Fertility declines worldwide

The 44th session of the Commission on Population and Development will discuss the theme of “Fertility, reproductive health and development” from 11-15 April in New York

This year’s session will discuss a wide range of issues, including the decline in fertility over the last six decades and the efforts being made to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015. Discussions will highlight the potential impact of existing levels of fertility if they are maintained. Efforts to rapidly reduce fertility are especially needed in fast growing countries in Africa and Asia. In both areas, particularly in Africa, current fertility levels would lead to unsustainable numbers of people in the future.

The discussion is expected to note that ensuring access to modern methods of family planning to those who need them is an effective way of improving the health of mothers and infants. This is key to making sure that people have the means to exercise their reproductive rights. Furthermore, by preventing unintended pregnancies, family planning can ultimately reduce the overall cost of providing healthcare services to mothers and newborns.

However, even as the funding levels required are greater than ever before, the financial resources actually mobilized are still not sufficient to realize the objectives of the Programme of Action and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The decrease in the funds made available for family planning services has been of particular concern.

Items on the agenda for the Session include actions to follow-up on the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), a general debate on national experience in population matters, world demographic trends, programme implementation and future programme of work of the Secretariat in the field of population, contribution of population and development issues to the theme of the annual ministerial review in 2011 (“Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to education”) and the adoption of the report of the Commission on its forty-fourth session.

The Population Commission was established by the Economic and Social Council in 1946 and renamed the Commission on Population and Development by the General Assembly in 1994. In addition to advising the Council, the Commission, as a functional commission assisting the Council, has the task of monitoring, reviewing and assessing the implementation at the national, regional and international levels of the Programme of Action of the ICPD. The Commission is composed of 47 members, who are elected on the basis of equitable geographic distribution and serve a term of four years.

For more information: http://www.un.org/esa/population/cpd/aboutcom.htm

Electing members for ECOSOC bodies

ECOSOC resumes its organizational session and holds elections of subsidiary bodies in New York on 27-28 April

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will hold elections to the following subsidiary bodies: Statistical Commission; Commission on Population and Development; Commission for Social Development; Commission on the Status of Women; Commission on Narcotic Drugs; Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; Commission on Sustainable Development; Commission on Science and Technology for Development; International Narcotics Control Board; Committee for Programme and Coordination; Executive Board of UNICEF; Executive Committee of the Programme of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees; Executive Board of NDP, UNFPA, UNOPS; Programme Coordinating Board of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS; Governing Council of UN Human Settlements Programme; and Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting.

The Council will also take decisions on outstanding matters from the organizational session, including themes for the Annual Ministerial Review 2012-2014; for the humanitarian affairs segment and for the item on regional cooperation of the 2011 substantive session. It will also hold the annual half-day session on the transition from relief to development.

For more information: http://www.un.org/en/ecosoc/