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

96-06: ICPD News, No. 4, June 1996


A Newsletter of the UNFPA Task Force on ICPD Implementation

JUNE 1996


Almaty and Islamabad were the sites of two recent conferences

highlighting the special needs of the Central Asian Republics, Azerbaijan

and other members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in

implementing the Programme of Action of the International Conference on

Population and Development (ICPD). The Government of Pakistan hosted the

conference "Access to and Quality of Reproductive Health/Family Planning

Services: Expanding Contraceptive Choices," in Islamabad, 13-15 April

1996. The Government of Kazakstan hosted the conference "The

Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action in the ECO Region," in

Almaty, 18-20 April 1996. 

The back-to-back meetings were jointly organized by UNFPA and ECO.

Established in 1985 in Tehran, ECO is composed of 10 member States:

Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakstan,

Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In

October 1994, UNFPA and ECO had agreed to promote exchanges within the

ECO region concerning population-related matters and, especially, to

promote ICPD recommendations. 

Participants at the two conferences identified and adopted strategies to

implement and monitor progress towards meeting ICPD goals, renewing

their commitment, especially in the field of reproductive health (RH).

National capacity-building and human resources development were

important concerns. The conferences included discussion of the

importance of involving men in reproductive health, empowering women,

safeguarding the health of women and children and recognizing the special

sexual health needs of adolescents.

Addressing the Islamabad meeting's closing session, Dr. Nafis Sadik,

Executive Director of UNFPA, noted that the expansion of contraceptive

choices and related training of service providers have made a significant

impact on reducing the incidence of abortion in countries of Central Asia.

At the same session, Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali, the Prime Minister of

Pakistan's Special Assistant for the Social Sector, stressed that, because

resources are limited, programmes need to be more cost-effective; NGOs,

especially the more established ones, should try their best to self-finance

RH/family planning (FP) schemes. 

The President of Kazakstan, H.E. Nursultan Nazarbaev, in his welcoming

address to the Almaty conference, underscored its importance and

relevance in the context of the Government's programme for improving the

health of women and children. In her presentation, Dr. Sadik noted the

progress made by many Governments, international agencies and NGOs in

broadening family planning programmes and adopting the reproductive

health approach. Forging partnerships among Governments, NGOs and the

private sector was a major theme at the inaugural session of the Almaty

conference, which, according to Ambassador Shamshad Ahmad, Secretary-

General of ECO, provided ECO member countries with a golden opportunity

collectively to review national capacities to meet the ICPD Programme of

Action goals.

 UNFPA plans to publish the reports of the two conferences and is

exploring with ECO the possibility of holding a regional conference on

male involvement in RH/FP.

* * *


Nine global conferences have been held over the past six years _ all

directly bearing on social issues.  Each of these conferences _ the World

Summit for Children, the World Conference on Education for All, the United

Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the World Conference

on Human Rights, the World Conference on the Sustainable Development of

Small Island States, the International Conference on Population and

Development (ICPD), the World Summit for Social Development, the Fourth

World Conference on Women and, in June 1996, the Second United Nations

Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) _ focused on a particular

substantive issue. Yet, they all amplified a common message, namely, that

development efforts must be people-centred if they are to be successful.  

Underlying all these conferences is a consensus that securing human

rights and meeting individuals' basic needs constitute critical first steps

in addressing global problems. Development programmes must expand

people's access to basic social services and sustainable livelihoods and

take into consideration the balance between people, resources and the

environment, reconciling the needs of the present with those of future


The ICPD Programme of Action emphasizes the interconnectedness of

initiatives in population and those in education, health, environment and

poverty reduction. It affirms that meeting the needs of individuals,

empowering women, promoting gender equality and equity and involving all

parts of civil society are the surest ways of bringing about people-

centreddevelopment. Concentrating on these aims, successful population

programmesare the building blocks for a secure and sustainable future.

The United Nations system is committed to working with countries to

promoteaccess to basic social services. I am pleased that the April

meeting in Oslo onthe 20/20 Initiative endorsed investments in the social

sector. The meetingreaffirmed the importance of investing in a country's

human resources andpromoting access for all to basic social services. 

As part of a unified follow-up to its global conferences, the United

NationsAdministrative Committee on Coordination established three task

forces - one on Employment and Sustainable Livelihoods, another on the

Enabling Environment for Economic and Social Development and another on

Basic SocialServices for All.  The mandate of the Basic Social Services

Task Force, of which I am privileged to serve as the Chair, includes:

population, with special emphasis on reproductive health and family

planning services; basic education; primary health care; drinking water

and sanitation; shelter; and social services in post-crisis situations. The

Task Force, which will concentrate on two sectors - basic education and

primary health care - will issue guidelines on these topics for the

Resident Coordinator System. As Chair, I shall make every effort to ensure

that information about the work of the Task Force is widely disseminated

and its outputs made available to all interested parties. 

Nafis Sadik                      

Executive Director            

United Nations Population Fund

* * *


Key parts of the ICPD Programme of Action are being promoted in the

United Republic of Tanzania, where both governmental and non-

governmental sectors are working  to meet the nation's population and

development challenges by implementing the National Population Policy,

adopted in 1992.  

Parliamentarians have been especially active in helping to ensure that the

ideals espoused in Cairo are translated into action both in the country and

in the East Africa region.  In March 1996, female Members of Parliament

(MPs) hosted MPs from Uganda in an effort to form an "East African

Network" to jointly promote improvements in women's and girls' status.  

The implications of the ICPD Programme of Action for the country itself

were explored at a parliamentarians' seminar on Population and

Development in February 1995. Seminar participants _ government

ministers as well as MPs -- used the Programme of Action as a framework

for spotlighting the nation's	most pressing population concerns, among

them rural-urban population movements; poverty alleviation in rural

areas; women's empowerment; and youth, health and development.  The

seminar was co-sponsored by the Planning Commission, the Speaker's

Office and UNFPA. 

 Recently, the Government launched efforts to revamp its population

information, education and communication (IEC) activities to facilitate

the implementation of the National Population Policy. It hosted a national

IEC development workshop, 5-16 February 1996. Following an examination

of existing IEC activities, workshop participants developed strategies to

operationalize the implementation of the National Population Policy,

eliminate duplication of work between various sectors and introduce

grass-roots IEC activities.

As part of "South-South" cooperation, four senior government officials,

one NGO programme director and the UNFPA National Programme Officer

visited Indonesia in 1995 on a study tour of that country's successful

national family planning programme. Under the Partnership Exchange

Programme in Family Planning, a number of missions composed of senior

and mid-level health professionals, planners, economists, statisticians

and others  have visited Indonesia, working with their Indonesian

counterparts to address key concerns in the Tanzanian programme, such as

the insufficient number of volunteers; the limited participation of

community leaders; the lack of culturally sensitive IEC materials; and the

need to strengthen the community-level management information system

and the community-based distribution programmes. The various missions

exemplified the kind of technical cooperation among developing countries

advocated by the ICPD Programme of Action.  

Responding to the ICPD's call to improve reproductive health services for

young people, a non-governmental organization (NGO) called EMAU (Elimu

ya Malezi ya Ujana _ Responsible Parenthood Education for Youth Project)

launched a youth guidance and counselling programme in February 1995.

EMAU offers group and individual counselling on reproductive health,

responsible parenthood and related issues. Building on EMAU's pilot

activities, a project is now being developed to establish a youth centre in

Dar es Salaam. The centre will offer a range of services, including family

planning counselling and service provision, sexually transmitted disease

counselling, educational and recreational programmes, outreach efforts by

peer educators and education for parents.  The project will entail close

collaboration between EMAU and the African Medical and Research

Foundation (AMREF), which operates a similar youth centre in Dar

es Salaam.

Gender equality, equity and the empowerment of women _ core concepts of

the ICPD Programme of Action _ are being promoted through a project

implemented by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of the

University of Dar es Salaam and assisted by UNFPA. This project, launched

in October 1995, is designed to build up the capacity of the Women's

Studies Group of the IDS and to incorporate a women in development

(WID)/gender course into the IDS curriculum. For

sensitizing key personnel in the population and health field on gender

issues, the project is preparing a training manual on WID and gender


_ From J. Bill Musoke	

UNFPA Representative	

United Republic of Tanzania 

* * *

ICPD Feature:


Women's non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have played a pivotal role

in recent UN global conferences. Beginning with the United Nations

Conference on Environment (UNCED), during the entire International

Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) process and at the

Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW), women's groups highlighted

key issues and worked to ensure that the Conferences' recommendations

addressed these concerns. ICPD News is featuring articles on the vital

role of such organizations. The following article profiles Family Care


Family Care International (FCI), a non-profit organization committed to

improving women's sexual and reproductive health and rights in developing

countries, is helping country partners implement the ICPD Programme of

Action as well as the reproductive health recommendations of the Fourth

World Conference on Women (FWCW). "The International Conference on

Population and Development (ICPD) spotlighted the fact that women and

girls suffer _ and sometimes die _ because of poor reproductive and

sexual health," declares FCI President Jill Sheffield. "Their fate

demonstrates why reproductive health issues must be addressed

immediately and comprehensively."

FCI, which is based in New York, has always pursued a comprehensive

approach to reproductive health. FCI helped organize the first Safe

Motherhood Conference in Nairobi in 1987 and has since served as the

secretariat for the Safe Motherhood Initiative. Ann Starrs, senior program

associate,  states that "since Cairo, awareness of reproductive health has

grown significantly.  It is now much easier to deal with reproductive

health directly on its own terms, rather than using Safe Motherhood  as an

entry point."

FCI is collaborating with local organizations in Benin, Bolivia,  Eritrea,

Ghana and Mexico, among others, on a range of efforts that include policy

reform, research on quality of care, and training to improve the

interpersonal and clinical skills of health workers. 

Currently, FCI is encouraging selected countries to form local task forces

composed of representatives from governmental agencies and non-

governmental organizations (NGOs). In Mexico, where such a task force has

been established, FCI found that ministries, women's organizations and

NGOs were initially reluctant "to come to the same table" to discuss

reproductive health issues. Today, however, the task force is addressing a

variety of issues and is reviewing legislation and services to improve

women's reproductive health. 

According to Ellen Themmen, FCI programme associate, the task forces are

a way of engaging the local community and generating a consensus on what

should be done. The task forces will conduct situation analyses as a basis

for designing integrated reproductive and sexual health programmes  that

address their countries' particular needs.



To educate and support policy makers, programme planners and others

concerning sexual and reproductive health and rights, Family Care

International (FCI) has published Commitments to Sexual and Reproductive

Health and Rights for All: Framework for Action. The publication

translates the commitments emerging from the ICPD, FWCW and other UN

conferences into a clear framework for policy-making, legislation,

research, service provision, training and health education.

Commitments is available in English, French and Spanish. For single copies

contact: FCI, 588 Broadway, Suite 503, New York, NY 10012, USA. 

Telephone: 212 941-5300, Fax: 212-941-5563. (Additional copies are $2

for Europe, North America and international organizations; $1 for

developing countries.)

* * *


PRSD PREPARATIONS IN THE CARIBBEAN. Representatives of Governments,

regional and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the UN met in

Jamaica from 29 February to 1 March to prepare for a Programme Review

and Strategy Development (PRSD) exercise in the English-speaking

Caribbean, as the basis for a UNFPA programme in the subregion for 1997-

2000. The new programme would take into account priorities and

directions of the International Conference on Population and Development

(ICPD). Meeting participants reported on numerous innovations in the

subregion reflecting ICPD goals, including the involvement of men in

reproductive health, adolescent programmes, national legislation on

women's rights and collaboration between Governments and NGOs.

NGO ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETS. The NGO Advisory Committee held its

second annual meeting at UNFPA headquarters in New York on 16-17 May

1996 to discuss collaboration of Governments and non-governmental

organizations (NGOs) in the implementation and monitoring of the ICPD

Programme of Action and the matter of NGO sustainability. Thirty-one

participants from national, regional and international NGOs throughout the

world attended the meeting.

TECHNICAL CONSULTATION ON FGM. Following up on recommendations

concerning Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the ICPD Programme of

Action and the Fourth World Conference on Women Platform for Action, a

Technical Consultation on FGM took place in Addis Ababa, 27-29 March.

Representatives from 25 countries where FGM is practised attended the

meeting, along with representatives of non-governmental organizations

and the UN. Participants sought to develop a practical programming

framework for incorporating into reproductive health programmes efforts

to eradicate FGM. Participants discussed the formulation of information

and communication strategies concerning the urgency of eradicating FGM,

the inclusion of this issue in all human rights education components of

Family Life Education programmes, and the importance of legislation. 

THREE ACC TASK FORCES. To galvanize the UN system around priority goals

emerging from recent global conferences and to rationalize and strengthen

the system's follow-up mechanisms for delivering coordinated assistance

at country and regional levels, the Administrative Committee on

Coordination (ACC) established three task forces. The Task Force on

Employment and Sustainable Livelihoods, chaired by the International

Labour Organisation, met on 25-26 January 1996 and agreed to conduct a

number of country reviews analysing the situation of employment and

sustainable livelihoods, including the impact of globalization and

technological change. A report will be prepared summarizing lessons

learned and suggesting ways to improve inter-agency collaboration.

The Task Force on Basic Social Services For All (BSSA), chaired by Dr.

Nafis Sadik, Executive Director, UNFPA, met on 23 February 1996 and

agreed on a work programme that includes the preparation of: Guidelines

for UN Resident Coordinators; indicators to measure progress in

implementing recommendations of recent global conferences in the social

sector; a wall-chart with indicators for social services; a Best

Practices/Lessons Learned document; and a pocket-card on advocacy. The

BSSA Task Force is an expansion of the earlier Inter-Agency Task Force on

ICPD Implementation.

The Task Force on an Enabling Environment for Economic and Social

Development, chaired by the World Bank, met on 22 March 1996. The

meeting agreed to produce a synthesis of best practices/lessons learned,

aimed at clarifying the elements of an enabling environment for economic

and social development; establishing mechanisms for improved inter-

agency coordination in support of such an environment; and providing

standardized inter-agency performance indicators of social and economic

progress reflecting the outcomes of major conferences.

All three task forces will maintain linkages with one another and with

other UN initiatives, as they work towards the overall goal of poverty



Commission on Sustainable Development at its fourth session, 18 April-3

May 1996, was the report of the Secretary-General on demographic

dynamics and sustainability (E/CN.17/1996/10 and Corr. 1 and Add. 1).

UNFPA was the Task Manager for this report on Chapter 5 of Agenda 21.

The Commission noted with satisfaction that greater importance is being

attached to population questions and to the need to integrate population

factors into environment and development planning, identifying population

as one of the driving forces in the sustainable management of natural

resources. In addition to reaffirming its 1995 decisions, the Commission

called for research studies on gender-sensitive analysis and linkages

among population, poverty, consumption and production, environment and

natural resources, education and health. The Commission urged the

mainstreaming of a gender perspective in development policies and



Commission on Social Development, which has primary responsibility for

the implementation of the Programme of Action of the World Summit for

Social Development, took place at the UN, 21-31 May 1996. The special

session discussed the functioning of the Commission and explored

strategies and actions for the eradication of poverty.  Participating in the

panel discussion "Meeting Basic Human Needs for All," Ms. Kerstin Trone,

Deputy Executive Director (Programme), UNFPA, underscored that key

elements in meeting basic human needs included the following: addressing

the needs of marginalized/vulnerable groups; women's empowerment;

reproductive health services and reproductive rights; collaboration among

Governments, international development partners, NGOs, the private

sector and civil society; and advocacy. The Commission also organized a

panel discussion with representatives of Inter-Agency Task Forces on the

follow-up to international conferences. 

* * *


The Government of the Philippines is systematically promoting the agenda

of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in

the field of reproductive health (RH) and family planning (FP). Two recent

roundtable discussions _ the first, on 29 February 1996, for programme

managers of the Department of Health, and the second, on 18 March 1996,

for the main government agencies involved in FP/RH _ led to agreement on

several basic concepts: 

*	Adoption of the ICPD definition of reproductive health;

*	Determination of areas for improving and coordinating the delivery

of health services responsive to an RH approach to FP; and

*	Identification and prioritization of nine key elements of RH, viz.,

family planning (fertility regulation), obstetric care, prevention and

appropriate treatment of infertility and sexual health disorders,

prevention of abortion, prevention and treatment of reproductive tract

infections (RTIs), breast cancer and cancers of the reproductive system,

counselling and education on sexuality, prevention of violence against

women, and nutrition. 

The national FP/RH Programme, which consists of three major components

or "tracks," is now making significant progress in operationalizing the

ICPD Programme of Action.   

*	Under the Department of Health Track, efforts are under way to

develop RH indicators for monitoring and evaluation, since the existing

system is basically FP-oriented;

*	Under the Non-governmental Organization (NGO) Track, two women's

NGOs are moving towards providing the full range of RH services using

gender-sensitive approaches. Linangan ng Kababaihan (LIKHAAN) and the

Women's Health Care Foundation (WHCF) are operating UNFPA-assisted

clinics that serve as models for RH service delivery;

*	Another NGO, Population Services Pilipinas Inc. (PSPI), has

established a male reproductive health centre and is experimenting with

approaches to attract and involve men in RH; and 

*	Under the Local Government Units (LGUs) Track, a baseline survey for

the 18 provinces to be covered has already incorporated selected RH


 A national workshop to identify key RH messages was held on 28-29

March 1996. After being further refined, the IEC messages generated by

the workshop will serve as the basis for producing new and dynamic IEC

materials on RH.

Adolescent fertility and youth development are receiving focused

attention as a result of the ICPD Programme of Action. Both government

and non-government agencies are now using the results of a national

survey on sexuality-related knowledge, attitudes and practices of

adolescents for advocacy and awareness-creation as well as for the

development of programmes and projects for youth. Key survey findings

were used, inter alia, as the basis for revision of the population education

programme curriculum at all levels, from pre-school to the tertiary level,

including non-formal education and teacher training. 

 During the Board of Commissioners' Meeting of the Commission on

Population (POPCOM), held on 22 February 1996,  10 secretaries of major

government departments pledged their departments to the integration of

population concerns into their respective programmes. 

The Government's commitment to the ICPD Programme of Action was

underscored by an Executive Order signed on 28 February 1996 by

President Fidel V. Ramos.  The Executive Order, inter alia, requires local

government officials to promote the Philippine Family Planning Program

(PFPP) as a priority programme through advocacy activities and vigorous

and sustained participation in programme management.

_From Satish Mehra	

UNFPA Representative	


* * *


ICPD News, a quarterly newsletter of the UNFPA Task Force on ICPD

Implementation, is designed to keep the international commu- nity,

government representatives, donors, non-governmental organizations and

others informed about follow-up activities to the International

Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo, Egypt, 5-

13 September 1994.

For additional copies, please contact:

UNFPA Task Force on ICPD Implementation

United Nations Population Fund

220 East 42nd St., 22nd floor

New York, NY 10017 USA

Fax: 212-297- 5250


Catherine S. Pierce

Contributing Editors:

Ranjana Dikhit, Arthur Erken

Editorial Consultant:

Barbara Ryan

Please let us know if you have information, ideas for articles or

suggestions for this newsletter. Material from ICPD News may be freely

reproduced if credit is given and tear sheets are provided to the editor.

* *** *

For further information, please contact: popin@undp.org
POPIN Gopher site: gopher://gopher.undp.org/11/ungophers/popin
POPIN WWW site:http://www.undp.org/popin