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A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ICPD

The ICPD was called for by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1989. The Government of Egypt will host the Conference in Cairo from 5-13 September 1994. Dr. Nafis Sadik, the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), is the Secretary-General of the Conference.

The Preparatory Committee had its first substantive session in New York from 4-8 March 1991. This session further defined the objectives and themes of the Conference, identified groups of priority issues, and proposed convening expert group meetings, regional population conferences and two additional sessions of the PrepCom. The PrepCom identified the following six clusters of priority issues: population, environment and development; population policies and programmes; population and women; family planning, health and family well-being; population growth and demographic structure; and population distribution and migration. These clusters were addressed by a series of expert group meetings organized by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Development in consultation with UNFPA. These meetings are summarized in document E/CONF.84/ PC/12, "Synthesis of Expert Group Meetings." Another source of input to the Conference preparations was a series of regional population conferences that were held in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East.

The second session of the Preparatory Committee was held in New York from 10-21 May 1993. The overriding objective was to reach agreement on the form and substance of the final document to be adopted in Cairo. Delegates agreed on a set of population and development issues to be discussed and elaborated a draft structure for the final document. There was support for adoption of a new, free-standing document that will include action-oriented recommendations to effectively address population and development challenges into the next decade. Delegates also reached consensus on the inclusion of a number of issues in this document, including the relationship among population, environment, sustained growth and economic development; the empowerment of women; population ageing; health and mortality; population distribution, urbanization and internal migration; international migration; and the partnership between governments, NGOs and the private sector. (See the Chair's summary on the conceptual framework (E/CONF.84/PC/L.9) for more details.) At the conclusion of the session, delegates called on the Secretariat to prepare the draft plan of action that will be the basis for negotiations at PrepCom III. The Secretariat was asked to prepare an annotated outline by the 48th session of the General Assembly and to produce the first draft of the final document by February 1994. (For more information see the report of the Preparatory Committee (E/1993/69) and Earth Negotiations Bulletin Vol. 6 No. 11.)

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