UNITED NATIONS POPULATION INFORMATION NETWORK (POPIN)
UN Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
with support from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA)

94-09-05: Statement of Kingdom of Swaziland, H.R.H. Prince Mbilini

ISO: SWZ



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The electronic preparation of this document has been done by the

Population Information Network(POPIN) of the United Nations Population

Division in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme

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 AS WRITTEN





SPEECH BY H.E. PRINCE MBILINI, PRIME MINISTER OF THE KINGDOM OF

SWAZILAND, MADE ON THE OCCASION OF THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT, CAIRO, EGYPT, 5

SEPTEMBER, 1994.



THE PRESIDENT OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT, HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT



MUBARAK



YOUR EXCELLENCY, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS



YOUR EXCELLENCY, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE UNFPA AND SECRETARY-



GENERAL OF THE CONFERENCE



YOUR EXCELLENCY, THE PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN



YOUR EXCELLENCY, THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE KINGDOM OF NORWAY



YOUR EXCELLENCY, THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



YOUR EXCELLENCIES HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT



YOUR EXCELLENCIES, MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS



DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES



LADIES AND GENTLEMAN



ON BEHALF OF MY FELLOW AFRICAN COLLEAGUES, IT IS MY SINGULAR HONOUR AND

PRIVILEGE TO CONGRATULATE YOU, YOUR EXCELLENCY, ON YOUR ELECTION AS

PRESIDENT OF THIS AUGUST ASSEMBLY. WE ARE CONFIDENT, MR PRESIDENT, THAT

THROUGH YOUR WISE AND ABLE LEADERSHIP, THE DELIBERATIONS OF THIS

CONFERENCE WILL NOT ONLY BE FRUITFUL AND CONSTRUCTIVE BUT THEY WILL ALSO

RESULT IN MOMENTOUS DECISIONS WHICH WILL GUIDE OUR ACTIONS IN THE YEARS

TO COME SO AS TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR OUR COUNTRIES AND

REGIONS.



I AM PARTICULARLY HONORED, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT THE KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND

HAS BEEN ENABLED TO SPEAK AT THIS OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY. WE ARE VERY

GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE AT SUCH AN IMPORTANT

OCCASION.



AT THIS CRUCIAL TIME WHEN IMPORTANT DECISIONS AFFECTING PROSPECTS FOR

SUSTAINED GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT ARE BEING TAKEN, WE WOULD LIKE TO

EXTEND A SINCERE WORD OF WELCOME TO THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA. THEIR

REJOINING OUR WORLD COMMUNITY GIVES US HOPE FOR THE FUTURE PROSPERITY

AND TRANQUILLITY OF MANKIND AND PROVIDES US WITH A SATISFACTORY LESSON

REGARDING PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF THE MANY PROBLEMS WHICH CONFRONT

AFRICA.



THE SUBJECT OF THIS CONFERENCE HAS RAISED A LOT OF CONTROVERSIES AND

DISQUIET IN MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD. VARIOUS ALLEGATIONS, QUITE

FREQUENTLY BASED ON MISINFORMATION OR A DESIRE TO MISINFORM, HAVE BEEN

MADE WITH REGARD TO THE CENTRAL ISSUES WHICH WE ARE EXPECTED TO

DELIBERATE UPON AND TAKE CONCRETE DECISIONS. HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THAT

SUCH CONTROVERSIES HAVE SUCCEEDED TO CLARIFY THE MAJOR POPULATION ISSUES

UNDERPINNING THE SUGGESTED PLAN OF ACTION. THE KEY ISSUES ENSHRINED IN

THE PROPOSED PLAN OF ACTION COVER A NUMBER OF AREAS WHICH AFFECT AFRICA

DIRECTLY. THESE INCLUDE THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS,

SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH WHICH INCLUDES FAMILY PLANNING, REDUCTION

OF INFANT AND MARTENAL MORTALITY, PROMOTION OF THE INVOLVEMENT OF MEN

AND WOMEN IN RESPONSABLE PARENTHOOD, AND RECOGNITION OF THE RIGHTS OF

SOVEREIGN STATES TO DEVELOP STRATEGIES AND MODALITIES FOR DEALING WITH

THESE ISSUES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR LEGAL CODES, CULTURE, MORAL AND

RELIGIOUS VALUES AND DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES ADOPTED. WE- BELIEVE THAT

THIS FLEXIBILITY IS EXTREMELY CRUCIAL AND SHOULD HELP FACILITATE THE

SPEEDY ADOPTION OF THE PROPOSED PROGRAMME OF ACTION. THE SAID PROGRAMME

OF ACTION, IN OUR VIEW, PROVIDES GENERAL PRINCIPLES WHICH WILL ENABLE

EACH ONE OF US TO MAKE PROGRESS IN THE ENDEAVOR TO MEET OUR NATIONS'

ASPIRATIONS FOR IMPROVED AND SUSTAINED GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT



THE AFRICAN CONTINENT FACES EXTREMELY SERIOUS PROBLEMS OF DEVELOPMENT.

IT IS OUR SINCERE BELIEF THAT POPULATION GROWTH PLAYS A VERY CRITICAL

ROLE IN THE CONTINUED UNDERDEVELOPMENT OF OUR CONTINENT. WE, THEREFORE,

CANNOT BE INDIFFERENT WHEN THESE ISSUES ARE BEING DISCUSSED. AFRICA HAS

THE HIGHEST POPULATION AND FERTILITY GROWTH RATES, THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF

POVERTY, THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF INFANT AND MATERNAL MORTALITY RATES AND

THIS IS FURTHER COMPLICATED BY THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF HIV/AIDS INFECTIONS.



A LARGE NUMBER OF AFRICAN COUNTRIES ARE CURRENTLY UNDERGOING THE PAINFUL

EXERCISE OF STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT WITH A VIEW TO CORRECTING ECONOMIC

IMBALANCES which have>CREPT UP OVER YEARS. THE RAPIDLY EXPANDING

POPULATIONS IN OUR CONTINENT, SWAZILAND INCLUDED, ARE NOT FACILITATING

THIS PROCESS; INSTEAD THEY COMPLICATE IT FURTHER. THIS IS ESPECIALLY

FELT BY THE VULNERABLE GROUPS SUCH AS WOMEN AND CHILDREN. THE EFFECTS OF

POPULATION GROWTH RATES ON LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION, NATIONAL

AND HOUSEHOLD FOOD INSECURITY AND THE AND INABILITY OF OUR NATIONAL

BUDGETS TO MEET IMMEDIATE SOCIAL NEEDS SUCH AS PROVISION OF EDUCATION

AND HEALTH FACILITIES ARE VERY FAMILIAR TO US. IT IS FOR THIS REASON

THAT WE STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT BY ADDRESSING POPULATION ISSUES, THE

PROSPECTS FOR SUSTAINED ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT WILL BE

ENHANCED.



THE DAKAR DECLARATION WHICH WAS FURTHER EMBRACED BY THE OAU HEADS OF

STATE AND GOVERNMENT IN TUNIS ABOUT THREE MONTHS AGO, IS EMPHATIC ABOUT

THE RESPONSIBILITIES; t OF MEMBER GOVERNMENTS WITH REGARD TO THE ROLE OF

POPULATION IN DEVELOPMENT. THE DAKAR DECLARATION IS EXPLICIT WITH

RESPECT TO ACTIONS WHICH NEED TO BE TAKEN. FOR EXAMPLE, IN DAKAR,

AFRICAN COUNTRIES AFFIRMED THEIR SOLIDARITY IN dealing POPULATION

PROBLEMS AND UNDERTOOK TO "... FORMULATE POPULATION POLICIES RESPECTING

THE SOVEREIGN RIGHTS OF EACH COUNTRY ALONG WITH THE FREEDOM, DIGNITY AND

INTRINSIC VALUES OF THEIR PEOPLES AND TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE RELEVANT

MORAL AND CULTURAL FACTORS, AND BEAR RESPONSIBILITY FOR REAFFIRMING THE

RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF INDIVIDUALS AND COUPLES." WE BELIEVE THAT WHAT

WE ARE EXPECTED TO ADOPT THERE IN CAIRO IS EXTREMELY CONSISTENT WITH THE

DAKAR AND TUNIS DECLARATIONS ON THIS SUBJECT. IT IS ALSO NOT

INCONSISTENT WITH OTHER CONVENTIONS WHICH OUR COUNTRIES ARE SIGNATORIES

TO, SUCH AS THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF A CHILD, AGENDA 21 AND THE

CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST

WOMEN. THIS CONFERENCE MUST NOT BEEN VIEWED IN ISOLATION; ITS EFFECTS

WILL HAVE FAR-REACHING IMPACTS ON FUTURE MEETINGS OF THE UNITED NATIONS.

FOR EXAMPLE, THE ADOPTION OF THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THIS PROGRAMME OF

ACTION WILL PROVIDE VALUABLE INPUTS FOR THE COPENHAGEN WORLD SUMMIT FOR

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, AND THE BEIJING FOURTH WORLD CONFERENCE ON WOMEN.



THE FACTORS HINDERING RAPID ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN OUR

COUNTRIES ARE FAMILIAR TO MOST OF US. THEY ARE MAINLY FERMENTED BY

RESOURCE CONSTRAINTS, INAPPROPRIATE POLICIES AND ESCALATING DEBT BURDEN.

EACH AFRICAN COUNTRY IS COMMITTED TO MOBILES AT THE COUNTRY LEVEL AS

MUCH RESOURCES AND MEANS AS POSSIBLE TO OVERCOME THESE PROBLEMS.

HOWEVER, THE NEED IS ENOURMOUS AND OUR ABILITIES ARE LIMITED. IT IS FOR

THIS REASON THAT WE APPEAL TO DONOR COMMUNITIES TO INCREASE THE LEVELS

OF ASSISTANCE TO AFRICAN COUNTRIES. DONOR ASSISTANCE MUST BEGIN TO BE

COMMENSURATE WITH THE MAGNITUDE OF THE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS FACED BY THE

AFRICAN CONTINENT. OTHERWISE, WE WILL FOREVER FALTER IN OUR ENDEAVOURS

TO MEET COMMITMENTS SUCH AS THE ONE WE ARE MAKING TODAY. IN ADDITION, WE

REQUEST THAT EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE MUST BE FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ADDRESS SOME

OF THE KEY ISSUES WHICH ARE UNDERSCORED BY THIS CONFERENCE'S PLAN OF

ACTION.



THE GOVERNMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND HAS MADE SOME EFFORTS TO

ADDRESS SOCIO-ECONOMIC NEEDS OF VARIOUS POPULATION GROUPS IN OUR

COUNTRY. WE HAVE, FOR INSTANCE, UNDERTAKEN A STUDY THAT SPECIFICALLY

ADDRESSES THE ISSUES RELATED TO THE STATUS OF VULNERABLE GROUPS SUCH AS

WOMEN AND THE YOUTH. WE HAVE ALSO MADE SOME GREAT STRIDES TO PROVIDE TO

BOTH BOYS AND GIRLS ACCESS TO PRIMARY EDUCATION. HOWEVER, THE RAPID RATE

OF POPULATION GROWTH HAS COMPROMISED THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION. IN HEALTH

PROVISION, SWAZILAND IS IN THE PROCESS OF IMPLEMENTING THE MID-DECADE

GOALS SET BY THE WORLD SUMMIT FOR CHILDREN, THE ACTION PLAN OF THE

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON NUTRITION, AND THE INNOCENT DECLARATION.



DESPITE OUR EFFORTS, MR. PRESIDENT, WE CONTINUE TO BE HINDERED BY THE

UNACCEPTABLY HIGH RATE OF POPULATION GROWTH. IT IS, ESSENTIAL FOR US TO

ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM. FOR US, THIS CONFERENCE IS EXTREMELY TIMELY AS IT

WILL PROVIDE US WITH GUIDELINES FOR ADDRESSING THE POPULATION PROBLEM .



 IN CONCLUSION, MR. PRESIDENT, ON BEHALF OF HIS MAJESTY'S GOVERNMENT,

AND THE PEOPLE OF SWAZILAND I WISH TO THANK YOU, YOUR GOVERNMENT, AND

THE PEOPLE OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT FOR THE PLEASANT RECEPTION AND

HOSPITALITY YOU HAVE ACCORDED US SINCE OUR ARRIVAL IN THIS BEAUTIFUL

COUNTRY AND FOR THE EXCELLENT FACILITIES MADE AVAILABLE FOR THIS

CONFERENCE. WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT OUR CONFERENCE WILL BE THE SUCCESS

THAT IT DESERVES TO BE AND THAT THE RESULTS OF THESE DELIBERATIONS WILL

BE TRANSLATED INTO CONCRETE ACTION.



I THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT.


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