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REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT

In introducing the text of the draft resolution (A/C.2/49/L.48) on 29 November 1994, Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China, commented that it contained a long preamble recalling the decisions leading to the ICPD. The resolution was then divided into two sections: one on national, regional and international implementation of the Programme of Action; and one on institutional follow-up to the Conference. He drew particular attention to the operative paragraphs that would strengthen the Population Commission and change its name and mandate to include both population and development, and request ECOSOC to consider establishing a separate Executive Board for UNFPA.

During the informal consultations on this resolution, under Vice-Chair Arjan Hamburger (Netherlands), a number of delegates pointed out that the resolution needed to include reference to the integrated approach taken during the ICPD, which recognizes the interrelationship among population, sustained economic growth and sustainable development. Other issues that delegates thought should be mentioned include: relationship of the ICPD to other upcoming international conferences (Social Summit, Women"s Conference and Habitat II); the importance of South-South cooperation in the implementation of the Programme of Action; and temporary assistance for countries with economies in transition. Delegates also discussed the establishment of a separate Executive Board for UNFPA and the expansion of the mandate of the Population Commission as well as the frequency of its meetings and the number of members.

As a result of these informal consultations on A/C.2/49/L.48, delegates reached agreement on a revised draft resolution, which was submitted by the Vice-Chair for adoption by the Second Committee on 13 December 1994. The Second Committee adopted this resolution (A/C.2/49/L.67) by consensus and sent it to the General Assembly Plenary for formal adoption.

After a lengthy preambular section that recalls the resolutions leading up to the ICPD and notes the importance of the outcome of the Conference, the resolution endorses the ICPD Programme of Action. With regard to national implementation, the resolution calls on all governments to commit themselves at the highest possible level to achieving the goals of the Programme of Action and make additional contributions for implementation. Governments, NGOs and the UN system are called on to give the widest possible dissemination to the Programme of Action. At the subregional and regional levels, relevant organizations, commissions and development banks are invited to examine the results of the Conference within their specific mandates. At the international level, the international community is called upon to provide, both bilaterally and multilaterally, adequate and substantial international support and assistance for population and development activities. The resolution also emphasizes the need to maintain and enhance partnerships with NGOs and South-South cooperation.

A number of paragraphs in the resolution address financial resources. Paragraph 13 calls on the developed countries to complement the national financial efforts of developing countries on population and development and intensify their efforts to transfer new and additional resources to developing countries, in accordance with the Programme of Action. Paragraph 14 calls for temporary population and development assistance to countries with economies in transition. Paragraph 15 calls for the early identification and allocation of financial resources and paragraph 16 calls for exchange of information between the various bodies of the UN system and the international financial institutions to maximize the availability of resources and their most effective utilization. Paragraph 17 invites the Secretary-General to ensure that adequate resources are provided for Conference follow-up activities by the UN Secretariat in 1995 and paragraph 18 requests the Secretary-General to prepare periodic reports for ECOSOC on the flow of financial resources for assisting implementation of the Programme of Action.

On the institutional side, the resolution outlines a three-tiered intergovernmental mechanism that will play the primary role in the follow-up of the implementation of the Programme of Action: the General Assembly will organize a regular review of implementation; ECOSOC will provide system-wide coordination and guidance in monitoring implementation; and the revitalized Population Commission will monitor, review and assess the implementation at the national, regional and international levels and advise ECOSOC thereon.

The Population Commission will be renamed the Commission on Population and Development and will meet on an annual basis beginning in 1996. At its substantive session in 1995, ECOSOC should: review the Commission"s terms of reference and mandate to bring these fully into line with this resolution; consider the composition of the Commission; consider the establishment of a separate executive board for UNFPA; consider recommendations on secretariat support and coordination arrangements for the UN system; and consider recommendations on inter-agency coordination and reporting procedures

Finally, the governing body of the UN Population Fund is invited to oversee the response of the Fund to the needs of countries in strengthening population and development programmes. The programmes of the UN system and regional commissions and funds are called upon to provide their full support to implementation of the Programme of Action at the field level.

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