Most of the substantive negotiations took place in the Main Committee, which met continuously from Monday afternoon, 5 September through Monday evening, 12 September 1994, under the chairmanship of Dr. Fred Sai (Ghana). The Vice-Chairs were: Amb. Lionel Hurst (Antigua and Barbuda); Amb. Nicolaas Biegman (The Netherlands); Dr. Bal G. Baidya (Nepal) and Jerzy Holzer (Poland), who also served as the rapporteur. The Main Committee's task was to finish what the PrepCom had begun and it focused its work on achieving consensus on the draft Programme of Action, as contained in document A/CONF.171/L.1. During the course of the long week, the corridors and conference rooms were host to numerous small informal-informal consultations on many of the contentious paragraphs as delegates sought consensus.
Although it had been originally hoped that the Main Committee could complete its work by Friday, 9 September 1994, difficult negotiations on Chapters II (principles), VII (reproductive rights and reproductive health), VIII (abortion) and X (family reunification) forced the negotiations to continue through the weekend. The Main Committee finally adopted the entire Programme of Action and forwarded it to the Plenary at 7:00 pm on Monday, 12 September.
The following is a chapter-by-chapter summary of the Programme of Action, with particular emphasis on the text that was negotiated in Cairo.