CANADA: Amb. David Karsgaard said that unprecedented consensus was reached on international migration. He noted the call for an international conference on migration. Such a conference could serve to advance the progress made on these issues at the ICPD, but Canada is not interested in a conference for the sake of a conference. Canada could support such a conference if it builds on the ICPD consensus and there is broad agreement in advance on its objectives and process. He noted that a proposal for a similar conference on migration has been addressed pursuant to General Assembly resolution 48/113. The international community should be dealing with only one proposal for an international conference. He also stressed the importance of non- governmental partnerships in the implementation of the Programme of Action. ECOSOC should provide system-wide coordination in implementing the Programme of Action. While all UN bodies and related organizations should review their programmes and strategies there should be no shifts in responsibilities until after completion of a comprehensive review of their mandates.
RUSSIAN FEDERATION: The representative said that the Cairo decisions provide a new approach to population beyond regulating demographics and birthrates. This will require changes in national policy and international programmes. The Programme of Action presupposes a more active role for the non-governmental sector. The sovereign rights of States to develop their own population policies must be taken into account. The Russian Federation agrees to assign some of the follow-up functions to the Population Commission. There will need to be an expansion of its mandate, its participants and its relationship with UNFPA, which should remain the center of UN population-related activities.
IRAN: Amb. Kamal Kharrazi said that the question of financing the Programme of Action received less attention since it was overshadowed by other controversial issues. Although developing countries are working hard to respond to urgent needs, the financial requirements of the Programme of Action go well beyond national capabilities. Without provision of substantial external resources on an assured basis, the chances of full and expeditious implementation of the Programme of Action are slim. He stressed the importance of strengthening the Population Commission and UNFPA, and coordination among all relevant organizations of the UN system. With regard to the establishment of an Executive Board for UNFPA, there is a need for a detailed report on the advantages as well as financial costs.
SAMOA: The representative said that perhaps the greatest contribution and achievement of Cairo is recognition that enhancing political, economic and education opportunities for women will ensure stable population growth. In the Pacific region, there is a need for wide dissemination of relevant information in the Cairo Programme of Action. To enhance the implementation of the Cairo Programme, overseas funding will be required to assist and supplement national resources. There is also a need for: an energized and revitalized UNFPA; strengthened UNFPA regional and subregional offices; and a separate UNFPA Executive Board. The role, composition and mandate of the UN Population Commission also must be reviewed. Just as we set out in Cairo to move the debate beyond family planning, now we need to act rapidly to move the commitments beyond words.
ZIMBABWE: The representative said that people must be put at the center of development efforts. Zimbabwe has made some progress with regard to the empowerment of women since independence. However, there are still high rates of maternal mortality related to unsafe abortions in developing countries. All efforts must be made to obviate the need for recourse to abortion. Without resources, the Programme of Action will remain a paper promise. The international community must provide new and additional financial resources to ensure adequate implementation. Zimbabwe attaches great importance to the chapter on partnership with NGOs.
NEW ZEALAND: John McKinnon said that for the first time at the Cairo Conference the international community addressed population growth in the broader context of achieving sustainable development. Now is the time to ensure that the effort put into the Cairo Conference is carried forward and the advances made are not lost. New Zealand recently announced a 20% increase in its 1995 contribution to UNFPA. At the international level, regular review by the General Assembly will be necessary and any reporting requirements by member States should be realistic. There is no need for new institutional or governance structures, however, there should be a comprehensive review of the roles of the Population Commission, the Population Division of the UN Secretariat and UNFPA at the 1995 ECOSOC meeting. The UNFPA/UNDP Board should give more attention to governing UNFPA.
AUSTRIA: Amb. Ernst Sucharipa said that while previous population conferences concentrated almost exclusively on family planning, in Cairo the international community recognized that decisions related to human fertility are influenced by a wide range of factors including education, health and the status of women. With regard to follow-up, Austria looks forward to the discussion at ECOSOC on the implications of the ICPD recommendations on UN operational activities for development. The Population Division and UNFPA should intensify their cooperation based on their respective comparative advantages. The Population Commission should examine its role in the implementation of the ICPD recommendations and to report to ECOSOC. The establishment of an Executive Board for UNFPA deserves further consideration.
ROMANIA: Ion C. Popescu from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that in Romania there is a severe decline in fertility rates, a high level of mortality and an increase in the proportion and number of elderly persons. Romania supports the principles and objectives of the Cairo Programme of Action and especially notes the right to development, the recognition of the problems of population and development in the countries with economies in transition, and the importance of partnership with the non-governmental sector. Romania increased her voluntary contribution to UNFPA for 1995 by 30%. Regional organizations should play an active role in the implementation of the recommendations of the ICPD. Bucharest has offered to host a meeting of the UN/ECE member States on ICPD follow-up.
MEXICO: Dr. Manuel Urbina, Secretary-General of the National Population Council, underlined the Conference conclusions on the subject of international migration. There is a need to adopt a global approach, which requires: dialogue and cooperation between countries of origin and countries of destination; economic and social integration of migrants in the destination countries; and elimination of all discriminatory practices. Mexico supports convening an international conference on migration. Mexico is also convinced that the Population Commission must be strengthened, since it should serve as the intergovernmental agency for ICPD follow- up.
MALTA: Amb. Joseph Cassar said that population and development policies require more than the assent of governments and international organizations. Their success necessitates the active support of our populations. The Programme of Action places the right emphases on the respect for religious and ethical values and for diverse cultural backgrounds. A selective approach, which emphasizes the implementation of a restrictive demographic orientation and sacrifices the developmental perspective, would be detrimental to the success of the Programme of Action. Apart from reservations that Malta still has with regard to the inadequate protection of the rights of the unborn child, the Programme of Action does offer a positive strategy that integrates population issues within the much wider context of development.
BANGLADESH: The representative said that the goals of the ICPD will fall short if poverty is not eradicated. National governments have been assigned the responsibility for implementation, but developing countries will need support from the international community. Sub-regional and regional cooperation on population should be encouraged and strengthened,. and the special needs of the poor and vulnerable must be considered. The UN should continue to play an important role in the field of population and development. The existing mechanisms of the UN, particularly the Population Commission, should be reviewed and strengthened. The question of a separate executive board for UNFPA should also be considered.
BRAZIL: Srgio Florencio noted that ICPD follow-up involves giving the Population Commission the means with which to carry out the responsibility of intergovernmental monitoring of the Cairo recommendations and commitments. This will require a review of the mandate, composition and working methods of the Commission. UNFPA should retain the overall responsibility for the operational implementation of international cooperation in the population field. While the establishment of a separate Executive Board for UNFPA does not have widespread support, at the very least one full session of the UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board should be devoted exclusively to UNFPA affairs.
INDIA: Manoranjan Bhakta, Member of Parliament, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the ICPD. As a developing country, India is happy that the right to development has been included as a human right and the empowerment of women and elimination of discrimation have been supported. With regard to funding, the 20:20 proposal requires further discussion and more clarity before being adopted in any manner. India agrees with the consensus that governments should deal with the health impact of unsafe abortions and that prevention of unwanted pregnancies must be given highest priority, thereby eliminating the need for abortions. He also stressed the need for access to new technologies and increased availability of resources. A separate Executive Board for UNFPA should only be considered if substantial resources become available.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Amb. Utula U. Samana said that success of the ICPD depends on establishment of realistic and practical strategies involving all sectors of the community at the national level and international support by donor agencies and multilateral organizations. He elaborated on the needs of Papua New Guinea in implementing the Programme of Action and what progress has been made so far. With regard to institutional follow-up to the Conference, Papua New Guinea is following the current debate on the mechanisms for implementation of the Programme of Action and the future Executive Board of UNFPA.
FIJI: Amb. Manasa K. Seniloli said that the ICPD set standards of excellence that will be the yardstick against which other international meetings will be judged. The availability and early mobilization of financial resources will be a critical element underpinning the success of activities at the national level that will breathe life into the Programme of Action. International financial institutions will play a strategic part in providing the enabling environment for the implementation of the Programme of Action. Fiji agrees that ECOSOC must play an integral role in broadly monitoring and coordinating the follow-up to Cairo. The General Assembly should also organize a regular review of the implementation of the Programme of Action. At the subregional level, Fiji will seek to engage its neighbors in a dialogue as to how the South Pacific Forum can better respond to the challenges posed by the Programme of Action.
PANAMA: The representative said that the Cairo Programme of Action will only be a positive and dynamic force if governments, local communities, NGOs and the UN system translate the recommendations of the Conference into positive measures. These measures must have coherence with earlier effective programmes, feasibility, synergistic qualities to make it possible for organs to work together, and moral consensus. Projects must be related to national values. The General Assembly and the UN organs must bear in mind that the UN is working within the framework of a changing international environment.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA: The representative said that one of the most positive outcomes of the ICPD was recognition of the importance of empowering women. Other strong sections in the Programme of Action are the ones on reproductive health and rights and grassroots participation. The challenge now is implementation, and developing countries need the support of the international community. The Republic of Korea and UNFPA will be hosting a seminar in Seoul from 21-24 November on gender preferences and female infanticide.
POLAND: Dr. Jan Woroniecki said that no single group in the ICPD process had as profound an impact as the non-governmental sector. Mechanisms should be examined to further expand the participation of NGOs in UNFPA-financed activities. Interagency and intersectoral cooperation and collaboration must be strengthened in the field of population. The General Assembly and ECOSOC should carry out their respective responsibilities in providing system-wide coordination and guidance in the monitoring and implementation of the Programme of Action. Creation of a more coherent reporting system, taking into account the reporting procedures that are required in follow-up to other international conferences, should also be taken into consideration.
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