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WORKING GROUP I

XI. POPULATION, INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION

In 11.1 (the role of information in public awareness), Canada and the Holy See requested more emphasis on migration. Morocco referred to the role of religious leaders and Bolivia mentioned the importance of cultural values. Nicaragua referred to information as a means of generating responsible behavior. In 11.2 (the role of information in public consensus), many emphasized the importance of responsibility in child bearing, sexual behavior and lifestyles. In 11.3 (channels of communication), Turkey, Vietnam and Indonesia emphasized the role of religious institutions other than the church. Switzerland referred to the role of schools in instilling tolerance. The Holy See mentioned the importance of education in environmental awareness and devaluing over-consumption. Senegal referred to the importance of interpersonal networks, especially among adolescents.

In 11.4 (media technologies), Sweden mentioned the importance of the media in promoting democratic institutions. In 11.5 (objectives), the Holy See, Turkey, Honduras and Nicaragua requested that information dissemination on family planning focus on couples. Sweden, Switzerland and Finland called for an emphasis on sexual and reproductive behavior as well. Canada and Sweden added the promotion of better racial relationships and democratic institutions. In 11.6 (organizations responsible for the implementation of objectives), Brazil highlighted the role of NGOs and communication specialists. Nepal added the role of women's groups. The Philippines, Bangladesh and Vietnam stressed the role of parliamentarians. In 11.7 (communication strategies), the US stressed the importance of media accountability. Nicaragua emphasized that strategies should focus on responsible sexual behavior and marital relations. In 11.8 (target audience), Senegal added women and Nicaragua added parents. Norway and Sweden highlighted the importance of youth participation in planning, implementation and evaluation of the programmes.

In 11.9 (target audience), the EU included women and Nigeria called for innovation in information dissemination strategies. In 11.10 (interpersonal relations), the EU emphasized the inclusion of family planning as part of sexual and reproductive health. Sweden emphasized that services be non-coercive. In 11.12 (the role of entertainment media), the Holy See asked that the public be informed of the identity of information providers. In 11.13 (agents involved in information dissemination), Morocco and Nepal emphasized the role of traditional healers, artists and NGOs. Turkey mentioned the role of trained local women leaders. In 11.14 (the role of schooling), Honduras emphasized formal and informal education. Argentina and the Holy See emphasized parental participation at all levels. The US called for sex education. Niger called for culturally-sensitive curricula and the need to train teachers in environmental sustainability, STDs and gender sensitivity. Norway highlighted the need to educate affluent populations on the negative impacts of conspicuous consumption. Papua New Guinea highlighted the need to educate illiterate adults about population issues.

XVI. FOLLOW-UP TO THE CONFERENCE

A. National-level activity: Most delegations raised general concerns about the content and organization of this chapter. The US said that the text needs to focus less on the structure and more on functions, actors and strategies. The US proposed holding open informal discussions to elaborate the main points to be revised. The G-77 said that it would be difficult for small delegations to attend informal sessions. Switzerland called for simple, transparent and gender-sensitive indicators for evaluation. Canada called for holistic and consistent evaluation methods.

In 16.1 (commitment at different organizational levels), Niue, on behalf of the Pacific Island States, emphasized political commitment by governments in designing, implementing and evaluating population activities. In 16.2 (achievement reports), the EU said that follow-up reports should be an integral part of the national sustainable development reports to be prepared as part of Agenda 21 follow-up. In 16.4 (objectives), Norway referred to the importance of accountability. In 16.8 (mechanisms for implementation), the G-77 emphasized the need for consistency with national policies. In 16.9 (reports), many referred to the difficulties in preparing annual reports.

B. Activity at international level: In 16.10 (resources), the G-77 and Afghanistan referred to inefficient production subsidies in developed countries as one of the costs associated with the low funding for human resource-centered activities. In 16.11 (objectives), the G-77 called for assistance for regional and sub-regional efforts. In 16.12 (financial commitment by developed countries), the G-77 and the EU called for commitment by international finance institutions. In 16.13-15 (on the role of the General Assembly), the EU invited the Secretary-General to coordinate the different UN bodies with the international financial institutions. The G-77 requested ECOSOC to periodically review system-wide activities in the field of population and development.

INFORMAL SESSION: As a result of the large number of questions raised during Friday's discussion of Chapter XIII (National Action), Working Group I held an informal session Monday afternoon so that the Secretariat could address delegates' concerns. Jyoti Singh from the Secretariat explained the methodology used in identifying the resource requirements for the various population programmes. These projections are based on research carried out over the last 15 years by the World Bank, UNFPA, the Population Council and other organizations. Singh announced that the Secretariat will distribute a detailed background document explaining the methodology used. Singh also commented that paragraphs 13.13-19 can be moved to the Basis for Action section, as many delegates suggested. Then the section on action could include a commitment to raise the necessary resources.

Some delegates questioned why the resource allocation figures only reflect population elements, but not development issues such as the status of women, migration and education. Singh responded that there is insufficient data in many of these areas. Singh also explained that WHO and UNICEF figures could be included. However, the Secretariat has not yet developed a methodology for assessing the costs of raising the status of women. He said that the 20/20 formula may be useful here. Singh also commented that these figures primarily cover developing countries. Countries with economies in transition have been included, but those costs cover a shorter period of time and include fewer sectors.

Paragraph 13.20 states that developing countries will continue to meet 2/3 of the costs themselves. Singh acknowledged that some countries will require more international assistance than is provided for by this formula. At the conclusion of the discussion, India proposed a new paragraph reflecting the linkages between population, development and sustained economic growth and the need for new and additional resources to promote total development in developing countries, which will ensure population stabilization and sustainable development.

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