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FRIDAY MORNING, 18 NOVEMBER 1994

NEPAL: The representative said that the Cairo Conference was not just another meeting for the benefit of a few. If implemented fully, the Programme of Action has the capacity to transform the lives of billions. The Programme gives the major burden of implementation to developing countries. The importance of institutional follow-up to the Conference cannot be over-emphasized. The role of the UN system in the implementation of the Programme is very important. They must make the best use of existing institutions without compromising effective follow-up. Existing institutional arrangements must be strengthened and a separate Executive Board for UNFPA must be considered.

AUSTRALIA: Richard Rowe said that the Cairo Conference achieved unprecedented international agreement on the central issues of sustainable development, human rights and the promotion of individual choice. Australia looks to ECOSOC to fulfill its role in coordination of the follow-up process among relevant UN agencies. He called for active field-level support by resident coordinators to the measures taken by UN agencies to assist countries in implementing the Programme of Action. On the question of a separate Executive Board for UNFPA, further consideration should be given to this matter at a later date. With regard to additional resources to translate the goals of Cairo into reality, Australia has already trebled funding for population and development activities. The centrality of international migration issues was reflected in the discussion on family reunification. Australia welcomes the proposal that an international conference on migration be convened by the UN. It should be carefully planned so that it does not overlap with the work of other international organizations like the OECD.

ARGENTINA: The representative said that Argentina welcomes the adoption of the Programme of Action in Cairo. There are four levels where the analysis should move forward: the General Assembly, ECOSOC, a functional commission of ECOSOC on population and development; and an Executive Board for UNFPA to provide follow-up from an institutional point of view. The Secretary- General should prepare a report on this, including budgetary implications and logistical support. Argentina believes that the UN should include international migration and development on its agenda and supports holding a conference on this subject.

TURKEY: The representative said that at the national level, governments should work to increase the consciousness of population issues by giving utmost attention to these issues in the schools. At the international level, governments must cooperate better to achieve common goals.

PAKISTAN: Jan Ali Junejo said that the success of Cairo reflects a genuine commitment by the international community to lay aside all differences of opinion. The chapeau of Chapter II underscores that the implementation of the recommendations in the Programme of Action is the sovereign right of each country and should be in accordance with the religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of its people. Only after a review of the respective roles of the bodies in the UN system dealing with population and development issues can an appropriate follow-up mechanism be identified. If the General Assembly is unable to consider the need for a separate Executive Board for UNFPA this year, the matter should be taken up by ECOSOC next year.

PHILIPPINES: Ronald B. Allarey said that the Philippines is committed to the objectives of the Programme of Action. The concept of development recognizes that sustained development does not depend only on governments but on families, individuals, cooperatives and NGOs. He raised the importance of a number of issues, including the centrality of women in the population and development process, discrimination and violence against women, and the need for empowerment of women. The Philippines has called for an international conference on migration and has presented a draft resolution on this matter to the G-77. The Philippines Government has forged a closer partnership with NGOs to implement the Cairo Programme of Action. Philippine laws reject abortion as a method of family planning. The Government has made available a choice of other family planning methods to enable lowering the incidence of illegal and unsafe abortions.

TUNISIA: The Tunisian Ambassador described his country"s experience with population and sustainable development policies. Population growth has dropped from 3% in the 1960s to less than 2% today, partially as a result of the availability of family planning services. The success in solving population and development problems largely depends on strengthening cooperation among States, while bearing in mind the characteristics and priorities of each society. He stressed the need to ensure further financial resources to implement the Programme of Action. Given all of the ramifications of the immigration problem, Tunisia feels that this phenomenon must be controlled and the international community should convene an international conference on immigration before 1997.

NIGERIA: The Nigerian Ambassador noted the need for respect of each nation"s sovereignty in the implementation of the Programme of Action. Gender equality and the empowerment of women are vital. The Programme of Action must be backed by financial support and countries must consider specific targets for assistance, especially for education, infant and maternal mortality and for the provision of health services. Increased coordination is needed among all relevant UN agencies.

BENIN: Amb. Ren‚ Val‚ry Mongbe said that the ICPD is a new navigational aid for achieving sustainable development. Now that the TV news cameras are no longer pointed at the participants, we can now calmly analyze the results of the Conference and its implementation. The first phase of the implementation of the Programme of Action should be reflected in the draft resolution in the Second Committee, which should note the comparative advantages of the various UN organs and committees that deal with population issues. Regarding the Population Commission, it is important to: draft new terms of reference on the mandate of the Commission; rename the Commission to include the development dimension; and raise the number of member states to 53. The issue of the UNFPA Executive Board cannot be dealt with at this session of the General Assembly since more study is needed.

LIBYA: The representative said that all efforts must be made to enhance and establish population policies that will guarantee the growth and prosperity of developing societies. UN organs should play a greater role to prevent negative trends by evaluating these challenges in a practical manner. At the time when the international community is exerting great efforts to integrate the human being in development planning, Libya believes that one of the most important organs is the Security Council, which issues decisions that impose embargoes that have led to great suffering. The Programme of Action must be implemented with respect for national sovereignty and the religious values.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: The representative said that although the Solomon Islands has a small population of 350,000, it has a growth rate of 3.5%. The consequences of such rapid population growth made the ICPD process and its outcome particularly important for the Solomon Islands. Fourteen Pacific Island delegations participated in the Cairo Conference, compared to three at the Mexico City Conference. The adoption of the Port Vila Declaration on Population and Sustainable Development in 1993 was a firm commitment of the collective efforts of the Pacific Island States. He stressed the important role that the UNFPA regional office in Fiji plays in backstopping the population programmes in the South Pacific.

MARSHALL ISLANDS: The representative said that the ICPD was a landmark event for all those involved in population and development. The high population growth rate in the Pacific region will require strong efforts and a new global partnership for successful implementation of the Programme of Action. While the roles, responsibilities and mandates of the UN organs dealing with population and development issues should be reviewed and strengthened, current realities must be reflected and implementation of the Programme of Action should not wait until after this review. The Population Commission should be restructured to be a Population and Development Commission. Expansion of its membership should be considered. The Marshall Islands supports establishment of an Executive Board for UNFPA.

THAILAND: The representative said that the Programme of Action has incorporated new concepts of development and will provide important inputs to Copenhagen, Beijing and Istanbul. The dynamic role of NGOs must be recognized as essential to the effective implementation of the Programme of Action. To reap the benefits of Cairo at the international level, political will must be backed by financial resources. The Population Commission should have an important role to play in monitoring and reviewing the Programme of Action in close collaboration with the Population Division and UNFPA.

UNITED STATES: The representative said that in Cairo delegates agreed on a forward looking Programme of Action that embodies a new approach for dealing with population and development issues. As we celebrate the success of Cairo, the lasting importance of the Programme of Action rests with its implementation by governments, in partnership with NGOs, international agencies and the private commercial sector. UN agencies and international financial institutions have a key leadership role in follow-up. Better coordination is needed among donors and it is crucial to develop a monitoring system to track progress toward implementing the Programme of Action. This monitoring system must be active rather than passive. Monitoring reports should be packaged to encourage use by policymakers and the monitoring system must not be overly burdensome to governments.

DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE"S REPUBLIC OF KOREA: The representative said that the ICPD raised awareness about the interrelationship between population and development issues. The outcome of the ICPD should make a positive contribution to the Social Summit and Women"s Conference. With regard to implementation: each country should give priority to the formulation of national population policies; the will of the people should be respected; peace and security is a prerequisite; mobilization of financial resources is needed at the national and international levels; and South-South cooperation is important. Monitoring implementation at the national, regional and international levels is needed and UNFPA should play an enhanced role in this regard.

CONGO: The delegate said that without the political will, the valuable gains in Cairo will be lost. The time has come for the General Assembly to consider the possibility of giving UNFPA its own governing body.

KAZAKHSTAN: Amb. Akmaral Kh. Arystanbekova said that the report of the Cairo Conference provides the General Assembly with a chance to evaluate what was achieved in Cairo and set the follow-up process in motion. The principle importance of the Cairo Programme of Action is that it recognizes the empowerment of women as an important part of sustainable development. Each country has its own priorities as it faces its own unique challenges. The situation in Kazakhstan is aggravated by environmental degradation and the transition to a market economy. High rates of migration, increasing unemployment, and problems in providing education and health care are also affecting the country. Technical and financial assistance from the international community is essential. It is not the adoption of the Programme of Action that matters, but our ability to translate it into concrete action.

SLOVAKIA: The representative said that the Programme of Action represents a diverse number of views. The implementation of the Programme of Action requires effective follow-up. ECOSOC can play a useful role in this regard. Slovakia will prepare a national Programme of Action in preparation for the WSSD and the Women"s Conference. The advancement of the role of women is crucial to bringing about change. There is a need to re-evaluate national and international programmes to bring them in line with the Cairo Programme of Action.

SENEGAL: The representative said that there is a need to raise further resources to assist African countries in implementing population programmes. The Population Commission must be strengthened.

CHILE: The representative said that the Programme of Action highlighted the need for cultural co-existence. At the national level, various plans and programmes must be promoted. NGOs have an important role to play in this regard. Cairo opened a new phase in the consideration of population issues and now the initiatives must be taken to effectively implement the Programme of Action while respecting cultural rights.

HOLY SEE: Archbishop Renato R. Martino noted that consistent with its own moral convictions and teachings, the Holy See associated itself through a partial consensus on selected chapters and supported specific sections in the Programme of Action. The Holy See is pleased to find in the chapeau of Chapter II that national implementation of the recommendations in the Programme of Action must respect various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds, in conformity with universally recognized human rights. The Holy See had hoped for a more comprehensive treatment of the relationship between population and development in the document. He expressed support for language on strengthening the family, recognition that women must be full and equal participants in development, reduction of child and maternal mortality, and international and internal migration. However, the Holy See cannot, does not and will not accept abortion as a component of reproductive health care. He also noted that there was notable absence of concern about the rights of children in the Programme of Action.

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