The General Assembly began consideration of Agenda Item 158 on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) on Thursday morning, 17 November 1994. While the debate was held in the Plenary, the action on this item will be taken in the Second Committee. Delegates had before them the report of the ICPD, as contained in documents A/CONF.171/13 and Add. 1. The Conference took place in Cairo from 5-13 September 1994.
During the course of the two-day debate, delegates praised the ICPD for its comprehensive treatment of population and development, since it was the first time that an international conference on population did not focus on demographics. Furthermore, delegates expressed satisfaction with the advances made in the Programme of Action with regard to the role of NGOs, the empowerment of women, reproductive health, reproductive rights and treatment of unsafe abortion as a public health issue. While delegates stressed the need for effective follow-up to the Conference, the majority did not think that any new UN institutions should be established, but rather the UN Commission on Population, the Population Division of the UN Secretariat and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) should be strengthened.
The following is a summary of the two-day debate with special emphasis on issues relating to implementation of the Cairo Programme of Action that must be addressed by the 49th General Assembly.