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GENERAL DEBATE

GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA: Algerian Amb. Ramtane Lamamra, on behalf of the G-77 and China, stressed that "sustained human development" and "human security" must become established integral concepts. He affirmed the importance of human rights and poverty elimination. Important areas to be revised in the text relate to institutional arrangements, international cooperation and follow-up mechanisms. He supported the idea of expanding the Bureau of the Cairo Conference by increasing the number of Vice-Chairs in order to provide the broadest possible geographic representation. However, he discouraged any measures that might give rise to a multiplicity of working groups that would impact negatively on the transparency and the contribution of developing countries.

EGYPT: Prof. Maher Mahran, Minister of Population and Family Welfare, acknowledged the importance of women for successful implementation of any population activities. He also emphasized the need for an additional chapter on the roles and responsibility of men in family planning. He assured that preparations for the ICPD is underway and information on the logistics may be sought from representatives of Egypt.

CHINA: Mme. Peng Yu reiterated the critical role played by population and demographic imbalances in economic development. She emphasized that because of the diversity in cultural and demographic conditions, governments should formulate their own population objectives and strategies. She stated that family planning should not be promoted by coercion, but that couples should be given the rights and responsibilities to decide on the number and spacing of their children.

JAPAN: The representative called for a concise and action-oriented document to be implemented globally. He also agreed with the linkage between population and sustainable development. However, a consensus is needed regarding the achievement of the ambitious numerical targets. He mentioned that Japan had contributed US$500,000 for developing country participation in the ICPD process. He assured that Japan will continue its financial support.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA: Amb. Lionel Hurst stated the commitment of its nation to the improvement of the role of women. He provided concrete examples regarding the high rates of literacy, political representation, and access to family planning and health in his country. He added that the Conference must go beyond acknowledging the links between population dynamics and development.

IPPF: The representative from the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) listed the six challenges that the IPPF will focus on: access by all women to contraception; access to information for safe sex; quality health care; access to safe abortion; access to information on transmittable diseases and unwanted pregnancies by adolescents; and empowerment of women through protection of their reproductive rights.

POPULATION ACTION INTERNATIONAL: The representative emphasized the challenge to universalize access to quality health care. He stated that flexible, preventive health care is significantly more cost effective than curative healthcare.

ECUADOR: Marjorie Ulloa insisted on the need for a favorable economic environment to help attain the objectives of the ICPD. She said that the social crisis in Ecuador is characterized by a deterioration of living standards and very high unemployment rates, compounded by the lack of health coverage and illiteracy.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Delia Chatoor referred to the Trinidad experts meeting in September, which was attended by representatives of the Caribbean countries. She affirmed the importance of a Caribbean perspective.

AUSTRALIA: Amb. Richard Butler identified several issues of particular importance to Australia: the plight of indigenous peoples; the relationship between population, sustained economic growth and sustainable development; the status of women; reproductive rights, health and family planning; international migration; population and development; and ICPD follow-up.

UNESCO: Francine Fournier said that the ICPD must build on the international commitment to provide education for all, with gender equity. She referred to the need to refine the knowledge base and to foster new approaches to education activities to deal with the issues of population, environment and human development.

NGO PLANNING COMMITTEE: Billie Miller noted that over 500 NGOs are represented here by over 1200 individuals. She highlighted the importance of the role of NGOs in the population and development field, noting that they continue to act where governments cannot or will not act. She said that over 6000 NGO representatives will attend the ICPD, noting Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish and EU support for the Global Forum. She added that an additional US$800,000 is needed to cover costs.

POPULATION COUNCIL: The representative said that the solutions for the problems at hand should not only address demographics, but quality of life issues as well. Governments must include family planning and reproductive health services as key social investments to assist individuals in meeting their family planning goals. Conditions must be created that are favorable to the development of small families, including increased education and better investment in women and children.

WEDO: Bella Abzug said that the action plan does not sufficiently recognize that over-consumption of non-renewable and endangered resources is a significant contributor to long-term environmental degradation. She said that the ICPD must emphasize: the unmet needs of the poor; increased development assistance to women's empowerment programmes; greater allocations for health care; funding international networks and coalitions to monitor abuses; and grassroots-based standards for evaluation of contraceptive technology.

INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE: The representative referred to dwindling world food production, the environmental concerns of high input food production, and the impacts of agricultural protectionism. He added that increased investment in irrigation and infrastructure, education and training, and sectoral policies are needed.

JAPANESE FEDERATION OF PARLIAMENTARIANS ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT: Dr. Taro Nakayama introduced the Tokyo Declaration, which was the product of the Meeting of Eminent Persons on Population and Development. The Declaration highlights the principal problems regarding population, sustainable development, women's roles in decision making, reproductive health and family planning, population distribution and migration.

CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE LAW AND POLICY: Rachel Pine said that governments should endorse legal norms that promote access to comprehensive, voluntary and quality reproductive health care for women. Governments should also adopt laws to foster the legal, medical, social and economic conditions that empower women.

ASIAN FORUM OF PARLIAMENTARIANS ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT: Mr. Shin Sakurai said that the commitment to population issues must ensure dignity of the human race. He noted that for the first time in history we have found a common purpose for which we can fight, regardless of our nationalities.

ECOLOGY TASK FORCE: The representative said that all generations are at risk if the current economic paradigms are not changed. He said that social policies must protect the whole of creation.

INTERNATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF FREE TRADE UNIONS: The representative noted that the high rate of unemployment has brought massive human suffering. She said that a special chapter on employment creation and training should be developed.

FAO: Jacques du Guerny said that the heart of the problem lies in food security and the elimination of related constraints. FAO will organize a World Food Summit in 1996 to ensure the political commitment to carry out ICPD goals.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: The Representative said that more primary health care is needed in order to achieve the goals of the Bali Declaration. He said that ESCAP had set realistic goals and that female education was key.

WORLD BANK: Tom Merrick said that the World Bank is in the process of reviewing its own policies regarding population activities. He said that global expenditures must double in the next decade and urged that programme goals should be stated in terms of quality of health care instead of reduction of growth rates. The Bank will help mobilize the necessary resources.

INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT: The representative said that the ultimate goal of the ICPD is to achieve as much development as possible, while minimizing environmental stress.

BOTSWANA: The representative suggested that: progress must be made in lowering morbidity and mortality rates; more emphasis should be made in data processing and analysis; governments should remove obstacles for girl child education; the international donor community should complement the social spending efforts of the poorer countries; and more emphasis should be given to the linkages between agriculture, food and nutrition.

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