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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
Report on the 37th Session of the CPD
ISSUE 19 - 29 March 2004
The 37th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) ended last week with the adoption of a draft provisional agenda for the 38th session, a resolution on the work programme in the field of population, and decisions on the special themes for 2005 and 2006 and on the methods of work of the Commission. However, the session was adjourned as no agreement was reached on the main resolution on the “Follow-up to the Programme of Action of the ICPD, Cairo, 1994”.
Commission on Population and Development
As mandated by the General Assembly (GA) resolution 49/128 and subsequent decisions of the CPD, the primary responsibility for the review and assessment of the implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) rests with the three-tiered intergovernmental mechanism comprising the GA, the Economic and Social Council and the CPD.
At its 37th session, on 22-26 March 2004 in New York, the CPD reviewed and appraised the progress made in the implementation of the ICPD PoA, following a thematic approach focusing on cross-cutting themes: (a) population imperatives for sustainable development and (b) building partnerships and capacity, and mobilizing human and financial resources for the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. During the general debate on national experiences, countries reported on significant progress in the implementation of the ICPD PoA and of the Key Actions at the country level, indicating that the ICPD agenda is integrated in national policies and strategies. Yet, much remains to be done to achieve the ICPD goals, and availability of trained human and financial resources remain key obstacles.
On the themes, the Commission reaffirmed the theme agreed to last April for 2005, “Population, Development and HIV/AIDS, with particular emphasis on Poverty” and also decided that it considers in 2005 the contribution of the implementation of the ICPD PoA to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration. The Commission also decided that the special theme for 2006 will be “International Migration and Development”. The outcome of discussion in the commission will be a contribution to the GA high-level dialogue on the same subject that year.
On the methods of work of the CPD, the Commission decided that it will consider its methods of work at its 38th session on the basis of GA Res 57/270B and requested the Secretary General to submit a report to that session, upon consultation with member states, on the improvement of the Commission’s methods of work. The Commission will also elect its bureau on the final day of the previous session, instead of at the beginning of the current session. The commission also decided to establish a system of regular geographic rotation for the chairmanship of the bureau.
The draft resolution on the Follow-up of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, was the object of intense negotiations and consultations.
The resolution, which reaffirmed the ICPD PoA, received the strong support of all delegations except the U.S. and to some extent the Holy See. The failure to reach consensus was mainly due to the fact that some delegations in the G77 linked the ICPD PoA with the debate which was taking place in the Fifth Committee on the extention of UN staff members' family benefits to "a legally recognized domestic partnership contracted by a staff member under the law of the country of his or her nationality". This generated a strong reaction from the EU who submitted a counter-proposal. Unfortunately, various efforts to come to an agreement failed.
One of the positive outcomes of the 37th session of the CPD was the overwhelming acknowledgement of the importance of UNFPA and support for it from all regions of the world and from all countries in the negotiations, including the U.S.
Also, the contribution expected of the Commission to the 2005 summit/high-level event provides an opportunity for issues of population and reproductive health to be brought into the center of the global development debate.
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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