UN Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
with support from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA)

94-09-05: Statement of Egypt, H.E. Mr. Mohamed Hosni Mubarak



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 







the Inaugural session

of the International Conference


Population and Development

Cairo,  Sept. 5 , 1994

	Your Excellencies Heads of State 

	and Government, 

	The United Nations Secretary 


	Heads and Members of 


	Ladies and Gentlemen, 

	Welcome to the good earth of Egypt, the cradle of civilization and 

the land of peace, which has played through the ages a major role in 

linking the civilizations and peoples of the entire world. It has 

enriched the march of mankind with a blend of human values brought about 

by the amalgamation of civilizations on this immortal land throughout 

seven thousand year


	Welcome to Cairo . the metropolis of the Arabs and Africans the 

city of a thousand minarets that join in an embrace the lowers of 

churches, the minarets of Islam and spreading love and tolerance and 

brightening with the light Of faith the Egyptian's endeavours in this 

blessed valley mentioned in the verses of the Qura'n, the words of the 

Bible and the texts of the Torah. 

	Welcome to the land which has taken part in the march towards 

human progress when man started to cultivate the land, called for 

monotheism, registered his knowledge and history, made of his relation 

with the  River Nile a unique model of congeniality between man and his 

environment, and embodied the right relationship between population and 



	Welcome to today's Egypt, that contributes as much as possible to 

the human struggle for a future more secure and peaceful where justice 

and equality prevail. 

	Ladies and Gentlemen,

	Your decision to chose Egypt as a seat for the convocation of this 

important international conference is highly appreciated by the Egyptian 

people. They consider it an expression of gratitude from the world 

community and the United Nations for Egypt's role in serving the causes 

of peace. development and progress. 

	We hope that the convocation of this conference in Egypt would be 

a turning point that takes into consideration the unity of man's destiny 

on our planet. No matter how far apart we may live or how vast the difference

in progress among us is we eventually share the same destiny. and face the

same challenges of an ever-increasing violence and ferocity) in the world

at large. 

	The world has become not only a small village due to the 

fascinating progress in means OT communications but is also a small 

village because the dangers threatening us have become Of a cosmic 

nature that overruns all borders of nations and continents that no 

society can be totally safe from their consequences. 

	As we are on the threshold of the twenty-first century we hope 

that our conference would be a meeting point of détente among man s 

civilizations and that man would be attuned to his environment. we also 

hope that this conference would be a bridge linking north with south and 

east with west . It would coordinate the efforts of all in a human 

entente that maintains peace and human values and preserves the 

principles of heavenly laws which differentiate between good and evil, 

and what is right and what is wrong. 

	We would like this conference to be a historic turning point in 

the annals of human coordinated endeavour in order to confront the 

challenges of a new era that brings us great expectations of a more 

secure and just world as much as it carries serious dangers that are 

difficult to face . Such dangers may stem from a one - sided outlook on 

the destiny of mankind overlooking the fact that we are all in one boat 

and that human man progress should be comprehensive. Such an outlook 

would create an unbalanced world structure lacking the elements of 

social stability 

	Demographical facts at present affirm that the smallest number of 

the worlds population live in countries of high income per capita where 

the average income of 822 million people is more than twenty thousand 

dollars annually while the average income of three billion people does 

not exceed 350 dollars. These are cramped in countries suffering from 

insufficient resources poor production and the absence of means of human 

development. Indications are that 15% of the worlds population earn 75% 

of world income . 

	These figures pose many important questions which cause much 

concern and call for joint action in a bid to change this image through 

more cooperation among world communities and a greater capability to 

confront future challenges . 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

	We do not wish that this would be merely a third population 

conference that would only add to the achievements of the two previous 

conferences which were held in Bucharest and Mexico in 1974 and 1984 

respectively achievements of which we cannot underrate . 

	However, we with this conference to be a historic turning point in 

envisaging the population problem and putting it in its proper 

perspective. We are all partners at work and share the same destiny on 

this planet which faces unprecedented challenges brought about; by the 

huge and quick changes that took place during the latter half of this 

century and precipitated the population expansion problems . 

	The importance of this conference lies in the fact that it is held 

in a new world climate where humanity has great hopes of a possibly 

different world order, where peace, justice and cooperation prevail 

despite the bloody miseries we still witness at present and the 

apprehensions of many peoples of being marginalised away from the 

procession of human progress due to the absence of the criterion of 

justice .

Ladies and Gentlemen,

	Allow me to state in several important points my vision of the 

tasks of this conference and the goals it should seek to realize. Though 

it is a personal vision yet it reflects the aspirations of many peoples 

that have great hopes in this conference. The conference takes place at 

a decisive stage that makes It incumbent upon all of us all to exert 

much effort and thought within the context of our clear sincere 

understanding of the fact that we all share one destiny and one future: 


	The task of our conference at this important juncture in the 

history of human progress is to respond to the peoples' hopes, to reach 

a joint vision that consolidates the march of human progress and firmly 

establishes the concepts of peace. justice, cooperation, and values work 

and virtues. Perhaps the right starting point in formulating this joint 

human vision is to admit that the results and recommendations of the 

conference must be an outcome of that which is going on of free 

discussion and open dialogue, away from any strict commitment to any 

ready-made formulas that have not been considered or discussed at the 


	In my opinion the outcome and objectives of the conference are 

defined by a creative interaction of the various opinions through a free 

dialogue that aims at finding a common denominator among all the 

different views Thus the conference recommendations would be a 

reflection of humanity as a whole realizing justice and equal 

opportunities  every .country and people no matter how small it census 

or its resources are. 

	This conference combines peoples of different civilizations 

cultures and heavenly messages whose laws should be respected hence 

there is no other way but an interaction of opinions in an atmosphere of 

democracy in a bid to find a common denominator that unites us within 

this rich miscellaneous gathering 


Reaching this common denominator calls for free dialogue ruled by a 

spirit of solidarity, the joint feeling of responsibility, and the 

mutual keenness to open up to the opinions of others, and to maintain 

that no one alone can claim that he exploits the whole facts . Our 

dialogue should be a matter of give and take that reflects the 

interrelation between cultures. To miss the objective and lose the 

course of action is of a greater danger because dialogue will be 

confined to premeditated thoughts that some wish to impose on every 

body. Dialogue may also fall victim to strong polarisation between 

advanced and developing states to thc extent that we find ourselves in a 

labyrinth of serious discrepancies. Eventually our efforts will be 

dispersed and our unity shattered and we become incapable of confronting 

ferocious dangers which jeopardize the entire human existence. 


	We deeply believe that there are no discrcpancies between religion 

and science between spiritual and material factors, between the. 

requirements of modernization and originality because life depends on a 

combination of all these factors. Man cannot realize peace, security and 

happiness with out a balanced satisfaction of his spiritual and material 



	Any recommendation issued by tile conference should be at the 

service of every society according to its circumstances and basic 

beliefs. They should in keeping  with  its heavenly laws and religious 

principles and compatible with the philosophy which governs its outlook. 

	In this respect, I would like to refer to the UN Economic and 

Social Council's Resolution No. 1991 of 1993 which stipulates the 

necessity of respecting the sovereignty of each state and its right to 

draw up and apply the demographic policies that are in conformity with 

its culture. values and traditions. and compatible with its social 

economic and political conditions . and in harmony with human rights and 

the responsibility of individuals . families and societies . 



	It will be useless to consider the Cairo conference as a separate 

event disconnected from many intentional endeavours exerted in the past 

or will be exerted in the future to discuss other aspects of the 

problems of our life . for example, the Environment and Development 

Summit Conference of 1992 as well as the coming summit conferences on 

social development woman and human settlements

	All this international efforts should be placed within one 

framework, for the problems of our planet have become so complicated 

and interrelate  so much that necessitate an integrated developed vision 

which helps working out the right solutions 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

	It may be sufficient to refer to some important facts in order to 

realize the difficult situations which our world undergoes 5,5 billion 

people live on our planet This number is increased by 90 million every 

year. Three quarters of this number live in the developing countries 

>whose share of the world income is only 15% which makes matters more 

complicated . 

	International statistics point out that there are 500 million 

unemployed persons in these countries suffering from the absence of job 

opportunities. What is more dangerous is that unemployment separates 

them from the social life of their societies . and this is the worst and 

most destructive outcome of unlemployment . 

	Most of these countries are gravely affected by the problems of 

debts and their burdens particularly in Africa of which foreign debts 

have reached $285 billion. Many are also suffering from shortage of food 

because of drought desertification . 

	In such developing communities half a million women die every year 

due to causes related to pregnancy . Such a rate is 200 times as much 

as the possibilities of European women's exposure to the same danger . 

	All these phenomena call for intensifying the efforts exerted to 

deal with the population issue and control overpopulation in conformity

with divine laws and religious values, hoping to reach reasonable growth

rates that arc in keeping with resources in a bid to attain a better

future for the coming generations 

	It is a joint responsibility of the whole world, the rich before 

the poor; not only because we live in one world and our duty is 

integration and cooperation, or that same of the causes of these 

problems are due to the absence of criteria of justice in their dealings 

with the advanced world, but there is also a third reason, may be the 

most serious threat to our planet , were the negative impacts of the 

problems of overpopulation exceed all limits, with the increasing risks 

of immigration, violence, epidemics, in addition to the continuous 

deterioration of environment and its negative effects on all 

	The population problem facing our present world cannot be 

correctly solved on the basis of handling the demographic dimensions 

only, but also should be dealt with within its close relation to the 

problems of social, economic and cultural development which aim at 

raising the individual's capacities and participation in production and 


	 All that should be done within an accurate concept of the nature 

of the relation between population and resources; that takes into 

consideration the requirements of the coming generations as well as the 

necessities of providing the needs of the present 

	 The honest translation of this integrated vision of the 

dimensions of the population problem necessitates intensifying the 

efforts we exert to upgrade educational and health services and pay more 

attention to women who play a major role in forming a family, raising 

children and also bears a bigger responsibility in implementing the 

programmes relevant to population 

	 The cornerstone and starting point in any successful demographic 

policies aiming at establishing a society capable of waging the battle 

of development battle with efficiency, is working on improving women's 

conditions, especially, in the developing countries, raising awareness 

of the gravity of the problem and revealing to them all the various 


	 Ladies and gentlemen 

	Heads of State and Governments and Delegations.

Egypt experienced a grave population problem in the mid-20th Century due to a 

continuous drop in mortality rates together with stabilized-higher birth 

rates as a result of sustainable development of health services early in 

- the 20th Century, Egypt's population doubled over a quarter of a 

century after that in half a century .

	 This has been exhausting revenues of development and threatening 

standards of living that necessitated more services with limited 

resources . We could neither meet the growing aspirations of the masses 

to a better life nor cope with the demographic growth at a rate that 

exceeded the highest worldwide 

	This phenomenon has more aggravating aspects due to the 

concentration of population in a limited area of Egypt's land; the Nile 

Valley and the Delta which is conducive to inconceivable demographic 

density levels. 

	Naturally, this issue has been given great attention by the State 

and the society and topped the agenda of national priorities . Official 

and popular institutions exert concerted efforts in this domain with a 

view to reaching a plausible formula for solving the problem, to be 

accepted by the people in their entirety and in which each and every 

citizen has full confidence 

	 This formula should be in line with religious beliefs and values 

in order to arouse enthusiasm for voluntary participation to materialize 

it without compulsion.

	The Egyptian population programme succeeded in materializing its 

objectives for it relied on acquainting the masses with the bare facts, 

believing that they are capable of performing their required role as 

long as they are armed with knowledge and consciousness. Knowing the 

truth is the first step that motivates the masses to participate and 

allows for a sound choice stemming from the masses' conviction logically 

and psychologically.

	We rejected all population policies that are based on compulsion 

or constraint being contradictory to our spiritual values, divine laws. 

and the essential principles of our Constitution . besides, compulsion , 

practically speaking, may impede the progress of population plans and 

programmes as long as they are not accepted by the people even though 

they temporarily succeed at the beginning of implementation . Policies 

as such are impossible to be implemented except in non-democratic 

communities where compulsion and fear prevail and never help to build a 

good citizen capable of effective participation 

	We refused to have recourse to any sort of legislation that may 

constitute a restriction on the citizens' freedom in taking their 

decision, or coerce them to take certain procedures for family planning. 

We have refused all that, for we are positive that in family issues, 

choice must be free and stemming from free will in order to realize 

success and continuation 

	 We have been quite keen to make our population programme 

conforming to the established religious values, because we deeply 

believe that the values of true religion is a strong impetus toward 

reform as long as intentions are good, tolerance is prevalent, and all 

of us are keen on content and significance rather than on form and 


	 We have depended, in the first place. on awakening the masses' 

awareness of the population problem in Egypt, in its complicated 

relation with our limited resources, and the citizens' aspirations to a 

better life.

	We have directed all attention to upgrading education throughout 

Egypt, considering it a major national cause that deserves absolute 

priority, For upgrading education is the correct starling point in any 

reform aiming at the establishment of a society capable of facing great 


	Now, we are implementing an ambitious programme that deals with 

all the aspects of the educational issue, starting from the 

establishment of new and modern schools that offer pupils a good 

opportunity to practice all their school activities . The programme also 

aims at the restoration of existing school buildings. and reviewing 

educational curricula . It also requalifies and trains teachers to be 

more capable of developing the minds of pupils, and enabling them to deal

with scientific facts and their modern evolution. 

	Furthermore, it aims at forming the pupils' personalities in a 

manner that promotes their capabilities of conducting creative dialogue 

that enables them to make good choice .

	 We have given the same particular attention to promoting health 

services all over Egypt.

	 The significance of this step lies in the fact that there are 

4000 villages and a considerable number of small population 

agglomerations .

	 We had to double the efforts exerted to upgrade health services 

reaching every citizen and give special attention to the health of women 

and children as well as to psychological health .

	 The outcome of these policies based on knowledge, consciousness

and rendering available educational and health services to each and every

citizen was an annual drop in population growth from 2.8% in 1980, to 2.2%

in I994. The number of families taking part in family planning programmes

rose from 28 % to 50 % of the total number of families both in rural and

urban areas. 

	One of the prominent features of the Egyptian programme is that it 

has became a national issue supported by all parties and sects . It, 

further, won a great deal of national consensus where all the citizens 

and contented irrespective of their religious or sectarian affiliations.

	 These are promising results proving that we are moving in the 

correct direction and that we have firm and stable policies that secure 

the sustainability of reform in the long run, and guarantees the

realization of aspired for results because they are based on the free

choice of all citizens .

	 Many friends and major international organizations cooperated 

sincerely with us, particularly the United Nations and its specialized 

organs such as the UN Populations Fund, UNDP, UNICEF, WHO and UNESCO 

besides the governments of some friendly states that contributed to the 

success of the Egyptian programme . This is to emphasize that 

cooperation is important with every country devising a national 

programme that emanates from its reality and circumstances and is 

compatible with its values and traditions, while, it realizes the 

countries objectives and is committed to given priorities .

	 I seize this opportunity to extend thanks and express 

appreciation to these organizations . I would like to extend special 

thanks to and provides an ample opportunity for all the parties to 

participate so that all cultures and view points may interact in order 

to enrich our common experience.

	 UN secretary general Dr. Boutros Ghali and Executive Director of 

UN Populations Fund and Conference Secretary General Dr. Nafis Sadik 

for the highly-appreciated efforts they have exerted to make a success 

of the conference and make preparations for this honourable image . 

	Ladies and Gentlemen 

	We start work and dialogue in this conference hoping that 

discussions of the issues tabled will be conducted freely away from 

personal interests and prejudices, and depending on objectivity and 

knowledge . We also hope that it will take into consideration the 

ethical values and religious doctrines and provide an ample opportunity 

for all the parties to participate so that all cultures and viewpoints 

may interact to enrich our common experience.

	We want our dialogue to avoid dogmatism and fanaticism, for 

extremist opinions should remain outside the framework of the 

development of societies, as they lack in unanimity and acceptability at 

all levels.

	I do not believe that we can -- whatever our wisdom and prudence --

may be reach proper solutions for our population problems, unless those 

solutions will conform to our society meet the basic needs of the masses,

and comply with their values and beliefs.

	 Ladies and Gentlemen 

	We cannot belittle the dangers besetting our world due to 

overpopulation. Also we cannot overlook those numerous tragedies which 

are still witnessed in the world. although the cold war is over; but we 

will be unfair when looking at this world, if we ignore the prospects of 

hope that have already appeared, signalling a better tomorrow.

	The great achievements materialized by modern science and 

scientific discoveries, which rapidly appear every day, increase man's 

ability to face several challenges in the fields of nutrition, 

substitute materials, environment protection and the improvement of 


	Likewise, there is a growing feeling that man cannot realize 

himself by satisfying his material needs at the expense of his 

psychological and spiritual requirements . This feeling gives us hope in 

new generations capable, by their deep faith of avoiding falling into 

the abyss and the labyrinth of doubt and aberration.

	The most positive developments witnessed by our planet and which 

greatly have affected the destiny of mankind, are the growing 

inclination toward peace, and the rejection of the arms race and all 

types of mass destruction-weapons all over the world.

	Today, man is eager for a more peaceful and secure world in 

order to devote his efforts for the . ( 30 ) good of human beings . 

Hence, calls to settle even the most difficult disputes arc greater, 

through negotiations, peaceful settlements, and common acceptance of 

just solutions, that reflecting a balance of interests of all parties 

according to the principles of justice and legitimacy.

	These are, in my opinion, the most optimistic developments about 

the future of our world despite the numerous tragedies we still witness 

in many places. Today, we aspire to a new world more capable of 

confronting the challenges of the future . A world in which factors of 

interrelations an(l cooperation among mankind replace those of enmity 

and severe conflicts, tolerance to replace extremism and fanaticism in a 

bid to attain rapprochement among nations and peoples and (31 ) promote 

creative competitiveness that enriches the life of the people and 

safeguard their present and future.

	 These are legitimate aspirations and not wishful thinking that 

can be materialized through closing ranks and unity of thought, only if 

we start working together in a new spirit as we are all in the same boat .

	I sincerely pray to God Almighty to protect our march and guide us 

to success.

	 May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon you.

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