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PREPARATIONS FOR THE CONFERENCE

INDIA: Usha Vohra stated that poverty and environment are two facets of the same challenge. She advocated that population policies and programmes should respond to specific national conditions. She also stated that the effective demand for family planning services must be increased; men must be actively involved in family planning and child rearing; every woman has a right to control her own fertility; and every woman has a right to abortion.

BURKINA FASO: The delegate from Burkina Faso stated that Africa gives the family an important place in the fabric of its economy and, therefore, any population programme should be based on the family. Burkina Faso adopted a 5-year population policy in June 1991 with objectives on the development of human resources; advancement of women; control of migration; urban development; literacy; and family planning. The main obstacle to implementation remains the low level of development.

IRAN: The delegate from Iran expressed hope that the ICPD will lead to a reduction of numerous population problems and enhance the resources available for population programmes. He asserted that the final output of the Conference must respect international rights and values, state sovereignty and the cultural, social and religious values of the countries affected. He highlighted several successful national population initiatives.

POPULATION ACTION INTERNATIONAL: J. Joseph Speidel, President of PAI, outlined a number of crucial issues: all nations must alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life while preserving the environment; both developing and industrialized countries must commit vastly increased resources to make good family planning services available; family planning programmes must improve the quality of services and the choice of available methods; universal access to safe abortion; access to sex education, contraceptive and abortion services by adolescents; and that family planning services should not be held hostage to the availability of comprehensive health care.

PERU: Amb. Fernando Guillen stated that the ICPD is an important follow-up to the task begun last year in Rio. He commented that sustainable development will only become a reality when women have equal access to resources and services and play an active role. He also mentioned that indigenous peoples are important and that Peru supports greater cooperation and coordination with them. Peru enacted a national population law in 1985 and Guillen then proceeded to outline some of the facets of this programme.

KENYA: Amb. Simon B. Arap Bullut noted that Kenya has been at the forefront of the family planning movement in sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya has now entered a demographic transition with population growth rates declining to 3.3% in 1994. Bullut noted that this progress has been achieved through a combination of factors, most notably favorable economic growth, information and education, and NGO participation. He cited that some of the adverse effects of structural adjustment programmes have reversed many of Kenya's demographic gains.

ROMANIA: The delegate from Romania mentioned that significant changes have taken place on all continents in the past 20 years. As a result, the 1994 Conference should be the confirmation of the importance of the Bucharest and Mexico City Conferences as well as a departure from them. He urged the Conference to address the special needs of sub-populations; human rights; and international migration. He specifically mentioned the problems in Europe as a result of the war in the former Yugoslavia and the painful processes of countries in economic transition.

AFRICAN NGOS: Sekai Holland spoke on behalf of the African NGOs at PrepCom II. She referred to the negative impacts of structural adjustment programmes, especially those mandated by the World Bank and the IMF and the fact that Africa's debt service obligations are 20% of its export earnings. Holland spoke as well on the relationship between population and AIDS, environment, the governance crisis, reproductive health and informed choice, women's empowerment, adolescent health, resource mobilization, migration, and civil strife.

THAILAND: Dr. Thakur Phanit called on national governments to set long-term perspectives on population policies and programmes. He expressed hope that Thailand's population rate will drop further to 1.2 %, once its national economic and social development plan is fully implemented. He referred to the fact that success of Thailand's population programme in the past is owed to NGO involvement and reaffirmed his government's support for the full participation of NGOs in the ICPD preparatory process.

BURUNDI: The delegate from Burundi stated that the Conference document should place particular emphasis on displaced refugees; regional and sub-regional cooperation; the central role of the family in population policies; and the establishment of national population policies. She summarized the main strategies of Burundi's population policy, which include increasing the use of contraceptives; training and education; integrating women in development; collection and analysis of data; and numerous sectoral strategies.

C"TE D'IVOIRE: The delegate from the C“te d'Ivoire suggested that the ICPD focus on why the objectives of the World Plan of Action have not been achieved. Her speech focused on the fact that most sub-Saharan countries have had to cope with a drop in export earnings, increased debt, drought, desertification, migration due to natural disasters, and imbalances between overrun cities and empty countrysides. She suggested that debt conversion and the peace dividend be used for social services, including population programmes.

SENEGAL: The delegate from Senegal outlined national preparations for the ICPD, including preparation of the national report and establishment of a national preparatory committee. In Senegal, actions have been carried out on priority areas, including health care, family planning, education, and increasing contraceptive use from 20 to 40% by the year 2010.

TUNISIA: The delegate from Tunisia, on behalf of the Maghreb Union (Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Libya and Tunisia), stated that population policies should be linked to the process of economic and social development, the natural environment, poverty, employment, and access to contraceptives. He said that global policies must take into account the human rights of migrants as well as the need to include local populations in the decision-making process. He also stressed the important role of the family.

JAPAN: Dr. Makoto Atoh affirmed the importance of achieving social and economic development in a way that does not destroy the environment. He urged that this requires not only population control but a change in production and consumption patterns, especially in the developed countries. Atoh also announced that the Government of Japan will earmark US$500,000 of its contribution to UNFPA this year for Conference preparatory costs.

DR. NAFIS SADIK: At the conclusion of the general debate on Agenda Item 4, "Preparations for the Conference," Dr. Sadik summarized several common themes: the relationship between population, sustainable economic growth, sustainable development and consumption; centrality of the individual; empowerment of women; and the full involvement of all men. She also reviewed the contributions made to the Conference Trust Fund. The total amount pledged so far is US$3.481 million, of which US$2.7 million has been received. She expressed hope that the ICPD could raise an additional US$1 million from other sources.

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