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ROUNDTABLE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES

UNFPA, in cooperation with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), convened a roundtable on population and development strategies from 17-19 November 1993 in Bangkok, Thailand. Over 40 development experts and officials from bilateral and multilateral assistance agencies debated how to better integrate population into development planning. Topics for discussion included the consequences for population policy formulation of the new planning "paradigm", the implications of structural adjustment policies for human resources, policy research challenges, divergent experiences from countries and regions, and future directions for population and sustainable development.

Participants at the roundtable adopted a set of recommendations directed at governments, international organizations and NGOs. Governments were urged to recognize the growing need for strategic thinking about population and development, particularly in the context of the increasing emphasis on private, market-based initiatives for productive growth. There was agreement that policies and programmes need to be more participatory, involve local communities and ensure the empowerment of women. Participants also agreed that planning and policy making should be decentralized as much as possible.