ENB:06:11 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]

Preamble and Principles Section:

The ICW also addressed the preamble and the proposed section on principles for the Cairo Document, as described in the Secretariat's draft conceptual framework. Several delegations expressed their concern that the preamble should be drafted in a way that captivates the public's interest. Many delegations called for the preamble to address additional issues beyond those referenced in the Secretariat's draft. For example, the US suggested three areas for further consideration: past experiences with population policies and programmes; how the issues have changed during the last 20 years; and reference to key actions necessary to meet the needs of people and to stabilize population growth.

Several delegations suggested that the preamble should refer to other international agreements on women, human rights and trade and that it should include references to relevant demographic data. There was general agreement that the preamble should also address the resources and actions necessary to attain population objectives in the context of sustained economic growth and sustainable development, with reference to human rights and developing countries.

The discussion on the principles section of the conceptual framework reflected consensus on the need for the principles to form the basis for the new plan of action and to provide the guiding philosophy for global and regional action into the 21st century. Most delegations stressed that the principles should build as much as possible on other relevant international agreements. Pakistan and Iran called for an additional principle regarding the right to development. The EC favored a group of principles that highlight the importance of human rights in the population context. The UK expressed its concerns with the centrality of the individual's rights and endorsed the view of Dr. Sadik that the theme of human development and population is about increasing choices and opportunities. The US called for special attention to indigenous peoples, marginalized individuals and peoples with disabilities. The US also stated that clear reference must be made to the importance of ensuring access to safe abortion.

Discussion also focussed on the EC proposal that identifies four areas for organizing the general principles: Human Rights and Population; Human Development and Population; Sustainable Development and Population; and Partnerships in Population. While the US endorsed this proposal, the G-77 felt that the structure did not provide a balanced and integrated approach to the theme of population.

[Return to start of article]