectives of operational
activities should enrich and help guide the analytical work and
facilitate the design of frameworks for improving the efficiency
and effectiveness of operational activities.  Preserving the
independence, ideological neutrality and scientific integrity of
analytical activities ensures the credibility required in the field
of population and development.

77.  Furthermore, the Programme of Action distinguishes follow-up
activities to be carried out at different levels:  national,
subregional, regional and global.  It would be appropriate for the
Commission to advise the Council on the nature, scope and
modalities at each level.  Special consideration should be given to
the need to reduce the number of reports and simplify them in order
to transmit to the Commission only the relevant information needed
to monitor the implementation of the Programme of Action. 

78.  In order to facilitate the review process proposed by the
Conference and initiated by the General Assembly and the upcoming
deliberations of the Economic and Social Council and its relevant
subsidiary bodies, the Secretary-General has identified the
following issues for detailed consideration: 

     (a)  In the past, the Population Commission has been the
Council's subsidiary body in charge of the follow-up to population
conferences.  Special consideration should be given to the most
suited modalities of operation to respond to the future
responsibilities given by the General Assembly to the Commission,
in its role of reviewing, monitoring and assessing the
implementation of the Programme of Action, as part of the follow-up
to the Conference, as well as its future responsibilities in
relation to the population programme of the United Nations system. 
In this respect, the Commission may wish to present to the Economic
and Social Council its views on these matters as well as on how to
organize its annual meetings;

     (b)  An integral aspect of the follow-up to the Conference
will be the efforts by the international community to maximize the
availability of resources and their most effective utilization, as
indicated in the Programme of Action.  The review of financial
needs and resources would be greatly enhanced if it were considered
in the context of the substantive deliberations on the follow-up to
the Programme of Action;

      (c)  There is a need to strengthen the synergism that exists
between analytical and operational activities in the field of
population and development, with due consideration for maintaining
the necessary distinct character of analytical and operational
activities as mentioned above;

     (d)  With regard to analytical activities, it is important to
stress the considerable benefits of the continued close
interactions between the assessment of population trends and the
analysis of population policies.  In particular, these interactions
provide critical knowledge for the effective formulation and
implementation of activities related to the recommendations of the
Programme of Action;

     (e)  Simpler and more effective reporting mechanisms are
needed for the collection and compilation of:  (i) socio-economic
and demographic indicators; (ii) information on the adoption and
implementation of strategies and policies; and (iii) data on
programme performance;

     (f)  If information on the implementation of recommendations
pertaining to certain conferences (e.g., UNCED, Women, Social
Summit, Habitat II) will be collected at the country level and then
consolidated and analysed, at both the regional and international
levels, precise guidelines and procedures need to be established
for such consolidation;

     (g)  At the intergovernmental level, continued close
cooperation is needed among the revitalized Population Commission,
the Commission on Sustainable Development and the UNDP/UNFPA
Executive Board to ensure effective coordination, harmonization and
collaboration in the field of population and development; 

     (h)  The population dimension should be fully integrated into
the major areas of work of the United Nations system and
appropriate interdepartmental and inter-agency mechanisms should be
arranged.  Particular attention should be given to integrating
population throughout the activities of the United Nations system,
including, inter alia, peace-building operations and humanitarian
and relief activities;

      (i)  An integrated approach, providing system-wide
coordination and guidance in the monitoring of the implementation
of the Programme of Action, is required; in addition, this
monitoring should be properly coordinated with the reporting
activities undertaken within the United Nations system as follow-up
to other United Nations conferences;

     (j)  A more coherent United Nations reporting system may be
facilitated by improved collaboration among the various functional
commissions reporting to the Economic and Social Council; means to
improve the level of interaction and cross-fertilization among the
commissions need to be explored;

      (k)  Adequate procedures should be adopted to ensure more
active participation of intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations in follow-up activities to the Conference at the
international level. 

79.  As requested by the General Assembly and the Economic and
Social Council, the views of the Population Commission on the
implications of the recommendations of the Conference are to be
transmitted to the Council in 1995.  The Secretary-General, in
preparing his report on the work of the Organization, to be
submitted to the General Assembly at its fiftieth session, will
take into account, inter alia, the views expressed by the
Commission and the deliberations of the Council.

                       Notes

     1/   Report of the United Nations World Population Conference,
Bucharest, 19-30 August 1974 (United Nations publication, Sales No.
E.75.XIII.3) and Report of the International Conference on
Population, Mexico City, 6-14 August 1984 (United Nations
publication, Sales No. E.84.XIII.8 and corrigenda).

     2/   In 1993, the General Assembly, in its resolution 48/186,
para. 3, decided that the Preparatory Committee for the Conference
shall be one of its subsidiary bodies.

     3/   See Report of the Secretary-General of the Conference on
the status of preparatory activities for the International
Conference on Population and Development (E/1992/60), paras. 1 and
2.

     4/   Report of the International Conference on Population and
Development, Cairo, 5-13 September 1994 (A/CONF.171/13 and Add.1),
chap.  I, resolution 1, annex.

     5/   See Council resolution 1991/93 of 26 July 1991, para. 4.

     6/   See Report of the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992 (United
Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigenda).

     7/   See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council,
1989, Supplement No. 6 (E/1989/24).

     8/   See Economic and Social Council resolution 150 (VII) of
10 August 1948.

     9/   See General Assembly resolution 2211 (XXI) of 17 December
1966.                   

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