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

A/CONF.171/13/Add.1:Report of the ICPD, Annexes I to IV (94/10/18)


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.






A/CONF.171/13/Add.1                             18 October 1994




                          ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT*

                           (Cairo, 5-13 September 1994)




        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                                             



                             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 


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   


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


A/CONF.171/7          List of non-governmental organizations      

and Add.1             recommended for accreditation: note by the  


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        


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   


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  


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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     How can equality of the sexes and emancipation of women be


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


      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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     "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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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


     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



                            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


     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


     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


     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


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.


     a/   It should be noted that the Conference, per se, took no

formal note of

these activities.

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