UN Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
with support from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA)
************************************************************************* The electronic version of this document is being made available by the Population Information Network (POPIN) Gopher of the United Nations Population Division, Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis. ************************************************************************* UNITED NATIONS Distr. GENERAL A/CONF.171/13/Add.1 18 October 1994 ORIGINAL: ENGLISH REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT* (Cairo, 5-13 September 1994) Addendum CONTENTS Annex Page I. LIST OF DOCUMENTS ..................................... 2 II. OPENING STATEMENTS .................................... 4 III. CLOSING STATEMENTS .................................... 34 IV. PARALLEL AND ASSOCIATED ACTIVITIES .................... 41 * The present document contains annexes I to IV of the report of the International Conference on Population and Development. The complete report will be issued subsequently as a sales publication of the United Nations. 94-40492 (E) 101194 *9440492* ------------------------------------------------------------------- Annex I LIST OF DOCUMENTS Symbol Title or description A/CONF.171/1 Provisional agenda A/CONF.171/2 Provisional rules of procedure: note by the Secretariat A/CONF.171/3 Organizational and procedural matters: note by the Secretariat A/CONF.171/4 Fourth review and appraisal of the World Population Plan of Action: report of the Secretary-General A/CONF.171/5 Overview of the national reports prepared by countries for the Conference: report of the Secretary-General of the Conference A/CONF.171/6 Note verbale dated 2 August 1994 from the Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General A/CONF.171/7 List of non-governmental organizations and Add.1 recommended for accreditation: note by the Secretariat A/CONF.171/8 Participation of intergovernmental and Add.1 and 2 organizations in the work of the Conference: note by the Secretary-General of the Conference A/CONF.171/9 Note verbale dated 9 September 1994 from the delegation of Costa Rica to the International Conference on Population and Development addressed to the Secretary-General of the Conference A/CONF.171/10 Letter dated 7 September 1994 from the Ambassador of Tunisia to Egypt addressed to the Secretary-General of the International Conference on Population and Development A/CONF.171/11 Report of the Credentials Committee and Corr.1 A/CONF.171/12 Letter dated 9 September 1994 from the Deputy to the Alternate Head of the delegation of Indonesia to the International Conference on Population and Development addressed to the Secretary-General of the Conference A/CONF.171/L.1 Draft programme of action of the Conference: note by the Secretariat A/CONF.171/L.2 Report of the pre-Conference consultations held at the Cairo International Conference Centre A/CONF.171/L.3 Report of the Main Committee and Add.1-17 A/CONF.171/L.4 Draft report of the Conference and Add.1 A/CONF.171/L.5 Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development: draft resolution submitted by Algeria (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of 77 and China) A/CONF.171/L.6 Expression of thanks to the people and Government of Egypt: draft resolution submitted by Algeria (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of 77 and China) A/CONF.171/INF/1 Information for participants A/CONF.171/INF/2 Provisional list of delegations to the and Add.1-6 Conference A/CONF.171/INF/3 List of documents circulated for information and Add.1 and 2 A/CONF.171/PC/9 Report of the Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Population and Development on its third session ------------------------------------------------------------------- Annex II OPENING STATEMENTS Statement by Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of the United Nations We meet today, as the eyes of the world turn towards Cairo, the eternal city, acting as host to an event that is historic in the sense that, for the first time at such a level, the States and peoples of the world are discussing issues of the utmost importance for present and future life on Earth. Allow me, at the outset, to present, on behalf of all who are present, on behalf of the United Nations organizations and on my own behalf, my sincere thanks and my profound gratitude to the Government and people of the Arab Republic of Egypt for hosting this important Conference. I should also like to thank the Government and people of Egypt for the gracious and generous hospitality afforded to the members of delegations attending this Conference. This hospitality is yet another indication of Egypt's constant support, over half a century, for the activities and goals, including peace-keeping, of the United Nations. I salute all who took part in the preparation of this Conference and I thank them. Allow me, Mr. President, to extend my special greetings to President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak in appreciation of his wise and effective policies, based on a genuine understanding of the nature of the link between population and development. The international community, in appreciation of President Mubarak's commitment, decided to present His Excellency with the Population Award this year, recognizing Egypt's leading role in this essential aspect of development. This Conference is a turning-point for the all-important population issue, and the results it achieves will thus have the most far-reaching impact on determining the course taken in addressing it. If the Conference has the necessary political will, it will generate enormous impetus for a positive course that has the support and backing of the States and peoples of the world. In the absence of such political will, however, it can regrettably only give rise to greater division and estrangement and even to crisis situations. I am not exaggerating when I say that now only does the future of human society depend on this Conference but also the efficacy of the economic order of the planet on which we live. Before this distinguished gathering today is a comprehensive and integrated programme of action that presents far-reaching proposals and recommendations in order to address the most serious issues at this juncture: poverty; development; environment; the status of women; the conditions in which today's children and the mainstay of the future are growing up; the issue of public health; and other issues linked with the present and future welfare of peoples. If the Conference succeeds in adopting this programme, it will take a great step forward by generating the necessary impetus not only to determine the course to be taken in addressing the issues but also to ensure that that course will continue to be pursued and that its requirements will be met. This is the real challenge that we must face, and we have before us today a golden opportunity that it is the duty of us all to exploit to the fullest. In fact, the International Conference which opens today is the product of a long and wide-ranging analysis which the United Nations has been engaged in continuously since its establishment. In its Preamble, the Charter strongly affirms the will of the international community to "promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom". It was in this spirit that the Economic and Social Council established, in 1946 the Population Commission, which inspired the world Organization's first deliberations on this topic. At a very early stage, the General Assembly itself assumed responsibility for population questions, and was able to draw up in this field principles of action of which the successive development decades, inter alia, have borne the mark. But the United Nations also instituted operational structures to assist States in their population policy. In this connection, everyone is aware of the role played by the United Nations Population Fund. The breadth of the programmes it has been conducting for 25 years in the different regions of the world and in various subject areas illustrates the significance of its activities. At this point, I must pay special tribute to all those - the staff of the Fund, the departments of the Secretariat, the regional commissions and the agencies and programmes of the United Nations - who have worked so long and so hard to make this Conference a success. The Executive Director of the Fund, Dr. Nafis Sadik, has played an outstanding role. Everyone is indeed well aware that the international community's approach to population phenomena must be the subject of a broad debate that mobilizes all Member States at the highest level. This has been the role of the various international conferences held on this subject over the past 20 years or so, from the Bucharest Conference to the Mexico Conference. The Conference opening today in Cairo marks a new and significant phase in the international community's consideration of population questions, and bears witness to the will to set this consideration in the context of development. But I should also like to say that this Conference takes on its full meaning only if it is viewed against the background of all the international conferences the United Nations is currently conducting in the economic and social sphere. I have more than once had occasion to emphasize the importance of the economic and social activities of the United Nations. Too often, public opinion and the media know the United Nations only through the role it plays in the service of peace and international security. These activities are certainly important, and deserve to be continuously encouraged. The fact remains, though, that they account for only about 30 per cent of the Organization's work. And for the most part, its other tasks are in the economic and social field. I should also like to emphasize that the consideration of its collective future that the international community is thus engaging in is, essentially, a consideration of the destiny of the human being. And this must remain present in our minds throughout the Conference. It was indeed the human being in his environment that we discussed together in Rio. It was the human being as the possessor of rights that we reflected on in Vienna. It is the human being in his social development that will be at the centre of our debates in Copenhagen. And it is the human being, through the status and condition of women, that will bring us together next year in Beijing. This concern is quite obviously to be found here today in Cairo, through the mandate assigned to us by the International Conference on Population and Development. And the objectives set for us reflect the following vital questions: What are the links between population, sustained economic growth and sustainable development? What should our attitude be concerning population growth and structure? How can equality of the sexes and emancipation of women be ensured? What is the role to be played by the family? How can child mortality and maternal mortality be reduced? How can we protect the dignity and well-being of the old? What is the best way of promoting population and family-planning policies? How can internal and international migratory movements be controlled? What should be the role of the non-governmental organizations in addressing these fundamental problems? Clearly, these are extremely delicate questions, for, let us be quite frank about it, even behind the most technical problems we shall be called upon to discuss, choices by society can implicitly be discerned. And consequently, the fears, hesitations and criticisms that have surrounded the preparations for this Conference are understandable. But that is not in my view a reason - far from it - to evade questions that are vital to the future of mankind. And no one would understand it if the United Nations, one of whose main roles is to serve as the major forum for international society, failed to take up these fundamental questions. To be faithful to its vocation and its nature, the United Nations must offer States a free and open framework for discussion, sensitive to the variety of opinions and convictions. Far be it from me, then, as this Conference opens, to offer you general models or ready-made answers. I do believe, however, as Secretary-General of the United Nations, that it is my duty to invite you to approach this International Conference in a constructive and positive spirit. In this connection, I should like to suggest to you, not a method of work, but what I should like to call "principles of conduct". These principles, which should set the tone of the Cairo Conference, can, it seems to me, be embodied in three essential words which I offer for your attention: rigour, tolerance and conscience. It is these three principles of conduct that I should like to reflect on for a few moments here before you. The rigour we must respect is both the rigour of the facts and intellectual rigour. The world today has five billion six hundred thirty million inhabitants. Each year, the world's population grows by almost 90 million. And United Nations projections are that in the year 2050, it should be between seven billion nine hundred eighteen million and eleven and a half billion. We all know, too, that this population growth is largely concentrated in the world's poorest countries. Currently, four and a half billion people, or almost 80 per cent of the overall population, are living in the least developed regions of the world. And if nothing is done, this situation is likely to get worse in the years to come. Hence, a major question confronts us: how can we adhere to the demand for social progress envisaged in the Charter when, every day, 377,000 new human beings are born, mostly in the developing regions and, in many cases, in circumstances of intolerable hardship and poverty? In the light of these inescapable realities, indifference and inaction are real crimes against the spirit. We must implement, encourage and support national, regional and international population policies, for - to put it in the plainest terms - it is through our intervention and determination that we can ensure harmonious progress for society and safeguard the future for subsequent generations to whom we are accountable from now on. It would be inadmissible to rely on some kind of law of nature, in other words, to allow wars, disasters, famine or disease to regulate the world's demographic growth. States must be supported in their efforts to control population increase. The purpose of a conference such as ours is not only to measure the progress achieved over a decade, but also to devise better ways of combining population and development, as the very title of our Conference urges us to do. However, we must also consider population and family-planning policies from the broadest and most global perspective so as to address not only the immediate problem, but also its underlying causes. Indeed, population policies are inseparable from health, nutrition and education policies. In this connection, I should like to stress the role that such policies must assign to women. Educating and mobilizing women are goals essential to the success of all population and development policies throughout the world. I am well aware that the formulation and implementation of such policies can, in some cases, conflict with attitudes or traditions. That is why I wish to emphasize the second principle that should guide us here - the principle of tolerance. Tolerance requires a conference such as ours to be highly respectful of cultures and beliefs, for, as we all know, a conference on population and development raises both social and ethical questions. From a social standpoint, let us never forget that what we term "the population" is not an indiscriminate mass. Each member of the population belongs to a culture, a society, a tradition. A population consists of multiple relationships, in which each community deserves our respect, and of which the family is the nucleus. Above all, a population encompasses diverse and varying loyalties; our discussions should take this into account. However, a population is also a set of peoples and a set of individuals. Therefore, let us never fail to make the link between our Conference and the basic concept of the right of peoples. And let us never lose sight of the need for our policy to be consistent with human rights. Last year, at the Vienna Conference, I had the opportunity to stress the concept of universality and the dimension, both absolute and contingent, of human rights. It is this same dialectic of the universal and the particular, of identity and difference, that we should apply here - especially when we address the most sensitive issues of the Conference. I therefore call upon each and every one of you to be tolerant and respectful of the sensitivities that may be expressed during these discussions. Such tolerance must be shown in the strongest possible way, for it should not lead to cautious compromises, half-measures, vague solutions or, still worse, statements that lull us into complacency. Likewise, we should avoid becoming trapped in absurd and outmoded disputes over words. Such tolerance must also be mutual, for we cannot allow a given philosophical, moral or spiritual belief to be imposed upon the entire international community or to block the progress of humanity. In other words, the success of our Conference depends upon our efforts to overcome our apparent divisions, our temporary differences, our ideological and cultural barriers. That is why I designate conscience as the third principle of conduct of our Conference. Conscience is traditionally defined as the capacity of the individual to know and judge himself as he really is. And this is indeed what is at stake for us. For the knowledge which we must have of ourselves is, first and foremost, knowledge of our freedom of judgement and of the right of all women and men to lead and run their lives as they see fit, with respect for the freedom of others and the rules of society. Men and women throughout the world must have not only the right but also the means to choose their individual future and that of their families. Such freedom of decision is a basic right which must be protected and encouraged. Otherwise, it is the world's poorest people - and here I am thinking specifically of the status of women - who would suffer the direst consequences. However, such freedom can be genuine only if it is experienced and put into practice in a setting which encourages women and men to be responsible. Therefore, only through the combination of freedom and responsibility, in a family environment of concern for the dignity of the human person and the future of society, will the full development of individuals be possible. However, the knowledge which we must have of ourselves includes awareness of our interdependence. All too often, we become aware of it only through crisis, force or threat, in the most negative way, as a result of waves of immigration or refugee flows. Our debate here on population and development should give us a better grasp of the common fate not only of individuals, but also of humanity - and make it easier to convince public opinion in our countries of this. Our Conference should also help us - at any rate, this is my hope - to fully shoulder our responsibilities towards future generations. What we call "the population" is really only a moment in the long history of humanity's journey. We should never lose sight of this; it sends us back to one of the most basic issues of our forthcoming debate, namely, how to implement population policies which respect the freedoms of all, while at the same time ensuring harmonious development and shared social progress for future generations. Accordingly, the Cairo Conference represents one of those rare and basic moments when the community of nations, by inquiring into its current realities, points the way towards its common future. The Cairo Conference also represents a decisive stage in the assumption of our collective responsibility towards future generations. Lastly, the Cairo Conference constitutes the strongest possible evidence of our determination to achieve joint control over the world's demographic, economic and social future. Statement by Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt and President of the International Conference on Population and Development Welcome to the good earth Egypt, the cradle of civilization and the land of peace, which has played throughout 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 years. Welcome to Cairo, the metropolis of Arabs and Africans, the city of a thousand minarets that joins the towers of churches and the minarets of Islam in an embrace, spreading love and tolerance and brightening with the light of faith the Egyptians' endeavours in this blessed valley, which is mentioned in the verses of the Koran, the words of the Bible and the texts of the Torah. Welcome to the land that has taken part in the march towards human progress, where 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 resources. Welcome to today's Egypt, which contributes as much as possible to the human struggle for a more secure and peaceful future in which justice and equality prevail. Your decision to choose Egypt as the site 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 convening of this Conference in Egypt will be a turning- point that takes into consideration the unity of man's destiny on our planet. No matter how far apart we live or how vast the difference in progress among us, we eventually share the same destiny and face the same challenges of ever- increasing violence and aggression in the world at large. The world has become a small village not only because of the amazing progress made in means of communication but also because the dangers threatening us cross the borders of all nations and continents so that no society can be completely safe from their consequences. As we are at the threshold of the twenty-first century, we hope that our Conference will be a meeting point for détente among civilizations, and that man will be attuned to his environment. We also hope that this Conference will be a bridge linking north with south and east with west. It will 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, right and wrong. We would like this Conference to be a historic turning-point in the annals of coordinated human 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 view of the destiny of mankind, overlooking the fact that we are all in the same boat and that human progress should be comprehensive. Such a view would create an unbalanced world structure, lacking the elements of social stability. Demographic facts at present affirm that the smallest number of the world's population live in countries of high per capita income, where the average annual income of 822 million people is more than 20,000 dollars. The average annual income of three billion other people does not exceed 350 dollars: these people live in countries suffering insufficient resources, low production and the absence of means of human development. Indications are that 15 per cent of the world's population earn 75 per cent of world income. These figures raise 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. We do not wish this Conference to be merely a third population conference that would only add to the achievements of the two previous Conferences, held in Bucharest and Mexico in 1974 and 1984, respectively, achievements which we cannot underrate. However, we wish 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 rapid changes that have taken place during the latter half of this century and have precipitated problems of population expansion. The importance of this Conference lies in the fact that it is held in a new world climate, in which humanity has great hopes of a possibly different world order, in which peace, justice and cooperation prevail despite the bloodshed and misery we still witness and the fear of many peoples of being marginalized or excluded from the march of human progress owing to the absence of standards of justice. Allow me to state my vision of the tasks of this Conference and the goals it should seek to realize. Though it is a personal vision, it reflects the aspirations of the many peoples that have great hopes for this Conference. The Conference takes place at a decisive stage, making it incumbent upon all of us to exert much effort and thought within the context of our clear understanding of the fact that we all share one destiny and one future. First, the task of our Conference at this important juncture in the history of human progress is to respond to peoples' hopes, to reach a joint vision that consolidates the march of human progress and firmly establishes the concepts of peace, justice and cooperation, and values work and virtue. Perhaps the right starting-point in formulating this joint vision is to admit that the results and recommendations of the Conference must be the outcome of free discussion and open dialogue, avoiding any strict commitment to ready-made formulas that have not been considered or discussed at the Conference. In my opinion, the outcome and objectives of the Conference should be defined by the creative interaction of 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 for every country and people no matter how small its census or its resources are. This Conference brings together peoples of different civilizations, cultures and religions whose laws should be respected. Hence, there is no way other than through the interaction of opinions in an atmosphere of democracy to find a common denominator that unites us within this richly diverse gathering. Secondly, reaching this common denominator calls for free dialogue ruled by a spirit of solidarity, a joint feeling of responsibility and a mutual desire to open up to the opinions of others and to maintain that no one alone can claim that he possesses all the facts. Our dialogue should be a matter of give and take, reflecting the interrelationship between cultures. We should guard against missing the objective and losing direction because our dialogue will then be confined to premeditated thoughts that some wish to impose on all. The dialogue may also fall victim to strong polarization between advanced and developing States to the extent that we find ourselves in a labyrinth of serious discrepancies. Eventually our efforts will be dispersed and our unity shattered and we will become incapable of confronting the serious dangers which jeopardize all of human existence. Thirdly, we deeply believe that there are no discrepancies between religion and science, between spiritual and material factors, between the requirements of modernization and tradition because life depends on a combination of all these factors. Man cannot gain peace, security and happiness without a satisfactory balance between his spiritual and material needs. Fourthly, any recommendations made by the Conference should be at the service of every society according to its circumstances and basic beliefs. They should be 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 Economic and Social Council resolution 1991/93, 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, compatible with its social, economic and political conditions, and in harmony with human rights and the responsibilities of individuals, families and societies. Fifthly, it would be useless to consider the Cairo Conference as a separate event, disconnected from the many international endeavours of the past or that will take place in the future to discuss other aspects of the problems affecting our lives - for example, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in 1992, and the forthcoming conferences on social development, women and human settlements. All these international efforts should be placed within a single framework: the problems of our planet have become so complicated and interrelated that an integrated development vision is required to help work out the right solutions. It may be sufficient to refer to some important facts in order to appreciate the difficult situations that our world is experiencing. Five and a half billion people live on our planet. This number increases by 90 million every year. Three quarters of those people live in the developing countries, whose share of world income is only 15 per cent, which makes matters more complicated. International statistics indicate that there are 500 million unemployed persons in those countries, suffering because of the absence of job opportunities. What is more dangerous is that unemployment separates people from the social life of their societies. This is the worst and most destructive outcome of unemployment. Most of these countries are gravely affected by problems of debt and the debt burden, particularly in Africa, where foreign debt has reached $285 billion. Many are also suffering a shortage of food because of drought and desertification. In such developing communities, half a million women die every year from complications related to pregnancy, a rate 200 times higher than that for European women. All these phenomena call for intensifying efforts to deal with the population issue and to control overpopulation in conformity with divine laws and religious values, with the hope of reaching reasonable growth rates that are in keeping with resources in order to attain a better future for coming generations. This is the 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, and not only because some of these problems are due to the absence of standards of justice in dealings with the advanced world, but because - and this may be the most serious threat to our planet - the negative impacts of the problems of overpopulation exceed all limits, with increasing risks of immigration, violence and epidemics, as well as the continuous deterioration of the environment and its negative effects on us all. The population problem facing our world cannot be solved on the basis of handling the demographic dimensions only, but should also be dealt with in close relation to the problems of social, economic and cultural development, with a view to raising the individual's capacities and participation in production and consumption. All this should be done within an accurate concept of the nature of the relationship between population and resources, taking into consideration the requirements of future generations as well as the necessity of providing for the needs of the present. The honest translation of this integrated vision of the dimensions of the population problem necessitates intensifying efforts to upgrade educational and health services, paying more attention to women, who play a major role in forming a family and raising children and who also bear a bigger responsibility in implementing programmes relevant to population. The cornerstone and starting-point of any successful demographic policy aimed at establishing a society capable of waging the battle of development with efficiency is improving the situation of women, especially in the developing countries, raising awareness of the gravity of the problem and revealing to them all its various dimensions. Egypt experienced a grave population problem in the mid-twentieth century due to a continuous drop in mortality rates together with stabilized higher birth rates. As a result of the sustainable development of health services, Egypt's population doubled in a quarter of a century. This problem has been exhausting development revenues and threatening standards of living, necessitating more services with limited resources. We could neither meet the growing aspirations of the people for a better life nor cope with a demographic growth rate that was the highest worldwide. This problem is aggravated by the concentration of population in a limited area of land - the Nile Valley and the Delta - which has led to unbelievably high levels of population density. Naturally, this issue has been given great attention by the State and society and is at the top of the agenda of national priorities. Official and popular institutions have made concerted efforts in this area, with a view to reaching a plausible solution to the problem which is acceptable to all the people and in which each and every citizen has full confidence. The solution should be in line with religious beliefs and values in order to arouse enthusiasm for voluntary participation. The Egyptian population programme succeeded in meeting its objectives. It relied on acquainting the people with the bare facts, believing they were capable of performing their required role as long as they were armed with knowledge and awareness. Knowing the truth is the first step in motivating people to participate and allows them to make sound choices stemming logically from their psychological convictions. We rejected all population policies that were based on compulsion or constraint as 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 if the people find them unacceptable, even though they may appear to be successful at the initial stages of implementation. Such policies are impossible to implement except in non-democratic communities where compulsion and fear prevail, and they never help to build good citizens capable of effective participation. We refused to have recourse to any sort of legislation that might constitute a restriction on the freedom of citizens in making their decision, or that might coerce them to follow certain procedures for family planning. We have refused all that as we are positive that in family issues choice must be free, stemming from free will, in order to achieve success and continuity. We have endeavoured to make our population programme conform to established religious values, because we deeply believe that the values of true religion are a strong impetus towards reform as long as intentions are good, tolerance prevails, and all of us are more concerned with content and significance than form and appearance. We have depended, in the first place, on raising people's awareness of the population problem in Egypt and its complicated relationship with our limited resources and the aspirations of citizens for a better life. We have directed all attention to upgrading education throughout Egypt, considering it a major national cause that deserves absolute priority. Upgrading education is the appropriate starting-point in any reform aimed at the establishment of a society capable of facing great challenges. Now we are implementing an ambitious programme that deals with all aspects of education, starting with the establishment of new and modern schools that offer students a good opportunity to engage in school activities. The programme also aims at restoring existing school buildings and reviewing educational curricula. It also requalifies and trains teachers so that they can better help to develop the minds of students, and enable them to deal with scientific facts and their modern evolution. Furthermore, it aims at developing the students' personalities in a manner that promotes their ability to engage in creative dialogue and enables them to make good choices. We have given the same particular attention to promoting health services throughout Egypt. The significance of this step lies in the fact that there are 4,000 villages and a considerable number of small population agglomerations. We have had to double our efforts to upgrade health services to reach every citizen, giving special attention to the health of women and children as well as to psychological health. The outcome of these policies based on knowledge, awareness and the provision of educational and health services to each and every citizen was an annual drop in population growth from 2.8 per cent in 1980, to 2.2 per cent in 1994. The number of families taking part in family-planning programmes rose from 28 per cent to 50 per cent of the total number of families in both rural and urban areas. One of the prominent features of the Egyptian programme is that it has become a national issue supported by all parties and sects. Furthermore, it has achieved national consensus, appealing to all citizens irrespective of their religious or sectarian affiliations. These are promising results, proving that we are moving in the right direction and that we have firm and stable policies that ensure the sustainability of reform in the long run and guarantee that the desired results are achieved because they are based on the free choice of all citizens. Many friends and major international organizations have cooperated with us, particularly the United Nations, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children's Fund, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. In addition, the Governments of some States have contributed to the success of the Egyptian programme. Cooperation is important for every country devising a national programme that emanates from its actual situation and circumstances and is compatible with its values and traditions, while realizing the country's objectives and its commitments to given priorities. I take this opportunity to express appreciation to those organizations. I would like to extend special thanks to United Nations Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund and Conference Secretary-General Dr. Nafis Sadik for their highly appreciated efforts to make the Conference a success. We start our work in this Conference hoping that the discussion of the issues tabled will be conducted free of personal interests and prejudices and based on objectivity and knowledge. We also hope that it will take into consideration 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 unanimity and acceptability at all levels. I do not believe that we can reach proper solutions for our population problems - however wise and prudent we may be - unless those solutions conform to our society, meet the basic needs of the people and comply with their values and beliefs. We cannot minimize the dangers besetting our world due to overpopulation. Also, we cannot overlook those numerous tragedies that are still witnessed in the world, although the cold war is over; it would be unfair, however, to ignore the prospects of hope that have already appeared, signalling a better tomorrow. The great achievements of modern science and scientific discoveries, which appear every day, increase man's ability to face challenges in the fields of nutrition, substitute materials, environmental protection and the improvement of services. Likewise, there is a growing feeling that man cannot fulfil himself if he satisfies his material needs at the expense of his psychological and spiritual needs. This feeling gives us hope that new generations, through their deep faith, will be able to avoid falling into the abyss and the labyrinth of doubt and aberration. The most positive developments witnessed by our planet, which have greatly affected the destiny of mankind, are the growing inclination towards peace and the rejection of the arms race and all types of weapons of mass destruction throughout the world. Today, man is eager for a more peaceful and secure world in order to devote his efforts to the good of humanity. Hence, there is a greater call to settle even the most difficult disputes through negotiations, peaceful settlements and common acceptance of just solutions that reflect a balance of the interests of all parties according to the principles of justice and legitimacy. These are, in my opinion, the most optimistic developments for 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 interrelationships and cooperation among people replace enmity and severe conflicts, where tolerance replaces extremism and fanaticism in a bid to attain a rapprochement among nations and peoples and promote creative competitiveness that enriches the life of the people and safeguards their present and future. These are legitimate aspirations, and not wishful thinking, that can be fulfilled through a closing of ranks and unity of thought, but only if we start working together in a new spirit because 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. Statement by Dr. Nafis Sadik, Secretary-General of the International Conference on Population and Development We are meeting in this beautiful and historic city, a modern city with a long tradition, the home of scholarship as well as business and industry, a great centre of Islamic study as well as the seat of government for nearly a thousand years, for a historic conference. We are most grateful to you, Mr. President, and to the Government of your dynamic and rapidly developing country, for your warm welcome and your gracious hospitality. Your city and your country have an ancient lineage, Mr. President, but they are also thoroughly modern. You have set an example for both Arab and African countries with your approach to questions of population and development. It is fitting that this great city will be for the next 10 days the centre of the world. Mr. Secretary-General, it is an honour for me to be in your home country, and to be able to thank you personally for your guidance and wise counsel. From the moment you were elected, I have been able to count on your unswerving support, and it has continued throughout the preparations for this Conference. I wish to extend a particular welcome to all the heads of State and Government: the President of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of Swaziland and Vice-President Gore of the United States of America. Let me extend a particular welcome to Prime Minister Bhutto and Prime Minister Brundtland. Prime Minister Brundtland was the first head of State to announce that she was coming to Cairo. About Mrs. Bhutto, what can I say? You will be recognized by the world community for your courage and conviction. This is what leadership is all about. Your presence here demonstrates more clearly than anything else could that we are dealing with an issue of truly global significance. Mr. Vice-President, you are especially welcome here for your long-standing concern and commitment to environmental issues both in your own country and throughout the world. You are a great champion of the sustainable use of resources and a true friend of those involved in population and development. I am sorry to say that illness has prevented President Soeharto of Indonesia from attending the Conference but he has sent a most gracious message. In wishing the Conference success, he writes "I sincerely hope that the Conference will serve as a landmark for a more active cooperation and partnership between nations aimed at sharing experiences in developing the family and population for sustainable development". I am delighted to welcome my colleagues, the heads of the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was unable to be here but has sent a message in which he expresses the strongest support for the Conference. I commend it to the attention of all delegates. Finally, I would like to offer my congratulations to Minister Mahran, the Minister for Family and Population, for his long-standing pursuit of excellence in Egypt's national family-planning programme, and my heartfelt thanks for his leadership of the National Preparatory Committee and his excellent management of the preparations for the Conference. If I may be permitted, I would like to recognize the work of the men and women of the United Nations staff, both those you see around you and those who work behind the scenes. Their effort has made this Conference possible. This is a truly all-inclusive Conference. The involvement of 170 countries as well as thousands of non-governmental organizations, both local and international, clearly reflects that. As you may have noticed, the media have also paid some attention: as of yesterday evening, 3,725 journalists had registered to cover the Conference. Thanks to them, your discussions will reach nearly every home in the world. The people responsible for the success of the preparatory process are those who worked together during three long years of preparations. The result of all your work is a draft programme of action that you will discuss and finalize in the days ahead. You have already agreed on nine tenths of it. This Conference is already a success. As Madame Suzanne Mubarak put it yesterday at the NGO Forum, this Conference is perhaps unique because it has moved from sterile ideological confrontation to making investment in human beings the driving force in dealing with issues of population and development. The draft you have largely approved is based on the highest of moral principles. It emphasizes people rather than numbers. It concentrates on the quality of life and well-being of the family and all its members. I will deal with it at more length later today. For now, let me share with you my deepest personal hope for the Conference. It is that you will agree on actions necessary to reduce the needless suffering and death which result from the lack of education, basic health care and family planning and from people's lack of control over their lives. Every day hundreds of women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Every day hundreds of newborn babies die because their mothers lacked basic maternal health care. We have the means at our disposal to prevent this tragedy. Let us agree to do so, in the name of humanity. You have recognized the facts, you have agreed on objectives and you have recommended specific actions in well-defined areas. You have demonstrated your willingness to come to grips with some of the most difficult problems of our time. To quote Doctor Ahmed Fathi Sorour, President of Egypt's People's Assembly, it is now time to "debate in good faith and act in harmony for the benefit of mankind". And as you said, Mr. President, the benefits to humankind must be universal. In the same spirit, our call for joint action among the world's nations is to help reach the vision of each individual member of the world community. Thanks to your work in the past, you have a very specific, very action- oriented draft document. With a little more work in the next 10 days, the Programme of Action will become part of a sustainable future. I wish you all success. Statement by Gro Harlem Brundtland, Prime Minister ofNorway Let us turn from the dramatizing of this Conference which has been going on in the media and focus on the main issues. We are gathered here to answer a moral call to action. Solidarity with present and future generations has its price. But if we do not pay it in full, we will be faced with global bankruptcy. This Conference is really about the future of democracy, how we widen and deepen its forces and scope. Unless we empower our people, educate them, care for their health, allow them to enter economic life, on an equal basis and rich in opportunity, poverty will persist, ignorance will be pandemic and people's needs will suffocate under their numbers. The items and issues of this Conference are therefore not merely items and issues, but building blocks in our global democracy. It is entirely proper to address the future of civilization here in the cradle of civilization. We owe a great debt to President Mubarak and to the people of Egypt for inviting us to the banks of the Nile, where the relationship between people and resources is so visible and where the contrast between permanence and change is so evident. We are also indebted to Mrs. Nafis Sadik and her devoted staff, who have provided intensive care and inspiration to the Conference preparations. Ten years of experience as a physician and 20 as a politician have taught me that improved life conditions, a greater range of choice, access to unbiased information and true international solidarity are the sources of human progress. We now possess a rich library of analysis of the relationship between population growth, poverty, the status of women, wasteful lifestyles, and consumption patterns, of policies that work and policies that don't and of the environmental degradation that is accelerating at this very moment. We are not here to repeat it all, but to make a pledge. We make a pledge to change policies. When we adopt the Programme of Action, we sign a promise - a promise to allocate more resources next year than we did this year to health- care systems, to education, family planning and the struggle against AIDS. We promise to make men and women equal before the law, but also to rectify disparities, and to promote women's needs more actively than men's until we can safely say that equality has been reached. We need to use our combined resources more efficiently through a reformed and better-coordinated United Nations system. This is essential to counteract the crisis threatening international cooperation today. In many countries, where population growth is higher than economic growth, the problems are exacerbated each year. The costs of future social needs will soar. The punishment of inaction will be severe, a nightmare for ministers of finance and a legacy which future generations do not deserve. But the benefits of policy change are so great that we cannot afford not to make them. We must measure the benefits of successful population policies in savings - on public expenditure on infrastructure, social services, housing, sewage treatment, health services and education. Egyptian calculations show that every pound invested in family planning saves 30 pounds in future expenditures on food subsidies, education, water, sewage, housing and health. Experience has taught us what works and what does not. With 95 per cent of the population increase taking place in developing countries, the communities that bear the burden of rising numbers are those least equipped to do so. They are the ecologically fragile areas where current numbers already reflect an appalling disequilibrium between people and earth. The preponderance of young people in many of our societies means that there will be an absolute increase in the population figures for many years ahead, whatever strategy we adopt here in Cairo. But the Cairo Conference may significantly determine, by its outcome, whether global population can be stabilized early enough and at a level that humankind and the global environment can survive. It is encouraging that there is already so much common ground between us. The final Programme of Action must embody irreversible commitments towards strengthening the role and status of women. We must all be prepared to be held accountable. That is how democracy works. It must promise access to education and basic reproductive health services, including family planning, as a universal human right for all. Women will not become more empowered merely because we want them to be, but through change of legislation, increased information and by redirecting resources. It would be fatal to overlook the urgency of this issue. For too long, women have had difficult access to democracy. It cannot be repeated often enough that there are few investments that bring greater rewards than investment in women. But still they are being patronized and discriminated against in terms of access to education, productive assets, credit, income and services, decision-making, working conditions and pay. For too many women in too many countries, real development has only been an illusion. Women's education is the single most important path to higher productivity, lower infant mortality and lower fertility. The economic returns on investment in women's education are generally comparable to those for men, but the social returns in terms of health and fertility by far exceed what we gain from men's education. So let us pledge to watch over the numbers of school-enrolment for girls. Let us also watch the numbers of girls who complete their education and ask why, if the numbers differ, because the girl who receives her diploma will have fewer babies than her sister who does not. I am pleased by the emerging consensus that everyone should have access to the whole range of family-planning services at an affordable price. Sometimes religion is a major obstacle. This happens when family planning is made a moral issue. But morality cannot only be a question of controlling sexuality and protecting unborn life. Morality is also a question of giving individuals the opportunity of choice, of suppressing coercion of all kinds and abolishing the criminalization of individual tragedy. Morality becomes hypocrisy if it means accepting mothers' suffering or dying in connection with unwanted pregnancies and illegal abortions, and unwanted children living in misery. None of us can disregard that abortions occur, and that where they are illegal, or heavily restricted, the life and health of the woman is often at risk. Decriminalizing abortions should therefore be a minimal response to this reality, and a necessary means of protecting the life and health of women. Traditional religious and cultural obstacles can be overcome by economic and social development, with the focus on enhancement of human resources. For example, Buddhist Thailand, Moslem Indonesia and Catholic Italy demonstrate that relatively sharp reductions in fertility can be achieved in an amazingly short time. It is encouraging that the Conference will contribute to expanding the focus of family-planning programmes to include concern for sexually transmitted diseases, and caring for pregnant, delivering and aborting women. But it is tragic that it had to take a disaster like the HIV/AIDS pandemic to open our eyes to the importance of combating sexually transmitted diseases. It is also tragic that so many women have had to die from pregnancies before we realized that the traditional mother-and-child health programmes, effective in saving the life of so many children, have done too little to save the lives of women. In a forward-looking programme of action, it therefore seems sensible to combine health concerns that deal with human sexuality under the heading "reproductive health care". I have tried, in vain, to understand how that term can possibly be read as promoting abortion or qualifying abortion as a means of family planning. Rarely, if ever, have so many misrepresentations been used to imply meaning that was never there in the first place. I am pleased to say that the total number of abortions in Norway stayed the same after abortion was legalized, while illegal abortions sank to zero. Our experience is similar to that of other countries, namely, that the law has an impact on the decision-making process and on the safety of abortion - but not on the numbers. Our abortion rate is one of the lowest in the world. Unsafe abortion is a major public health problem in most corners of the globe. We know full well, all of us, that wealthy people often manage to pay their way to safe abortion regardless of the law. A conference of this status and importance should not accept attempts to distort facts or neglect the agony of millions of women who are risking their lives and health. I simply refuse to believe that the stalemate reached over this crucial question will be allowed to block a serious and forward-looking outcome of the Cairo Conference - hopefully, based on full consensus and adopted in good faith. Reproductive health services not only deal with problems that have been neglected, they also cater to clients who have previously been overlooked. Young people and single persons have received too little help, and continue to do so, as family-planning clinics seldom meet their needs. Fear of promoting promiscuity is often said to be the reason for restricting family-planning services to married couples. But we know that lack of education and services does not deter adolescents and unmarried persons from sexual activity. On the contrary, there is increasing evidence from many countries, including my own, that sex education promotes responsible sexual behaviour, and even abstinence. Lack of reproductive health services makes sexual activity more risky for both sexes, but particularly for women. As young people stand at the threshold of adulthood, their emerging sexuality is too often met with suspicion or plainly ignored. At this vulnerable time in life adolescents need both guidance and independence, they need education as well as opportunity to explore life for themselves. This requires tact and a delicately balanced approach from parents and from society. It is my sincere hope that this Conference will contribute to increased understanding and greater commitment to the reproductive health needs of young people, including the provision of confidential health services for them. Visions are needed to bring about change. But we must also let our vision and commitment materialize through allocation of resources. The price tag for the Programme of Action that we are here to adopt has been estimated at somewhere between 17 and 20 billion dollars per year. The really hard work begins when the Conference is over. It is a major challenge to translate the new approach and objectives into implementable programmes. Norway will continue to participate in a dialogue with our bilateral and multilateral partners. We are pleased to see that important donors such as the United States and Japan are now increasing their support to population issues. Other countries should follow suit. Hopefully, Norway will soon be joined by other donor countries fulfilling the target of allocating at least 4 per cent of official development assistance (ODA) to population programmes. It is also important that Governments devote 20 per cent of their expenditures to the social sector and that 20 per cent of ODA is allocated towards eradication of poverty. In order to meet the cost requirements of this Programme of Action, however, another long-standing target needs to be fulfilled, the 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product for ODA. The so-called "donor fatigue", again attributed to the general budgetary problems of the industrialized world, will certainly not facilitate this challenge. Budgetary priorities and allocations are being fought for by national Governments every year. And the 1 per cent-and-above allocation to ODA, which Norway has been able to defend over the past 15 years or so, does not materialize without serious political work. Our work should be greatly facilitated by two factors: (1) that other donor countries begin approaching the target of 0.7 per cent, and (2), important both to Norway and, maybe, to the whole donor community, that this Conference like other world conferences proves by its outcome that we are truly committed to a new and more real solidarity with the world's poor and underprivileged - they who are without a voice, and without a choice. Population growth is one of the most serious obstacles to world prosperity and sustainable development. We may soon be facing new famine, mass migration, destabilization and even armed struggle as peoples compete for ever more scarce land and water resources. In the more developed countries the fortunate children of new generations may delay their confrontation with the imminent environmental crisis, but today's newborns will be facing the ultimate collapse of vital resource bases. In order to achieve a sustainable balance between the number of people and the amount of natural resources that can be consumed, both the peoples of the industrialized countries and the rich in the South have a special obligation to reduce their ecological impact. Changes are needed, both in the North and in the South, but these changes will not happen unless they stand the test of democracy. Only when people have the right to take part in the shaping of society by participating in democratic political processes will changes be politically sustainable. Only then can we fulfil the hopes and aspirations of generations yet unborn. I take this privileged opportunity to summon and challenge this Conference to answer its responsibility towards coming generations. We did not succeed in Rio with regard to population. Cairo must be successful for Earth's sake. Statement by Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States of America I am honoured to join you as we begin one of the most important conferences ever held. On behalf of President Clinton and the people of the United States, I would like to first of all express my thanks and appreciation to our host, President Mubarak. His leadership has been marked by a continuing commitment to building a better future for his people, this region and the world. This Conference is dedicated to help achieve the same ends. I can think of no better or more fitting setting than Cairo for the work we begin today. I would also like to thank Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Dr. Nafis Sadik for their inspired leadership in shepherding this Conference from a concept to a reality. Allow me to also thank Prime Minister Brundtland and Prime Minister Bhutto for their leadership and their contributions to the world's efforts to deal with this vital issue. Most importantly, I want to acknowledge the enormous contributions of government officials, non-governmental organization representatives and private citizens towards addressing one of the greatest challenges - and greatest opportunities - of the coming century. We owe all of you who have been involved in this process a debt of gratitude. We would not be here today if we were not convinced that the rapid and unsustainable growth of human population was an issue of the utmost urgency. It took 10,000 generations for the world's population to reach two billion people. Yet over the past 50 years, we have gone from two billion to more than five and a half billion. And we are on a path to increase to 9 or 10 billion over the next 50 years. Ten thousand generations to reach two billion and then in one human lifetime - ours - we leap from two billion towards 10 billion. These numbers are not by themselves the problem. But the startlingly new pattern they delineate is a symptom of a much larger and deeper spiritual challenge now facing humankind. Will we acknowledge our connections to one another or not? Will we accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices we make or not? Can we find ways to work together or will we insist on selfishly exploring the limits of human pride? How can we come to see in the faces of others our own hopes and dreams for the future? Why is it so hard to recognize that we are all part of something larger than ourselves? Of course, these are timeless questions that have always characterized the human condition. But they now have a new urgency precisely because we have reached a new stage of human history - a stage defined not just by the meteoric growth in human numbers, but also by the unprecedented Faustian powers of the new technologies we have acquired during these same 50 years - technologies which not only bring us new benefits but also magnify the consequences of age- old behaviours to extremes that all too often exceed the wisdom we bring to our decisions to use them. For example, warfare is an ancient human habit - but the invention of nuclear weapons so radically altered the consequences of this behaviour that we were forced to find new ways of thinking about the relationship between nuclear States in order to avoid the use of these weapons. Similarly, the oceans have always been a source of food, but new technologies like 40-mile-long drift-nets coupled with sophisticated sonar equipment to precisely locate fish have severely depleted or seriously distressed every ocean fishery on our planet. Thus, we have begun to curtail the use of drift-nets. But it is becoming increasingly clear that our margin for error is shrinking as the rapid growth of population is combined with huge and unsustainable levels of consumption in the developed countries, powerful new tools for exploiting the Earth and each other, and a wilful refusal to take responsibility for the future consequences of the choices we make. Economically, rapid population growth often contributes to the challenge of addressing persistent low wages, poverty and economic disparity. Population trends also challenge the ability of societies, economies and Governments to make the investments they need in both human capital and infrastructure. At the level of the family, demographic trends have kept the world's investment in its children - especially girls - unacceptably low. For individuals, population growth and high fertility are closely linked to the poor health and diminished opportunities of millions upon millions of women, infants and children. And population pressures often put strains on hopes for stability at the national and international level. Look, for example, at the 20 million refugees in our world who have no homes. The delegates to this Conference have helped to create a widely shared understanding of these new realities. But what is truly remarkable about this Conference is not only the unprecedented degree of consensus about the nature of the problem, but also the degree of consensus about the nature of the solution. A real change has occurred during the past several years in a way most people in the world look at and understand this problem. And the change is part of a larger philosophical shift in the way most people have begun to think about many large problems. There used to be an automatic tendency - especially in the developed world - to think about the process of change in terms of single causes producing single effects. And thus, when searching for the way to solve a particular problem, however large, it seemed natural enough to search for the single most prominent "cause" of the problem and then address it forcefully. Many divisive arguments resulted between groups advocating the selection of different causes as the "primary" culprit deserving of full attention. Thus, when it became clear that new medical technologies were bringing dramatic declines in death rates but not in birth rates, many pioneers in the effort to address the population question settled on the notion that the lack of contraceptives was the primary problem and argued that making them widely available everywhere would produce the effect we desired - the completion of the demographic transition with the achievement of low birth rates as well as low death rates. But as it became clear that contraception alone seldom led to the change nations were seeking to bring about, other single causes were afforded primary attention. For example, in the historic Bucharest Conference 20 years ago, when thoughtful people noticed that most of the societies which had stabilized their population growth were wealthy, industrial and "developed", it seemed logical to conclude - in the phrase common at the time - "development is the best contraceptive". Meanwhile, some insights from developing countries were given insufficient attention. For example, some African leaders were arguing 30 years ago that "the most powerful contraceptive in the world is the confidence of parents that their children will survive". And in places like Kerala, in south-western India, local leaders were making economic development more accessible by giving women as well as men access to education and high levels of literacy, while at the same time providing good child and maternal health care as well as widespread access to contraception. And in the process they found that their population growth rate fell to nearly zero. The world has also learned from developing countries that the wrong kind of rapid economic development - the kind that is inequitable and destructive of traditional culture, the environment and human dignity - can lead to the disorientation of society and a lessened ability to solve all problems - including population. But here, at Cairo, there is a new and very widely shared consensus that no single one of these solutions is likely to be sufficient by itself to produce the pattern of change we are seeking. However, we also now agree that all of them together, when simultaneously present for a sufficient length of time, will reliably bring about a systemic change to low birth and death rates and a stabilized population. In this new consensus, equitable and sustainable development and population stabilization go together. The education and empowerment of women, high levels of literacy, the availability of contraception and quality of health care: these factors are all crucial. They cannot be put off until development takes place; they must accompany it - and indeed should be seen as part of the process by which development is hastened and made more likely. This holistic understanding is representative of the approach we must take in addressing other problems that cry out for attention. Recognizing connections and interrelationships is one of the keys. For example, the future of developed countries is connected to the prospects of developing countries. It is partly for this reason that we in the United States wish to choose this occasion to affirm unequivocally all human rights, including the right to development. Let us be clear in acknowledging that persistent high levels of poverty in our world represent a principal cause of human suffering, environmental degradation, instability - and rapid population growth. But the solution - like the solution to the population challenge - will not be found in any single simplistic answer. It will be found in a comprehensive approach that combines democracy, economic reform, low rates of inflation, low levels of corruption, sound environmental stewardship, free and open markets at home and access to markets in the developed countries. We must also acknowledge - in developed and developing countries alike - the connection between those of us alive today and the future generations that will inherit the results of the decisions we make. Indeed, a major part of the spiritual crisis we face in the modern world is rooted in our obstinate refusal to look beyond the immediacy of our own needs and wants and instead invest in the kind of future our children's children have a right to expect. And it should be obvious that we cannot solve this lost sense of connection to our future merely through appeals to reason and logic. Personally, I am convinced that the holistic solution we must seek is one that is rooted in faith and a commitment to basic human values of the kind enshrined in all of our major religious traditions and principles increasingly shared by men and women all around the world: The central role of the family; The importance of community; The freedom of the human spirit; The inherent dignity of every individual woman, man and child on this planet; Political, economic and religious freedom; Universal and inalienable human rights. Will we draw upon the richness of these shared principles and values as we embark on our efforts today, or will we allow ourselves to be divided by our differences. And there are, of course, differences that will be extremely difficult to ever fully resolve. For example, we are all well aware that views about abortion are as diverse among nations as among individuals. I want to be clear about the United States position on abortion so that there is no misunderstanding. We believe that making available the highest quality family-planning and health-care services will simultaneously respect women's own desires to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce population growth and the rate of abortion. The United States Constitution guarantees every woman within our borders a right to choose an abortion, subject to limited and specific exceptions. We are committed to that principle. But let us take a false issue off the table: the United States does not seek to establish a new international right to abortion, and we do not believe that abortion should be encouraged as a method of family planning. We also believe that policy-making in these matters should be the province of each Government, within the context of its own laws and national circumstances, and consistent with previously agreed human rights standards. In this context, we abhor and condemn coercion related to abortion or any other matters of reproduction. We believe that where abortion is permitted, it should be medically safe and that unsafe abortion is a matter of women's health that must be addressed. But as we acknowledge the few areas where full agreement among us is more difficult, let us strengthen our resolve to respect our differences and reach past them to create what the world might remember as the "spirit of Cairo" - a shared and unshakable determination to lay the foundation for a future of hope and promise. This is the opening session. Each of us can play a crucial role in ensuring the success of this historic endeavour. The essential ingredient we all must bring to it is our commitment to make it work. The Scottish mountain climber W. H. Murray wrote early in this century: "Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative ... there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too." I saw this truth in operation earlier this year at the southern end of this continent when I represented my country at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela. As he raised his hand to take the oath, I suddenly remembered a Sunday morning four years earlier when he was released from prison and my youngest child, then seven, joined me to watch live television coverage of the event and asked why the entire world was watching this person regain his freedom. When I explained as best I could, my son again asked, "Why?" After a series of "whys", I began to feel frustrated - but I suddenly realized what a rare privilege it was to explain to a child the existence of such an extraordinary positive event when I, like other parents, had so often been confronted with the burden of explaining to my children and existence of evil and terrible tragedies and injustices in our world. So as President Mandela completed his oath, I resolved that I would spend the next several days in South Africa trying to understand how this wonderful development had occurred. And what I found - in addition to the well-known courage and vision of both Mandela and DeKlerk - was the key ingredient that had not received emphasis in the news coverage: ordinary men and women of all ethnic backgrounds and all walks of life quietly had made up their minds that they were going to reach across the barriers that divided them and join hands to create a future much brighter than any they had been told was possible to even imagine. We here today face the same choice and the same opportunity: will we give to our children's children the burden of explaining to their children the reason why unspeakable tragedies that could have been avoided occur in their lives? Or will we give them the privilege and joy of explaining the occurrence of unusually positive developments - the foundations for which were laid here at this place in this time? The choice is ours. Let us resolve to make it well. Statement by Benazir Bhutto, Prime Minister ofPakistan I come before you as a woman, as a mother, and as a wife. I come before you as the democratically elected Prime Minister of a great Muslim nation - the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. I come before you as the leader of the ninth largest population on Earth. We stand at the crossroads of history. The choices that we make today will affect the future of mankind. Out of the debris of the Second World War arose the impulse to reconstruct the world. Large communities of people exercised their right of self- determination by establishing nation States of their own. The challenge of economic development led, in several instances, to group formation where States subordinated their individual destiny to collective initiatives. It seemed for a while that these collective efforts would determine the political architecture of the future. The events of the past few years have, however, made us aware of the growing complexity and contradictions of the human situation. The end of the cold war should have freed immense resources for development. Unfortunately, it led to the re-emergence of subregional tensions and conflicts. In extreme cases, there was a breakup of nation States. Sadly, instead of coming nearer, the objective of a concerted global action to address common problems of mankind seems lost in the twilight. The problem of population stabilization faced by us today cannot be divorced from our yesterdays. Ironically enough, population has risen fastest in those areas that were weakened most by the unfortunate experience of colonial domination. The third world communities have scarce resources spread thinly over a vast stretch of pressing human needs. We are unable to tackle questions of population growth on a scale commensurate with the demographic challenge. Since demographic pressures, together with migration from disadvantaged areas to affluent States, are urgent problems, transcending national frontiers, it is imperative that in the field of population control, global strategies and national plans work in unison. Perhaps that is a dream. But we all have a right to dream. I dream of a Pakistan, of an Asia, of a world where every pregnancy is planned and every child conceived is nurtured, loved, educated and supported. I dream of a Pakistan, of an Asia, of a world not undermined by ethnic divisions brought about by population growth, starvation, crime and anarchy. I dream of a Pakistan, of an Asia, of a world where we can commit our social resources to the development of human life and not to its destruction. That dream is far from the reality we endure. We are a planet in crisis, a planet out of control, a planet moving towards catastrophe. The question before us at this Conference is whether we have the will, the energy, the strength to do something about it. I say we do. We must. What we need is a global partnership for improving the human condition. We must concentrate on that which unites us. We should not examine issues that divide us. Our document should seek to promote the objective of planned parenthood, of population control. This Conference must not be viewed by the teeming masses of the world as a universal social charter seeking to impose adultery, abortion, sex education and other such matters on individuals, societies and religions which have their own social ethos. By convening this Conference, the international community is reaffirming its resolve that problems of a global nature will be solved through global efforts. Governments can do a great deal to improve the quality of life in our society. But there is much that Governments cannot do. Governments do not educate our children. Parents educate children. More often, mothers educate children. Governments do not teach values to our children. Parents teach values to our children. More often, mothers teach values to children. Governments do not socialize youngsters into responsible citizens. Parents are the primary socializing agents in society. In most societies, that job belongs to the mother. How do we tackle population growth in a country like Pakistan? We tackle it by tackling infant mortality, by providing villages with electrification, by raising an army of women, 33,000 strong, to educate our mothers, sisters, daughters in child welfare and population control, by setting up a bank run by women for women, to help women achieve economic independence, and, with economic independence, have the wherewithal to make independent choices. I am what I am today because of a beloved father who left me independent means, to make independent decisions, free of male prejudice in my society, or even in my family. As chief executive of one of the nine largest populated countries in the world, I and the Government are faced with the awesome task of providing homes, schools, hospitals, sewerage, drainage, food, gas, electricity, employment and infrastructure. In Pakistan, in a period of 30 years - from 1951 to 1981 - our population rose by 50 million. At present it is 126 million. By the year 2020, our population may be 243 million. In 1960, one acre of land sustained one person. Today one acre of land sustains two and a half persons. Pakistan cannot progress if it cannot check its rapid population growth. Check it we must, for it is not the destiny of the people of Pakistan to live in squalor and poverty, condemned to a future of hunger and horror. That is why, along with the 33,000 women health workers and the women's bank, the Government has appointed 12,000 community motivaters across the country: to educate and motivate our people to a higher standard of living through planned families, spaced families, families that can be nurtured. In our first budget, we demonstrated our commitment to human resource development. We increased social sector spending by 33 per cent. And by the year 2000, we intend to take Pakistan's educational expenditure from 2.19 per cent, where we found it, to 3 per cent of our gross national product. This is no easy task for a country with a difficult International Monetary Fund structural adjustment programme, with a ban on economic and military assistance from the only super-Power in the world, with 2.4 million Afghan refugees forgotten by the world, with more Kashmiri refugees coming in needing protection. But we are determined to do it, for we have a commitment to our people. A commitment based on principles. Such a commitment demands that we take decisions which are right, which are not always popular. Leaders are elected to lead nations. Leaders are not elected to let a vocal narrow-minded minority dictate an agenda of backwardness. We are committed to an agenda for change. An agenda to take our mothers and our infants into the twenty-first century with the hope of a better future. A future free from diseases that rack and ruin. A future free from polio, from goitre, from blindness caused by deficiency in vitamin A. These are the battles that we must fight, not only as a nation but as a global community. These are the battles on which history - and our people - will judge us. These are the battles to which the mosque and the church must contribute, along with Governments and non-governmental organizations and families. Empowerment of women is one part of this battle. Today, women pilots fly planes in Pakistan, women serve as judges in the superior judiciary, women work in police stations, women work in our civil service, our foreign service and our media. Our working women uphold the Islamic principle that all individuals are equal in the eyes of God. By empowering our women, we work for our goal of population stabilization and, with it, promotion of human dignity. But the march of mankind to higher heights is a universal and collective concern. Regrettably, the Conference's document contains serious flaws in striking at the heart of a great many cultural values, in the North and in the South, in the mosque and in the church. In Pakistan, our response will doubtless be shaped by our belief in the eternal teachings of Islam. Islam is a dynamic religion committed to human progress. It makes no unfair demands of its followers. The Holy Koran says: "Allah wishes you ease, and wishes not hardship for you." Again, the Holy Book says: "He has chosen you, and has not laid on you any hardship in religion." The followers of Islam have no conceptual difficulty in addressing questions of regulating population in the light of available resources. The only constraint is that the process must be consistent with abiding moral principles. Islam places a great deal of stress on the sanctity of life. The Holy Book tells us: "Kill not your children on a plea of want. We provide sustenance for them and for you." Islam, therefore, except in exceptional circumstances, rejects abortion as a method of population control. There is little compromise on Islam's emphasis on the family unit. The traditional family is the basic unit on which any society rests. It is the anchor on which the individual relies as he embarks upon the journey of life. Islam aims at harmonious lives built upon a bedrock of conjugal fidelity and parental responsibility. Many suspect that the disintegration of the traditional family has contributed to moral decay. Let me state, categorically, that the traditional family is the union sanctified by marriage. Muslims, with their overriding commitment to knowledge, would have no difficulty with dissemination of information about reproductive health, so long as its modalities remain compatible with their religious and spiritual heritage. Lack of an adequate infrastructure of services and not ideology constitutes our basic problems. The major objective of the population policy of the newly elected democratic Government is a commitment to improve the quality of life of the people through provision of family planning and health services. We refuse to be daunted by the immensity of the task. But the goals set by this Conference will become realistic only with the wholehearted cooperation of the nations of the world. Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda and Kashmir are but a few reminders of how far we have departed from our principles and ideals. In many parts of the world we witness the nation State under siege. The rise of so-called fundamentalism in some of our societies, and the emergence of neo-fascism in some Western communities, are symptoms of a deeper malaise. I believe the nation States may have failed to meet their people's expectations within their own limited national resources or ideological framework. If so, the malady is probably none other than a retreat from the ideals of the founding fathers of the United Nations. We can, perhaps, still restore mankind to vibrant health by returning to those ideals, the ideals of global cooperation. Given that background, I hope that the delegates participating in this Conference will act in wisdom, and with vision, to promote population stabilization. Pakistan's delegation will work constructively for the finalization of a document enjoying the widest consensus. Our destiny does not lie in our stars. It lies within us. Our destiny beckons us. Let us have the strength to grasp it. Thank you, President Mubarak, for hosting this Conference on such an important global concern. And thank you Mr. Secretary-General and Dr. Nafis Sadik for making it possible. Statement by Prince Mbilini, Prime Minister of Swaziland On behalf of my fellow African colleagues, it is an honour and privilege to congratulate you, Mr. President, on your election as President of this august assembly. We are confident that through your wise and able leadership, the deliberations of this Conference will not only be fruitful and constructive but 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 honoured, Mr. President, that the Kingdom of Swaziland has been allowed 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 controversy 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 on which we are expected to deliberate and take concrete decisions. However, we believe that such controversies have succeeded in clarifying the major population issues underpinning the suggested programme of action. The key issues enshrined in the proposed programme 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 maternal mortality, promotion of the involvement of men and women in responsible 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 adopted democratic principles. We believe that 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 endeavour 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 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, 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 the years. The rapidly expanding populations of 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 inability of our national budgets to meet immediate social needs, such as the 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 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 with 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 to bear responsibility for reaffirming the rights and obligations of individuals and couples. We believe that what we are expected to adopt here 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 the Child, Agenda 21 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. This Conference must not be viewed in isolation; its effects will have far-reaching impact on future meetings of the United Nations. For example, the adoption of the essential elements of this programme of action will provide valuable input for the World Summit for Social Development, to be held in Copenhagen, and the Fourth World Conference on Women, to be held in Beijing. The factors hindering rapid economic growth and development in our countries are familiar to most of us. They are mainly fomented by resource constraints, inappropriate policies and escalating debt burden. Each African country is committed to mobilize at the country level as much resources and means as possible to overcome these problems. However, the need is enormous 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 be flexible enough to address some of the key issues which are underscored by this Conference's programme of action. The Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland has made some efforts to address the socio-economic needs of various population groups in our country. We have, for instance, undertaken a study that specifically addresses issues related to the status of vulnerable groups such as women and youth. We have also made great strides in providing both boys and girls with 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 Innocenti 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 the Government and people of Swaziland, I wish to thank you, your Government and the people of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the 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 a success and that the results of these deliberations will be translated into concrete action. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Annex III CLOSING STATEMENTS Statement by Dr. Nafis Sadik, Secretary-General of the International Conference on Population and Development This has been an outstandingly successful Conference. President Mubarak told us that it should be a bridge between North and South, East and West; and you have made it so. It was attended by 183 countries and addressed by 249 speakers. Altogether, 10,757 people took part. Ten days ago, Vice-President Gore called this one of the most important conferences ever held. Prime Minister Brundtland advised the Conference: "We are gathered here to answer a moral call to action". The result is a document that, in the words of Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, "captures the true spirit of morality". Prime Minister Mbilini pointed out that the controversies had succeeded in clarifying the main issues. So it has proved. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto told us that true leaders do not permit a narrow-minded minority to dictate an agenda of backwardness; at this Conference you have shown true leadership. The Secretary-General of the United Nations said you should seek consensus in a spirit of rigour, tolerance and conscience. That describes very well the process of the last 10 days. You have discussed the issues to the point of exhaustion; but you have kept your purpose in sight. You have defended your principles; but you have permitted the free play of many points of view. You have remembered above all that your aim was action. You have learned how important and deeply felt are the differences among our cultures, backgrounds and beliefs. You have learned to respect those differences, and yet to find among them the values we hold in common. You have crafted a Programme of Action for the next 20 years, which starts from the reality of the world we live in, and shows us the path to a better reality. The Programme contains highly specific goals and recommendations in the mutually reinforcing areas of infant and maternal mortality; education; and reproductive health and family planning; but its effect will be far wider- ranging than that. This Programme of Action has the potential to change the world. Nothing in the Programme of Action limits the freedom of nations to act individually within the bounds of their laws and cultures. Everything in the Programme encourages nations to act together for their common interest. Nothing in the Programme of Action limits the freedom of Governments to act on behalf of their people; everything in the Programme encourages cooperation between Governments and non-governmental organizations, among groups of different backgrounds representing different interests, and between individual women and men. You have demonstrated once more the value of the United Nations process of consensus-building. It is long and exhaustive; it draws the closest attention to the smallest distinctions; but in the end, this apparently divisive process, this activity of chopping up sentences and stitching them together again, draws us closer together. Our chopping and stitching has produced a coat of many colours; but it is a garment that will fit us all. Your achievements in this Conference have been historic. As one writer put it: "Where else has the fundamental condition of all women, whatever their status or the state of their personal freedom, been so intensely debated, or seen to be so relevant to the next century?" The Programme of Action you are about to adopt places women and men, and their families, at the top of the international development agenda. It is a population action programme that puts people first. Energetic and committed implementation of the Programme of Action over the next 20 years will bring women at last into the mainstream of development; it will protect their health, promote their education and encourage and reward their economic contribution; it will ensure that every pregnancy is intended, and every child is a wanted child; it will protect women from the results of unsafe abortion; it will protect the health of adolescents, and encourage responsible behaviour; it will combat HIV/AIDS; it will promote education for all and close the gender gap in education; and it will protect and promote the integrity of the family. Prime Minister Brundtland advised: "Let us turn from the dramatizing and focus on the main issues". You have succeeded in doing that; although I see from the headlines that "8.25" has now become a synonym for controversy. You have spent a long time discussing how the Programme of Action should deal with abortion. I think your conclusion is highly satisfactory. It fulfils the original intention of concentrating on unsafe abortion as a serious and preventable health problem. Abortion is not a means of family planning. There will be fewer abortions in future, because there will be less need for abortion. Implementing the Programme of Action will encourage safer, more secure births, by providing information and services to enable women and men to plan for pregnancy. The Programme of Action recognizes that healthy families are created by choice, not chance. You have recognized that poverty is the most formidable enemy of choice. Poverty is not only an economic phenomenon, there is also a spiritual dimension; and here too the Programme of Action will make its contribution. Drawing women into the mainstream of development will be one of the most important effects of the Programme of Action. Better health and education, and freedom to plan their family's future, will widen women's economic choices; but it will also liberate their minds and spirits. As the leader of the Zimbabwe delegation put it, it will empower women, not with the power to fight, but with the power to decide. That power of decision alone will ensure many changes in the post-Cairo world. Prime Minister Bhutto has shown by her courage and her leadership what the power of decision means to a woman, and to her children. She reminded us that mothers teach children the values that will guide their lives. That will always be true, but implementing the Programme of Action will also draw fathers more closely into the process. It will help both parents to promote and protect the interests of their children, and it will encourage them to appreciate the full value of girl children. It will help our daughters to grow to maturity in safety and health; it will remind our sons that they too must behave with respect and responsibility, and prepare them to take their place in the world. The Programme of Action will be a powerful tool to build and maintain the strength of the family, the community and the nation. Without resources, however, the Programme of Action will remain a paper promise. We need a commitment from all countries, industrialized countries as well as developing countries, that they will take full responsibility in this regard. Implementing the Programme of Action will help to build the basis for sustainable development, for economic growth with equity and justice. It is important to remember that the Programme of Action does not stand on its own. It amplifies and adds to the undertakings on sustainable development set out in Agenda 21 of the Rio Conference. In its turn it will contribute to the conclusions of the Social Summit and the Women's Conference next year, and Habitat II in 1996. It should be considered as part of a global framework for sustained and sustainable development along with agreements in the areas of trade, debt and economic development. Many people are responsible for this success. First, let me thank President Mubarak, his Government and the people of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The Minister of Family and Population, Dr. Maher Mahran, has directed the National Preparatory Committee with great skill. He and his staff have given new meaning to the words hospitality, warmth and friendship. Let me also thank the Foreign Minister and his staff for their efficiency and cooperation. Each delegation has displayed the greatest fortitude and commitment. The non-governmental organizations have been tireless in reminding us what is at stake and encouraging delegations to be more ambitious in their expectations. They have made a great contribution. I would like to thank the media, too, for their attention. They have brought the Conference into more homes, and raised more people's awareness about the issues than for any conference in United Nations history. The secretariat, led by Joe Chamie, the Deputy Secretary-General, has done quite extraordinary work on your behalf. Joyti Singh, the Executive Coordinator, is a subtle diplomat and a tireless organizer. Without him this Conference would hardly have been possible. I would like to say a special word about the work of David Payton, ICPD Special Adviser, on loan to us from the Government of New Zealand. Your commitment, David, is as strong as your language. The conference servicing staff of the United Nations are the unsung heroes of all United Nations conferences. They include such a wide variety of skills that I cannot name them all. Led by the Conference Secretary, Margaret Kelley, they are the people who have handled all the multitude of things that we take for granted unless they go wrong. At this Conference, the translators and interpreters have had a special problem regarding some very difficult technical terms, and they have succeeded triumphantly. We all thank you very much. We are indebted to the work of the chairmen of the working groups, and all those who took part. It is impossible to say enough about the two Vice-Chairmen of the Main Committee. Lionel Hurst is both smooth in his methods and solid in his support of the process. Ambassador Nicolaas Biegman has the patience of a saint and the determination of a bulldog, and he has needed both. Through it all, he has maintained his charm and his sense of humour. Chairman of the Main Committee, Fred Sai: you have brought us through rough waters. You have steered us round some awesome rocks. You have been strong when we needed it, but you have been supple too. We are very grateful to you. Finally, let me thank the people from the host country and the United Nations alike, who have protected our security during the past two weeks. We were confident of the hospitality of the people of Cairo, and we are delighted that rumours proved to be unfounded; but we were very glad to have you there, just in case. Practical implementation now depends on you. When you return to your respective countries, you will look again at the national document you prepared for this Conference - the Conference secretariat has now received 168 national reports - and you will consider action on the agreements reached here. You will no doubt wish to ensure that the consensus reached by the Conference receives as much publicity as the controversies which preceded it. You will want to ensure that all those given the task of implementation at all levels are fully aware of the importance of the consensus, and its contents. You should not be modest about your achievements. Compared with any earlier document on population and development, this Programme of Action is detailed in its analysis; specific in its objectives; precise in its recommendations and transparent in its methodology. In our field, it represents a quantum leap to a higher state of energy. Thanks to the media, it has already drawn the interest of people worldwide; I hope that this process will continue so that everyone can contribute to its objectives. Speaking on behalf of the United Nations system as a whole and for the United Nations Population Fund in particular, I can assure you that we stand ready to provide all the advice and assistance we can, whenever and however you ask for it. I give you my personal pledge that I will spare no effort in the coming years to ensure that the agreements you have made here become a reality. I remain committed to building the future by building the power to choose. The Programme of Action deserves your highest commitment and your wholehearted support. You have produced a document you can be proud of. I wish you the greatest success in its implementation. Statement by Amre Moussa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt On behalf of the Government and people of Egypt, which were honoured to host this Conference representing the entirety of mankind, allow me to express my greetings to all of you and my heartfelt appreciation for your most constructive contributions. The deliberations of this Conference were most profound as they touched on the continuing progress of humanity as this century comes to a close and as we are about to begin a new millennium. This Conference was convened in an atmosphere occasionally marked by tension and sharp controversy and in most cases by widely diverging views, as well as a plurality of perspectives with regard to the document at hand and how to introduce, address and resolve the issues it raises. It is our conviction that the intensive discussions on population and development, notwithstanding the controversies, were really about intellectual and cultural issues stemming from divergent cultures and a multiplicity of lifestyles whose genesis and evolution have taken varying forms. I am certain that we all agree that since the end of the cold war, the international community has been seized by profound soul-searching on all issues related to man's existence: how to build a better future and attain a higher degree of progress, and how to formulate a broader basis for structuring our lives in the years and decades to come. As you know, the decade of the 1990s has witnessed, from the very start, successive international conferences that are closely linked to those important issues relating to the march of humanity and its social and economic development - from the Children's Summit in 1990 to the Earth Summit in 1992, from the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993 to the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994. This will be followed by the World Summit for Social Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, to be again followed by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in 1996. The international community is taking one step after another to formulate a new and comprehensive methodology aimed at achieving human development, particularly in its social aspect, within a cohesive framework of international action in which all peoples and societies take part in shaping their destiny. It is worth noting that this Conference provided an opportune occasion to launch a dialogue between cultures and strengthen the encounter of civilizations. This is the first time since the end of the cold war, indeed, since the end of the Second World War, that issues closely intertwined with matters deeply rooted in our values, religious principles, beliefs and worldly practices were tackled concurrently. This is not an indictment suggesting that the discussions that took place were between cultures bound to the past and others embracing the future. It is more appropriate to say that the dialogue took place between societies that have opted for a way of life in which religion and sacred relations are the dominant force in shaping their collective soul, behaviour, ethics and values, and others that may have opted for a way of life guided by a different ethos and inspired by a value system that evolved from different social conditions which may not necessarily be acceptable to other societies. Yes, the varied pattern of global cultural evolution may have been successful in the degree of international consensus on democracy as a better political system and free enterprise as a preferable or more effective economic approach. But in matters of cultural values, it is not as easy to have agreement on a particular cultural orientation that can guide us in addressing such a complex and ramifying question as the question of population, which closely relates to man and his value system, to the individual versus the group, and to religion and its impact. The population issue also pertains to the past, the present and the aspirations for the future, to security and stability, and to the interaction between societies. These considerations were behind the lengthy discussions leading to the present document, a product of our negotiations constituting the consensus on the Programme of Action which reflects so many positive points. When the subject is the fundamentals of faiths and creeds, the foundation of civilization or the core values embraced by each society, there is no room for one faith enforcing its legacy on another, one civilization over another, or one culture over another. We have no choice but to engage in a fair and equitable dialogue based on mutual acceptance and respect, on coexistence and harmony, with due respect to our differences and distinctiveness. Such a dialogue may last throughout the next century. It is against these facts that the outcome and achievements of these lengthy discussions and deliberations that took place in Cairo should be viewed. The measure of our success resides in our ability to address the population question from the proper perspective by emphasizing the strong and solid interlinkages that exist between population and development in all its economic and social aspects while paying due attention to the related human and cultural dimensions. In dealing with the document, Egypt has been most careful to observe the following principles: Drawing on the tenets prescribed by divine revelations, with full respect for the values and ethical principles deriving from and enjoined by them; Emphasizing total respect for our social ethics and full adherence to national legislation and laws; Categorically emphasizing that the family, in its time-honoured social and religious definition, is the basic unit of society; Complying fully with the provisions of our national Constitution regarding the equitable rights of women; Complying with the provisions of Islamic Sharia and national law in dealing with the issue of abortion, which the document rules out as a means of family planning. If we have succeeded in reaching consensus on the Conference's Programme of Action, it is just as important for this consensus to be consolidated during the coming General Assembly by an agreement on the system review, follow-up and implementation through appropriate structures and mechanisms. Among the most important challenges facing us is how to effectively invest in the unprecedented international attention directed at population issues, with a view to ensuring continuity in implementing the conclusions and upholding the credibility of the recommendations of the Conference. The approach to the document and the recommendations in the Programme of Action will remain contingent on the degree of commitment to mobilizing the financial resources needed for the implementation of the programmes and plans adopted by the Conference. Hopefully, the end of the cold war and the start of the new era of international cooperation offer new hope that the donor countries will fulfil their pledged commitment to achieve the target of providing 0.7 per cent of their gross national product to developing countries and to help their continuous efforts to achieve sustainable development. In concluding and expressing our thanks and appreciation to all those who have contributed to the success of the Conference, the Chair, the secretariat, those who ensured its security and organization, those who saw to the comfort of the participants and those who worked day and night to bring its work to the best possible conclusion, I deem it important to state that Egypt, which participated actively in the discussions and the dialogue to reach a common understanding, will deal with the document within the framework of the affirmation contained in the first two chapters, the Preamble and the Principles. The implementation of the Programme of Action is contingent on the full respect for national sovereignty, religious beliefs and social values, within the framework of our commitment to the provisions of our Constitution, the inspiration of our heritage and traditions and the guidance of our tolerant divine laws. Our approach to this document, our reading of its recommendations and our understanding of its content will always remain governed by religion, by values, by ethics, by decent instinct and conduct and by righteousness. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Annex IV PARALLEL AND ASSOCIATED ACTIVITIES 1. A wide variety of parallel and associated activities took place at Cairo on the occasion of the International Conference on Population and Development, in consultation with the Government of Egypt and the Secretary-General of the Conference. a/ 2. NGO Forum '94, which met from 4 to 12 September 1994, was a parallel activity organized by the ICPD NGO Planning Committee comprising more than 260 non-governmental organizations with an interest in population, empowering women, environmental protection, human rights, development and health. More than 4,200 individuals and representatives of over 1,500 non-governmental organizations from 133 countries exchanged experiences and opinions on a wide range of Conference-related topics at Cairo's Indoor Sports Stadium Complex, adjacent to the Conference site, as part of a diverse programme that featured approximately 90 sessions each day. Its programme and proceedings included plenary sessions, keynote lectures, workshops, group meetings and caucuses, panel discussions, training sessions, daily briefings, numerous NGO exhibits and a multi-media centre. 3. More than 100 young women and men from all regions of the world and from a diversity of cultural, religious and political backgrounds took part in an International NGO Youth Consultation on Population and Development, held in Cairo from 31 August to 4 September at the International Scout Centre. Discussions and recommendations centred on youth and reproductive health, sustainable development, environmental protection and human rights, teenage pregnancy and safe sexual behaviour. The Consultation, which at its conclusion issued the Cairo Youth Declaration, was organized by nine youth and youth- related NGOs. 4. On 3 and 4 September 1994, some 300 parliamentarians from 107 countries participated in the International Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, organized by the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, the Global Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, the Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, the International Medical Parliamentarians Organization, and Parliamentarians for Global Action. The meeting was hosted by the Government of Egypt. At its conclusion, the participants adopted the Cairo Declaration on Population and Development. On 7 September 1994, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) organized the 1994 Parliamentarians' Day at the People's Assembly in Cairo, attended by more than 200 members of IPU from all over the world. IPU issued a statement to the International Conference on Population and Development. 5. The Population Information Network (POPIN) of the Population Division of the United Nations Secretariat set up a communication and reference centre at the Conference site to disseminate ICPD materials and facilitate worldwide involvement in Conference-related activities. Staff members collected statements given in the plenary meetings and electronically placed the texts in the POPIN gopher, a data facility accessible through the Internet computer network and electronic mail. A large number of delegates, journalists and NGOs used the centre's services to make copies of statements and other population information; thousands of others around the world electronically accessed the information in the gopher. Technical support for the centre was provided by the Information and Decision Support Centre of the Egyptian Cabinet. 6. Four independent daily newspapers on ICPD were produced in Cairo for distribution at the Conference. Each offered up-to-date reports on activities in the plenary and Main Committee meetings, as well as analyses of the issues under negotiation, interviews with participants and background articles from around the world on a variety of population and development topics. Also, a bulletin of negotiations was produced daily, providing summaries of ICPD statements and negotiations. 7. An Encounter for Journalists, co-sponsored by the Department of Public Information of the United Nations Secretariat and UNFPA, was held in Cairo on 3 and 4 September, immediately before the Conference, for 58 invited senior journalists from developing countries. They and several hundred other journalists who were in Cairo to attend the Conference were briefed at the Encounter on all of the major topics to be addressed by the Conference. In all, more than 4,000 print and electronic media representatives were accredited and attended the Conference. Notes a/ It should be noted that the Conference, per se, took no formal note of these activities.