ENB:06:08 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]

PLENARY: PROPOSED CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

The final day of debate on the proposed conceptual framework opened with BURUNDI, who stressed that recognition of the importance of the family should be addressed in the essential principles section. He also recommended reversing the order of chapters I and II to address the population situation before the linkages with development. ARGENTINA mentioned that the term "reproductive rights" in Chapter IV should be replaced with "reproductive health." He added that abortion should not be considered an appropriate method of family planning.

NEPAL stated that Chapter I should address the question of population and sustainable development and economic growth in an integrated manner. ROMANIA stressed the ageing problem and suggested reversing the order of Chapters II and III, merging Chapters IV and V, and merging Chapters VIII, IX, and X in light of their interrelatedness. LATVIA outlined his country's unique demographic problems that stem from Soviet occupation including: death from unnatural causes; poor maternal and infant health; and the loss of 40% of ethnic Latvians.

DENMARK commented on the specific point of adolescent sexuality and fertility. TANZANIA stated that the paragraph on family planning programmes, should promote both modern and traditional methods of family planning. The MALDIVES called for promotion of the voluntary use of family planning and the importance of creating awareness by involving spiritual and political leaders.

The BANGLADESH INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH FOR PROMOTION OF REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH spoke on behalf of Asian NGOs and described the major Asian problems related to population and development. The ASSOCIATION FOR VOLUNTARY SURGICAL CONTRACEPTION called for the articulation of standards for the provision of family planning services. The THIRD WORLD NETWORK urged consideration of: unsustainable consumption; poverty elimination; democratic and safe family planning; the empowerment of women; and the importance of ensuring that population reduction is not a conditionality for aid.

SWEDEN urged the donor community to be more active in the population field, but added that aid is not a substitute for malfunctioning government policies. THAILAND suggested that the preamble of the final document include the Rio Declaration, Agenda 21 and regional declarations on population and development. He added that the issue of "health and mortality" should form a separate chapter. NIGER stressed the need to build institutional capacity to implement effective population policies.

BOLIVIA focused on national population issues and urged that the conceptual framework reflect indigenous issues. NORWAY urged the need for legislation that protects women from sexual discrimination. BURKINA FASO said there is a need to stress the eradication of hunger and food security in Chapter I(b) and the link between poverty and the environment in Chapter I(c). She also urged promotion of the community approach in Chapter V (health and mortality).

The UNITED KINGDOM stated that each section of the document start with the underlying rights, obligations and responsibilities and that the section on reproductive health should examine the means by which people can have informed contraceptive choice. Echoing the US, he requested that a first draft of the main document for PrepCom III be circulated to governments and NGOs during the 48th session of the General Assembly. NEW ZEALAND said that Chapter II must focus on securing the involvement of women at all levels of decision making and supported the Dominican Republic's comments on ageing issues in Chapter III. JAPAN said that the Preamble and Chapter I should emphasize population growth. He supported the EC's suggestion for four clusters of guiding principles. He suggested that Chapter IV(b) on family planning should highlight successful strategies. JAMAICA said it was disturbing that as biomedical advances offer women more options, religious fundamentalists impose their views on secular society and deny women their reproductive choice.

MOROCCO stated that the international community must increase financial resources for population programmes and he stressed that the family is too important to only be addressed in one small section. NICARAGUA stated that demographic growth is not the principle factor of environmental degradation. She stressed the need in Chapter III(d) for commitment of both men and women to the family unit. The CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC mentioned a number of points that must be addressed in the final document including: education for girls; effects of structural adjustment; abortion; and that family planning is a matter of education and information.

UGANDA stressed the importance of family life education, primary health care, and the role of NGOs in effective population programmes. ZAIRE stated that: reducing illiteracy rates will help ensure the success of family planning programmes; mechanisms are needed to create new employment; and strengthening national institutional frameworks. DISABLED PEOPLES' INTERNATIONAL pointed out the omission of people with disabilities in the conceptual framework. She stated succinctly, among other things, that people with disabilities are not asexual and need access to family planning information.

COICA, an Amazon indigenous peoples' organization, called for an end to genocide of indigenous peoples. The WORLD POPULATION FOUNDATION, on behalf of European NGOs, stated that it will only cost US$2 per year to protect women from unwanted pregnancies and urged access to contraception, especially in poor countries. The COMMONWEALTH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION focussed on adolescent fertility issues and related health problems.

[Return to start of article]