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GENERAL STATEMENTS

Mart Laar, the Prime Minister of ESTONIA addressed population and development issues in countries with economies in transition. Issues related to the needs of an increasingly older population are straining limited government resources and private social services. Migration is another issue of concern.

Prof. P. N. Tandon, Indian National Science Academy, spoke on behalf of 56 National Scientific Academies. Successful fertility reduction is in large part dependent on the need to improve the overall quality of life. Women need to be empowered and control their fertility. He listed ways that scientific and technology research can contribute.

James Grant, Executive Director of UNICEF, said that the goals for children in 2000 should be stepping stones for achieving the ICPD goals in 2015. The Programme of Action must: support the goals adopted by the international community in other fora; stress the importance of education for girls; identify key elements of international and national action to ensure goals are met; and promote inter-agency cooperation on population matters.

James Gustave Speth, Executive Director of UNDP, said that the ICPD should address both population and sustainable human development. The ICPD must stimulate a revolution in sustainable human development. There are too many failed revolutions and lost or forgotten goals. The ICPD cannot end in this way. Four key objectives of UNDP's work are: eliminating poverty, creating jobs and sustainable livelihoods, advancing women and sustaining the natural resource base.

Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development (DPCSD), highlighted those issues linking the ICPD agenda and the other recent and forthcoming UN conferences. They are: complex and interrelated problems that require integrated actions; the role of the civil society in planning and implementation of development actions; and the centrality of women to sustainable development. He stressed the important role of NGOs in these conferences.

Ebrima K. Jobarteh, Deputy-Secretary-General for the 4th World Conference on Women, reaffirmed the links between the different UN conferences. He stressed some of the cornerstone issues in the Beijing Conference: inequality of access to education, health and other means of maximizing women's capacities; gender disparity in decision-making both at personal and societal levels; and impoverishment of women and youth.

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