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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
Report on the Conclusion of the 37th Session of the CPD
ISSUE 24 - 10 May 2004
Please find below a UNFPA press release on the conclusion of the 37th session of the Commission of Population and Development (CPD), held on 7 May 2004 in New York. The one-day meeting officially ended the session, which took place in March but adjourned when no agreement was reached on the main resolution.
Reproductive Health Essential to World Development, Nations Say Unanimously
"The Spirit of Cairo is Alive," Says Ms. Obaid
UNITED NATIONS, New York, 7 May 2004 â€” The implementation of the Programme of Action of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) makes an essential contribution towards achieving the world's development goals, including those in the Millennium Declaration. This was the conclusion of United Nations Members in a resolution they adopted by consensus on Thursday at the Commission on Population and Development.
Governments, they resolved, should continue committing themselves at the highest political level to Cairo goals by integrating the Programme of Action into poverty eradication efforts. Increased political will and commitment to raise resources were urgently needed to speed the Programme's implementation, they added. With the importance of population and reproductive health to development, Member States continued, developed countries should intensify their efforts to transfer new and additional resources to meet related goals. Donor countries, they added, should fulfill their financial commitments to population assistance.
The United States joined the consensus on the resolution, with an explanation of position. It associated itself with the delegations that had made reservations or statements of interpretation at the Cairo and other major United Nations conferences regarding reproductive health, reproductive rights, family planning services and sexual health. It also stated that it understood that "reaffirming" the Cairo Programme and related conference documents did not constitute a reaffirmation of any language that could be interpreted as promoting abortion or the use of what it termed abortifacients. It also saw abstinence as the most responsible and healthiest choice for unmarried adolescents.
Also explaining its position, Egypt reaffirmed its view that the implementation of the Cairo Programme must be based on the sovereign rights of each country, its values, and on universally recognized human rights.
Speaking for the "Group of 77" developing countries, Qatar's representative expressed hope that the strong support shown to the Cairo Programme would translate into increased funds and technical support to developing countries. The G-77 urged donors to increase contributions to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, considering its support to developing nations.
"You proved that this [the Cairo Programme] is not about stitching together fine words but about the destinies of young people, men and women, societies and the quality of health, life and opportunities all human beings deserve," said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, UNFPA's Executive Director, as Commission members ended their session. "You showed that the spirit of Cairo is alive and kicking as we cross the halfway line in the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action."
The Commission on Population and Development was set up in 1946 with the name Population Commission, to advise the Economic and Social Council on population and its effects. Following the Cairo Conference, its name was changed to the Commission on Population and Development by the General Assembly, which also decided that, as from 1996, the Commission would meet annually to review the Cairo Programme's implementation. The Commission's 47 countries are elected on the basis of equitable geographic distribution.
To view a copy of the Draft Resolution: Follow-up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, visit: http://www.unfpa.org/news/related_docs/cpd-icpd-rsn-may04.doc
This newsletter is issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in its capacity as secretariat for the biannual International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (the first conference was held in November 2002, in Ottawa, Canada). These dispatches are intended to highlight important developments taking place around the world so that parliamentarians can be kept informed of and learn from the successes, setbacks and challenges encountered by their fellow parliamentarians in other countries and regions in their efforts to promote the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (September 1994, Cairo, Egypt). It should be noted that UNFPA does not necessarily endorse all of the policies described in this newsletter.
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