United Nations
E/CN.9/1998/1


Economic and Social Council
Distr.: General
1 December 1997

Original: English


Commission on Population and Development
Thirty-first session
23-27 February 1998
Item 2 of the provisional agenda
Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters



1.
Election of officers

Rule 15 of the rules of procedure of the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council stipulates that at the commencement of its first meeting of a regular session, the Commission shall elect, from among the representatives of its members, a Chairman, one or more Vice-Chairmen and such other officers as may be required.

At past sessions, the Commission has elected a Chairman, three Vice-Chairmen and a Rapporteur.

2.
Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters

Rule 7 of the rules of procedure requires that the Commission shall, at the beginning of each session, after the election of its officers, adopt the agenda for that session on the basis of the provisional agenda.

On the recommendation of the Commission at its thirtieth session, the Economic and Social Council, in its decision 1997/220, approved the provisional agenda and documentation for the thirty-first session of the Commission.

3.
General debate on national experience in population matters

At its twenty-fifth session, the Commission concluded that it would be useful to make provision in its agenda for a general debate, during which views and national experiences in the area of population could be exchanged.

4.
Follow-up actions to the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development

In its resolution 49/128 of 19 December 1994, in which it endorsed the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development, the General Assembly decided that the Commission on Population and Development, as a functional commission assisting the Economic and Social Council, would monitor, review and assess the implementation of the Programme of Action of the Conference at the national, regional and international levels, and would advise the Council thereon.

In the same resolution, the General Assembly called upon the organizations and bodies of the United Nations system to undertake the actions required to give full and effective support to the implementation of the Programme of Action (para. 10). The Assembly requested the specialized agencies and all related organizations of the United Nations system to review and, where necessary, adjust their programmes and activities in line with the Programme of Action, and to take appropriate measures to ensure its full and effective implementation, taking into account the specific needs of developing countries (para. 22). The Assembly further requested the Council to consider the submission of recommendations to the Secretary-General on the establishment of an appropriate mechanism for inter-agency coordination, collaboration and harmonization in the implementation of the Programme of Action (para. 28 (c)).

In the new terms of reference of the Commission (E/1995/27, annex I, sect. I.A), which were endorsed by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 1995/55, the Commission is called upon to adopt a topic-oriented and prioritized multi-year work programme, culminating in a quinquennial review and appraisal of the Programme of Action. That work programme, inter alia, will provide a framework for assessing the progress achieved in the implementation of the Programme of Action. In the report of the Commission on its twenty-eighth session, which the Economic and Social Council took note of in its decision 1995/236, the Commission called for the preparation of annual reports on a selected topic of the Programme of Action (see E/1995/27, annex I, sect. III). The topic for 1998 is "Health and mortality, with special emphasis on the linkages between health and development and on gender and age"; a report on that topic will be before the Commission.

At its substantive session of 1996, the Economic and Social Council in resolution 1996/2, requested that a revised version of the report of the Secretary-General relating to the activities of the non-governmental sector in the area of reproductive rights and reproductive health be submitted to the Commission at its thirty-first session, in 1998, based on a more comprehensive survey of the sector and a clearer explanation of the selection criteria and categorization of the organizations consulted, and incorporating examples of cooperation between Governments and non-governmental organizations, in both developing and developed countries. At its thirtieth session, in resolution 1997/2, the Commission reiterated that request. The revised report on this topic will be before the Commission.

At its substantive session of 1995, the Economic and Social Council, in resolution 1995/55, endorsed the multi-year work programme proposed by the Commission at its twenty-eighth session which, inter alia, provided that in 1999 the Commission would consider the quinquennial review and appraisal of the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development. At its thirtieth session, in resolution 1997/2, the Commission noted that the very broad special theme for 1999 and the need for a quinquennial review in the same year would require careful and thorough planning to avoid excess documentation, and thus decided that the Secretariat should provide specific and detailed proposals on how to handle that issue for consideration by the Commission at its thirty-first session. The Bureau of the Commission, at its 1997 meeting, requested the Director of the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs to present a draft outline for the quinquennial review and appraisal to the Commission at its thirty-first session. The Director of the Population Division will report to the Commission on this topic.

The Economic and Social Council, in resolution 1997/42, recommended that the General Assembly, at its fifty-second session, decide on the process and modalities, including the possibility of convening a special session of the Assembly in 1999, for reviewing and appraising the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development. The General Assembly has decided to convene a special session in order to review and appraise the implementation of the Programme of Action.

In resolution 1997/2, the Economic and Social Council called upon the Working Group on International Migration of the Administrative Committee on Coordination Task Force on Basic Social Services for All to submit to the Commission on Population and Development at its thirty-first session a comprehensive list of issues related to international migration and development and identifying the intergovernmental mechanisms available to address them. This list will be made available to the Commission at its present session. In addition, in resolution 1997/1, the Commission requested the Chairperson of the Task Force on Basic Social Services for All to report to the Commission at its 1998 session on the progress made in the organization of the technical symposium, including the list of invited experts and the provisional agenda.

Documentation

Concise report of the Secretary-General on world population monitoring, 1998: health and mortality (E/CN.9/1998/2)

Report of the Secretary-General on the monitoring of population programmes: health and mortality (E/CN.9/1998/3)

Report of the Administrative Committee on Coordination Task Force on Basic Social Services for All: health and mortality (E/CN.9/1998/4)

Revised report of the Secretary-General on the activities of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations: reproductive rights and reproductive health (E/CN.9/1998/5)

Report of the Secretary-General on the flow of financial resources for assisting in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (E/CN.9/1998/6)

5.
Programme questions

(a) Programme performance and implementation in 1997

At its twenty-eighth session, the Commission requested the Secretary-General, inter alia, to continue to give high priority to the monitoring of population trends and policies; undertake biennial preparation of estimates and projections of global, national, urban, rural and city populations; conduct studies on population and related development policies; prepare studies on interactions of population change; carry out analyses of mortality; contribute to and coordinate in-depth studies on fertility and nuptiality and reproductive rights and health, including family planning; undertake studies to improve the understanding of the causes and consequences of internal migration and international migration; increase public awareness of and information exchange on population and development issues; make the necessary arrangements for coordinating the review and appraisal of the Programme of Action; and provide technical cooperation support to developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, and, on a temporary basis, to countries with economies in transition, in the light of the economic and social problems that those countries face at present. The Commission reaffirmed the work programme at its twenty-ninth session (Commission resolution 1996/1).

At its thirtieth session, the Commission stressed the importance of continuing the basic work of the Population Division of the United Nations Secretariat on the crucial underpinnings of population estimates and projections; basic population trends and issues, including fertility, mortality, migration and patterns of rural and urban population change; the evolution of population policies; and understanding of the links between population and development (Commission resolution 1997/3).

For its consideration of the above-mentioned activities, the Commission will have before it a report on progress achieved in the field of population since its thirtieth session.

(b) Programme of work for the biennium 1998-1999

At its fifty-first session, the General Assembly adopted the proposed medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001 and reaffirmed that the plan was the principal policy directive of the United Nations and should serve as a framework for the formulation of the biennial programme budget (resolution 51/219, sect. I). Programme 7 (Economic and social information and policy analysis) of the medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001 (A/51/6/Rev.1) includes a subprogramme on population, which will be made available to the Commission as a background document.

The Commission will have before it notes by the Secretary-General on the programme of work for 1998-1999, drawn up in accordance with the strategy described in the subprogramme on population of the medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001.

Documentation

Report of the Secretary-General on progress of work in the field of population, 1997: Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (E/CN.9/1998/7)

Note by the Secretary-General on the programme of work for the biennium 1998-1999: Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (E/CN.9/1998/8)

Note by the Secretary-General on the programme of work for the biennium 1998-1999: Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (E/CN.9/1998/CRP.1)

6.
Provisional agenda for the thirty-second session of the Commission

In accordance with rule 9 of the rules of procedure, the Commission will have before it the draft provisional agenda for its thirty-second session, together with an indication of the documents to be submitted under each item and the legislative authority for their preparation, in order to enable the Commission to consider those documents from the point of view of their contribution to the work of the Commission and their urgency and relevance in the light of the current situation.

The attention of the Commission is drawn to Economic and Social Council resolutions 1979/41 and 1981/83 on the control and limitation of documentation. In addition, the Commission is reminded that the Council, in paragraph 1 (j) of resolution 1982/50 on the revitalization of the Council, urged all its subsidiary bodies to exercise the utmost restraint in making requests of the Secretary-General for new reports and studies, and urged them to implement fully the decisions of the Council and of the Assembly on the control and limitation of documentation.

The attention of the Commission is also drawn to paragraph 4 of the annex to Council resolution 1982/50, in which the Secretary-General recommended that (a) the documentation and programme of work of the subsidiary bodies of the Council and the Assembly should be streamlined in order to enable the subsidiary bodies to perform effectively the functions entrusted to them; (b) the Council and the Assembly should continue to review the provisional agendas of their subsidiary bodies, together with the list of requested documentation, in order, inter alia, to establish greater consistency in the overall requests for documentation and its orderly consideration at the intergovernmental level, taking fully into account the medium-term plan and the programme budget; and (c) in doing so, the Council and the Assembly should also take into account the need to consolidate the items and documentation of their subsidiary machinery.

Furthermore, in its resolution 1981/83, the Council instructed its subsidiary bodies to take urgent measures to streamline their agendas and programmes of work and to bring about a substantial reduction in their requests for documents, bearing in mind the duration and cycles of their meetings, and to report to the Council on measures adopted, taking strictly into account the guidelines set forth in the pertinent resolutions and decisions of the Council and the Assembly.

In decision 1983/163, the Council requested the Secretary-General (a) to bring to the attention of intergovernmental and expert bodies, before decisions were adopted, any request for documentation that exceeded the ability of the Secretariat to prepare and process on time and within its approved resources; and (b) to draw the attention of intergovernmental bodies to areas where duplication of documentation was likely to occur and/or where opportunities for integrating or consolidating documents that dealt with related or similar themes might exist, with a view to rationalizing documentation.

Documentation

Draft provisional agenda for the thirty-second session of the Commission

7.
Adoption of the report of the Commission on its thirty-first session

In accordance with rule 37 of the rules of procedure, the Commission shall submit to the Economic and Social Council a report on the work of each session.