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CPop 1994

The Population Commission 27th session took place 28-31 March 1994. The following report was adopted by the Economic and Social Council Official Records in 1994.

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Contents

Summary

I. Matters calling for action by the Economic and Social Council or brought to its attention
A. Draft resolution
B. Draft decision

II. Action by the United Nations to implement the recommendations of the World Populations Conference, 1974
A. General debate on national experience in population matters
B. Monitoring of population trends and policies, with special emphasis on refugees
C. Review and appraisal of progress made towards the implementation of the World Population Plan of Action

III. Programme questions
A. Programme performance and implementation
B. Proposed programme of work for the biennium 1994-1995
C. Activities of the regional commissions
D. Action taken by the Commission

IV. Follow-up to the recommendations of the International Conference on Population, 1984
A. Activities of the United Nations Population Fund
B. Monitoring of multilateral population assistance
C. Activities of the United Nations system in the field of population
D. Work of intergovernmental and non- governmental organizations in the implementation of the World Population Plan of Action

V. Provisional agenda for the 28th session of the Commission

VI. Adoption of the report of the Commission on its 27th session

VII. Organization of the session

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Chapter I. Matters calling for action by the Economic and Social Council or brought to its attention

A. Draft resolution                                                                                 [ Up ]

1. The Population Commission recommends to the Economic and Social Council the adoption of the following draft resolution:

Work programme in the field of population

The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling General Assembly resolutions 3344 (XXIX) and 3345 (XXIX) of 17 December 1974, concerning the recommendations of the United Nations World Population Conference, and 39/228 of 18 December 1984 on the International Conference on Population,

Recalling also General Assembly resolutions S-18/3 of 1 May 1990, containing the Declaration on International Economic Cooperation, in particular the Revitalization of Economic Growth and Development of the Developing Countries, and 45/199 of 21 December 1990 on the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade, as well as 48/181 of 21 December 1993 on the integration of the economies in transition into the world economy,

Recalling further its resolutions 1981/28 of 6 May 1981 on the strengthening of actions concerned with the fulfilment of the World Population Plan of Action, 1985/4 on the implications of the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and 1985/6 on the status and role of women and population, both of 28 May 1985, 1986/7 of 21 May 1986 on population questions, 1989/89 on the population situation in the least developed countries, 1989/90 on incorporating population factors in the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade, 1989/92 on strengthening actions concerned with the fulfilment of the World Population Plan of Action and 1989/94 on United Nations support for African countries in the field of population, all of 26 July 1989, and 1991/92 of 26 July 1991 on the work programme in the field of population,

Stressing the relationship between population and development as stated in General Assembly resolution 45/216 of 21 December 1990, namely the supportive role of the work programmes of the United Nations system in the field of population and in the attainment of the goals and objectives set out in the Declaration on International Economic Cooperation, in particular the Revitalization of Economic Growth and Development of the Developing Countries, taking into consideration the specific needs of developing countries, as well as the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade,

Recalling the report of the International Conference on Population, in which it was reaffirmed that the principles and objectives of the World Population Plan of Action remained fully valid,

Recalling also the recommendations of the five regional population conferences that were convened as part of the preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development,

Bearing in mind recommendations that may emanate from the International Conference on Population and Development,

Reaffirming the important role of the Population Commission as the advisory body of the Economic and Social Council on population matters,

Taking note of the report of the Population Commission on its twenty- seventh session and the views expressed therein on the progress of work in the field of population and the proposed work programme,

1. Notes with satisfaction the progress made in implementing the work programme for the period 1991-1993 and the medium-term plan for the period 1992-1997;

2. Requests the Secretary-General:

(a) To continue to give high priority to the monitoring of world population trends and policies;

(b) To continue work on the following:

(i) Biennial revisions of estimates and projections of national, urban, rural and city populations, including demographic indicators and age structure;

(ii) Studies on the interrelationships between population and development;

(iii) Studies on the interrelationship between the status and role of women and population;

(iv) Comparative analysis of population policies;

(v) Analysis of mortality;

(vi) Studies on family formation reproductive behaviour and family planning and also on their demographic impact;

(vii) Studies to measure and understand changes in population distribution, including internal migration, urbanization and displaced persons;

(viii) Studies on levels, trends, policies, determinants and consequences of international migration, including refugee-related issues;

(ix) Dissemination of population information and further strengthening of the Population Information Network at the national, regional and global levels;

(x) Provision of technical cooperation support in response to requests from developing countries and economies in transition;

(c) To continue to work closely with Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, as appropriate, in the implementation of programmes;

(d) To further improve communication and coordination among the Population Division of the Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis of the Secretariat, the regional commissions and Governments, particularly in order to prepare the most accurate population estimates and projections possible, an activity in which the Population Division should continue to play a leading role;

(e) To give high priority to strengthening multilateral technical cooperation programmes in the field of population, including the utilization of technical cooperation in and among developing countries, as necessary;

3. Requests the Secretary-General of the International Conference on Population and Development to continue to make full use of the existing resources of all units of the United Nations system concerned, in particular the Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis of the Secretariat and the United Nations Population Fund;

4. Re-emphasizes the importance of maintaining the scope, effectiveness and efficiency of the global population programme and of continuing to strengthen coordination and collaboration among the Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis of the Secretariat, the regional commissions, the United Nations Population Fund, the World Bank, and other organizations and bodies of the United Nations system in the planning and execution of their population programmes, as well as the need for organizations of the United Nations system to strengthen coordination and collaboration with Member States, other intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental and national organizations, as appropriate.

B. Draft decision                                                                                  [ Up ]

2. The Population Commission also recommends to the Economic and Social Council the adoption of the following draft decision:

Provisional agenda and documentation for the twenty-eighth session of the Population Commission

The Economic and Social Council approves the provisional agenda and documentation for the twenty-eighth session of the Population Commission set out below:

1. Election of officers.

2. Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters.

3. Review of population trends, policies and programmes:

(a) General debate on national experience in population matters;

(b) Monitoring of world population trends and policies;

(c) Monitoring of multilateral population assistance.

Documentation

Concise report of the Secretary-General on the monitoring of world population trends and policies: addendum (Council decision 87 (LVIII))

Report of the Secretary-General on the monitoring of multilateral population assistance: addendum

Report of the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund on the activities of the Fund

4. International Conference on Population and Development: follow-up action to be taken by the United Nations:

(a) Consideration of the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development;

(b) Implications of the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development for the work programme on population.

Documentation

Report of the Secretary-General on a review of the implications of the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development for the work programme on population

5. Programme questions:

(a) Programme performance and implementation;

(b) Proposed programme of work for the biennium 1996-1997.

Documentation

Report of the Secretary-General on the progress of work in the field of population, 1994-1995

Note by the Secretary-General on the proposed programme of work in the field of population for the biennium 1996-1997

6. Provisional agenda for the twenty-ninth session of the Commission.

7. Adoption of the report of the Commission on its twenty-eighth session.

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Chapter II. Action by the United Nations to implement the recommendations of the World Populations Conference, 1974          [ Up ]

3. The Population Commission considered item 3 of its agenda at its 452nd to 454th meetings, on 28 and 29 March 1994. It had before it the concise report of the Secretary-General on the monitoring of world population trends and policies, with special emphasis on refugees (E/CN.9/1994/2).

A. General debate on national experience in population matters      [ Up ]

4. In the general debate on national experience in population matters, several delegations reported on the demographic situation in their respective countries and provided information on recent demographic trends, population policies and programmes, the integration of population and development, and international cooperation and assistance. The general debate provided an opportunity to highlight the population issues that required special international attention.

5. Several delegations reported that their countries were carrying out activities in the field of population, including population research, the provision of technical support for population activities and the funding of population programmes through bilateral or multilateral cooperation. A number of delegations noted their active involvement in the preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development. The need to promote population research and the exchange of data was emphasized. Some delegations also stressed the need to enhance public awareness about population issues through special educational activities. It was acknowledged that the effective formulation of population policy required accurate information and a number of delegations commended the work of the Population Division in producing comparable estimates of population indicators, evaluating their quality and making them available to a wide public.

6. Most delegations reaffirmed their support for the provision of family planning services that would ensure reproductive choice. They emphasized the need to expand access to a wide range of contraceptive methods, to provide information and make greater use of education campaigns, and to ensure that family planning services also encompassed reproductive health. Some delegations stressed that abortion should not be used as a method of family planning. The importance of reducing the number of pregnancies among teenage women was also underscored.

7. One representative noted that the reduction of population growth in her country was seen as an important factor that would accelerate socio-economic development and improve people's standard of living. She reviewed the progress made in the implementation of her country's family planning programme and its contribution to the stabilization of the world population. Economic development, the improvement of women's status and the promotion of social welfare services were major factors that led to reduction of the birth rate.

8. Improvements in the status of women were considered essential by most delegations. The need to provide women with equal access to education and employment was stressed. It was noted that as women acquired greater control over their own lives, they were more likely to choose responsibly the number and spacing of their children. It was suggested that society should strive to increase the solidarity between the sexes so that men and women would share equally their parental responsibilities.

9. Given the continued decline in fertility in many world regions, the medium- and long-term consequences of population ageing were singled out as a matter of concern for a growing number of countries. In some countries, population ageing was already straining social security systems. To improve the situation of the aged, it was judged necessary to strengthen the solidarity between generations, both at the level of society at large and within the family.

10. Several delegations stressed that greater efforts were needed in order to combat preventable diseases, reduce morbidity and prevent premature mortality. The growing impact of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) pandemic was a major source of concern and it was acknowledged that more research was necessary to improve the understanding of the epidemiology of the disease.

11. A number of delegations considered that the magnitude and implications of population movements both within and between countries were a source of concern. The impact of migration on population distribution, especially on urbanization, was identified as an issue of continued policy relevance, particularly for developing countries. The need to adopt an integrated approach in the formulation of population policies was stressed and it was noted that rural development should be part of a balanced development strategy.

12. The delegations of several central and eastern European countries, including the successor States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), described the important demographic changes that had taken place in their countries after the major political developments that had occurred since 1989. As a result of economic stringencies, declining standards of living and growing uncertainty about the future, people in those countries were postponing marriage, child-bearing and even divorce. Fertility had declined sharply in several of the economies in transition and there was growing evidence that mortality was rising, particularly among men and children. Because access to effective contraceptive methods was limited in some of those countries, the number of induced abortions was high and that was a source of concern. Although policies to improve health care and access to family planning methods were being formulated, assistance and international cooperation were needed for such policies to be successful.

13. Another important change that the economies in transition were undergoing was related to both internal and international migration. Several countries that formerly had been primarily countries of origin had become receiving countries for various types of migrants, including asylum-seekers, refugees, returning citizens and migrant workers. Short-term migration between neighbouring countries was increasing. Some delegations noted that although their countries were willing to grant asylum to people in need of protection, they needed the assistance of the international community in order to ensure the continued well-being of the people concerned.

B. Monitoring of population trends and policies, with special emphasis on refugees                                                                                               [ Up ]

14. The Commission expressed general satisfaction with the concise report on the monitoring of world population trends and policies, with special emphasis on refugees (E/CN.9/1990/2) and welcomed, in particular, the inclusion of the special topic on refugees, which was of major relevance for the international community. The full report, entitled World Population Monitoring, 1993, was available to the delegations as a background document (ESA/P/WP.121). Many delegations expressed their appreciation of the role of the Population Division in compiling and evaluating data and monitoring population levels and trends. The need for timely and accurate information on population levels and trends was underscored.

15. However, several delegations noted that important recent developments regarding the movement of refugees were not reflected in the concise report, although some were mentioned in the full report. Examples were the flows of refugees occurring within the successor States of the former Yugoslavia and refugee flows directed to other central and eastern European countries, including the Russian Federation. In most instances, those flows were said to have been caused by ethnic conflict. It was considered important to strengthen the analysis of the causes leading to world-wide refugee flows, especially in view of the need for the international community to address the root causes of forced population movements.

16. A number of delegations recognized that it was difficult to ensure that a comprehensive treatment of refugee movements world wide would be perfectly up to date, especially given the volatility of many situations. Furthermore, it was acknowledged that the main sources of information on refugee flows were reports by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and that not all forced migrants were necessarily recognized as refugees. Some delegations mentioned the efforts made by their Governments to streamline the consideration of asylum applications and ensure that only those persons granted asylum would stay. International cooperation and international agreements were seen as necessary to ensure an effective control of international migration flows.

17. The need to improve the availability, reliability and comparability of data on international migration flows and on the various types of international migrants was stressed. It was suggested that the United Nations provide assistance to interested countries in improving statistics on international migration, including assistance in formulating definitions of different types of migrants, collecting statistics on legal migration and estimating unauthorized or illegal migration. It was judged important that migration statistics distinguish between the migration of foreigners and that of citizens, since in some countries citizens constituted the majority of the migrant inflows.

18. Regarding international migration policies, one representative noted that the concise report did not properly reflect the conditions under which a passport allowing emigration from his country could be obtained. Representatives of other central and eastern European countries noted important policy changes that had recently occurred, particularly with respect to the treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers. Representatives of other countries stressed the importance of ensuring that legal migrants were not subject to discrimination, that their integration was fostered and that xenophobia was combated. Family reunification was considered an important right, but it was subject to restrictions in some countries.

19. Some delegations suggested that in presenting or discussing future population trends, several alternative scenarios should be provided in order to avoid misunderstandings about the meaning of projections. Given the recency of certain changes in population trends, it was suggested that the medium variant of the projections might not represent the most likely path for certain regions. For instance, the sharp fertility declines registered recently in several central and eastern European countries, including the Russian Federation, would only be taken into account in the next revision of the projections. Similarly, there were a number of countries that had experienced mortality increases in recent years, a development that was not yet reflected in the concise report. Representatives suggested that more attention had to be given to the particular situation of central and eastern European countries, where worsening economic conditions, a deterioration of the health infrastructure, poor quality of medical services and growing occupational hazards had led to rising mortality rates. In developing countries, the growing AIDS pandemic was one of the factors that contributed to increasing mortality levels. The need to undertake an in-depth study of adult mortality in both developed and developing countries was noted, as well as the need to better understand the mechanisms leading to mortality decline even under deteriorating economic conditions.

20. Several representatives called for a more comprehensive treatment of the demographic situation of the economies in transition, especially in view of their need to formulate policies to cope with the changes taking place. A major concern was the widespread use of induced abortion prompted by the lack of access to effective contraceptive methods. Although policies to increase the availability of contraceptives were being formulated, international assistance was needed to ensure adequate reproductive choice.

21. Several delegations noted that declining fertility trends were noticeable in all major developing regions and that the information on contraceptive use presented in the report was very useful in assessing the unmet need that still existed in many countries of the world. Such data could be and were used by donor Governments to target their population assistance. The results of the Seventh Population Inquiry among Governments were also useful in that regard.

C. Review and appraisal of progress made towards the implementation of the World Population Plan of Action                                                     [ Up ]

22. At the 453rd meeting, on 28 March 1994, the Commission was informed that the report of the Secretary-General on the fourth review and appraisal of the World Population Plan of Action (A/CONF.171/PC/3) was before it for information, but that discussion and action on that document would take place at the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Population and Development.

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Chapter III. Programme questions                                                      [ Up ]

23. The Population Commission considered item 4 of its agenda at its 454th, 455th and 458th meetings, on 29 and 31 March 1994. It had before it the following documents:

(a) Report of the Secretary-General on the progress of work in the field of population, 1991-1993: Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis (E/CN.9/1994/3);

(b) Note by the Secretary-General on the programme of work in population for the biennium 1994-1995 (E/CN.9/1994/4).

24. The report of the Ad Hoc Inter-agency Working Group on Demographic Estimates and Projections of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) (ACC/1992/20) was made available to the Commission.

25. Before its general debate on programme questions, the Commission was informed about the restructuring of the United Nations in the economic and social sectors. Technical cooperation activities in the field of population, previously the responsibility of the former Department of Technical Cooperation for Development, had been incorporated into the work programme of the Population Division of the Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, formerly the Department of International Economic and Social Affairs, of the United Nations Secretariat.

26. The Commission was also informed about the substantive preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development carried out by the Population Division during the period 1991-1993. Detailed reports on those activities had been submitted to the Preparatory Committee for the Conference for discussion and action at its second and third sessions.

27. Many delegates praised the high quality of work of the Population Division. The publications and other materials produced by the Division were considered exemplary and were reported to be widely utilized throughout the world by Governments, universities, research centres and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

28. The Commission stressed the importance of maintaining the scientific objectivity and independence of the Population Division.

The Commission believed that it was vital to maintain the highest scientific standards in reviewing and appraising demographic levels and trends and population policies and programmes. To that effect and in the context of the numerous population challenges lying ahead in every country, the Commission recommended that the Population Division be strengthened.

A. Programme performance and implementation                              [ Up ]

1. Analysis of demographic variables at the world level

29. The Commission noted with satisfaction the publication of the report entitled Child Mortality Since the 1960s: A Database for Developing Countries and its use in the monitoring of mortality in childhood. Its timeliness was commended, particularly because the data it contained would prove useful in assessing progress towards achieving the goals for the reduction of infant and under-five mortality adopted at the World Summit for Children in 1990.

30. The Commission took note of the completion of the study analysing the effects of reproductive behaviour on child survival. The results, to be published under the title The Health Rationale for Family Planning: Timing of Births and Child Survival, were found to have special policy relevance since they showed that even in the presence of other health interventions, the use of family planning to prevent child-bearing among teenagers and to increase the interval between consecutive births could significantly reduce child mortality.

31. The Commission noted with interest the publication of the proceedings of the Expert Meeting on the Feminization of Internal Migration under the title Internal Migration of Women in Developing Countries. The Meeting, which had taken place at Aguascalientes, Mexico, in October 1991, was recognized as having made a major contribution to the understanding of internal migration in general and of the role of women in the migration process in particular. Women were said to constitute about half of all internal migrants, and their growing participation in internal migration had been closely associated with the expansion of employment opportunities in a number of developing countries. The Commission took note of the recommendations to improve the prospects of migrant women included in the proceedings of the Meeting.

32. In the area of international migration, the Commission was informed of the continued updating of the data bank on international migration, its further computerization and its use in the monitoring of international migration trends. Although the study on forced migration proposed to the Commission at its twenty-sixth session could not be carried out because of lack of funds, the Commission was pleased to note that an analysis of the refugee situation had been selected as the special topic included in World Population Monitoring, 1993. 3/ The Commission acknowledged the forthcoming publication of the proceedings of the Expert Group Meeting on International Migration Policies and the Status of Female Migrants and the publication of a paper entitled "Europe without internal frontiers and international migration" in a forthcoming issue of the Population Bulletin of the United Nations.

33. The Commission was informed that work on the substantive preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development had included the organization of the Expert Group Meeting on Population Distribution and Migration which was held at Santa Cruz, Bolivia, in January 1993. The report of the Secretary-General of the Conference on the Recommendations of the Expert Group Meeting (E/CONF.84/PC/9) had been presented to the Preparatory Committee for the Conference at its second session, held in 1993.

34. The Commission was pleased to learn that several projects in the area of fertility had been completed during the period 1991-1993. Three case-studies on the association of women's status and fertility had been published, namely, Women's Education and Fertility Behaviour: A Case-study of Rural Maharashtra, India; Fertility Transition and Women's Life Course in Mexico; and Women's Status and Fertility in Pakistan: Recent Evidence. In addition, a global comparative study on low fertility entitled Patterns of Fertility in Low-fertility Settings, had been published.

35. The Commission was informed that research on the status of women was being further expanded by a comparative analysis of 26 countries which would be published under the title Women's Education and Fertility Behaviour: Recent Evidence from the Demographic and Health Surveys. The study reviewed recent trends in women's educational status in developing countries and updated existing evidence on the direct and indirect linkages between education and reproductive behaviour, marriage and desired family size.

36. Work on the status of women was also being approached through a comprehensive household study. The report, entitled Living Arrangements of Women and their Children in the Third World: A Demographic Study, was to be published in 1994.

37. The Commission was pleased to learn about the new computerized databases on fertility and family planning and strongly endorsed continuation of the recent practice of disseminating information on those topics in multiple formats, including wall charts and diskettes as well as analytic reports.

38. The Commission was informed that in the area of family planning and its demographic impact, a study on levels and trends of contraceptive use would be completed in 1994. In addition, a wall chart on the levels of contraceptive use and types of method was planned for release before the 1994 Conference. An article summarizing recent levels and trends in contraceptive practice would also appear in a forthcoming issue of the Population Bulletin of the United Nations.

39. The Commission was pleased to note that information about contraceptive knowledge and use had also been made available in machine-readable form. A set of eight contraceptive-use data diskettes entitled World Contraceptive-Use Data Diskettes with an accompanying user's manual (ST/ESA/SER.R/120) had been issued in 1992. The contraceptive-use data bank was being updated continuously within the Population Division.

40. The Commission was informed that a study analysing the effects of improved child survival on fertility had been completed. The study, which included three country case-studies, on Ecuador, West Timor island, Indonesia and Zimbabwe, would be published under the title Child Survival, Health and Family Planning Programmes and Fertility.

41. The Commission was informed that work on the substantive preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development had included the organization of the Expert Group Meeting on Population and Women, held at Gaborone, Botswana, in June 1992, and of the Expert Group Meeting on Family Planning, Health and Family Well-being, held at Bangalore, India, in October 1992. Reports on those two meetings (E/CONF.84/PC/6 and 7) had been presented to the Preparatory Committee for the Conference at its second session, held in May 1993.                                                                                   [ Up ]

2. World population projections

42. The Commission expressed satisfaction with the completion of the 1992 revision of the thirteenth round of global estimates and projections of population and with the timely publication of the results in World Population Prospects: The 1992 Revision, The Sex and Age Distribution of the World Populations: The 1992 Revision, and the wall chart World Population, 1992. The Commission noted with pleasure the analytical comparison of the results of United Nations population projections over the past 20 years.

43. The Commission noted with appreciation the improvements in the new revision - particularly the incorporation of the effects of AIDS into the projections - and the additions and changes in the list of countries for which detailed projections had been performed. The Commission was informed that the 1994 revision was under way and would include cohort-component projections by sex and age for 26 additional countries.

44. The Commission was pleased to note that the 1992 revision of the global estimates and projections of urban and rural populations had been completed on time, and the results published in World Urbanization Prospects: The 1992 Revision.

45. The Commission noted with satisfaction that in the estimates and projections of urban agglomerations, the time-horizon had been extended to 2010 and the minimum size lowered to 750,000. The Commission noted the publication of the wall chart Urban Agglomerations, 1992.

46. The Commission expressed its appreciation for the timeliness of the 1992 revisions and the variety of forms in which they had been disseminated to users, including monographs, wall charts, specialized data sheets, articles, detailed publications, and machine-readable form.

47. The Commission took note of the publication in 1992 of Preparing Migration Data for Subnational Population Projections.

48. The Commission noted with satisfaction the publication in 1992 of Long-range World Population Projections: Two Centuries of Population Growth, 1950-2150.

49. The Commission was informed that the seventeenth session of the Subcommittee on Demographic Estimates and Projections of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) had been held in Rome in June 1992. The Commission was pleased to note that the Population Division, at the request of the ACC Subcommittee, had issued a working paper entitled "Urban and rural areas by sex and age: the 1992 revision" (ESA/P/WP.120).

50. The Commission expressed its appreciation for the extensive work done to incorporate the effects of AIDS into demographic estimates and projections and was pleased to note the forthcoming publication of AIDS and the Demography of Africa.

3. Population policy and socio-economic development

51. The Commission was pleased to be informed that a project on the status of women and population policies had been completed during the period. As part of the project, the United Nations Nuptiality Chart, 1991 had been issued. The major output of the project had been a publication entitled Abortion Policies: A Global Review, which would analyse the evolution of abortion law and practice in 190 countries. In addition, a wall chart summarizing some of the key information from the three volumes had been published.

52. The Commission was informed that a case-study focusing on the formulation, implementation and evaluation of population policies in Argentina had been issued in 1992. This was the last case-study in the series issued under the general title Case-Studies in Population Policy. 53. The Commission noted with satisfaction that a project on the world's largest urban agglomerations had been completed during the period. The project's major output, a volume containing profiles that focused on the demographic characteristics, economy, infrastructure, social services, and population policies of more than 100 of the world's largest cities from all world regions, had been submitted for publication. As part of the project, a database on the world's largest agglomerations had also been completed and was available on diskette.

54. The Commission was informed that as part of the ongoing work programme of the Population Division, research on policy issues in the world's mega-cities was continuing, with the publication of a case-study on population growth and policies in S■o Paulo, the thirteenth publication in the mega-cities series.

55. One of the major activities in population policy during the biennium 1992-1993 was the Expert Group Meeting on Population Policies and Programmes, which had been held at Cairo in April 1992. The Commission noted with appreciation the publication of the proceedings of the Meeting, entitled Population Policies and Programmes: Proceedings of the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Population Policies and Programmes, Cairo, Egypt, 12-16 April 1992.

56. The Commission was informed that analysis of the results of the Seventh Population Inquiry among Governments, which was to have been completed during the biennium 1992-1993, had been postponed until 1994 because the replies from many Governments had been received only recently. The Commission was pleased to be informed that, overall, the quality of the replies had been excellent, with rich and useful information on new and emerging population policy issues, such as policies in response to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS pandemic.

57. The Commission noted with satisfaction that the population policy data bank had been expanded. In 1992, the third edition of the population policy database Global Population Policy Database, 1991 (ST/ESA/SER.R/118) and of Global Policy Diskette Documentation (1991) (ST/ESA/SER.R/117) had been issued. However, the fourth edition, which was due to be issued in 1993, had been postponed until 1994 in order to incorporate recently received replies to the Seventh Population Inquiry.                                                                     [ Up ]

58. Regarding work relating population to development issues, the Commission noted with satisfaction that the manual Projection Methods for Integrating Population Variables into Development Planning, vol. I, Methods for Comprehensive Planning, Module Three:

Techniques for Preparing Projections of Household and Other Incomes, Household Consumption and Savings and Government Consumption and Investment (ST/ESA/SER.R/90/Add.2) had been published and that all population and development methods presented in the three modules of the manual had been made available in the form of a microcomputer software program called Population and Development Projection Methods for Personal or Microcomputer (PDPM/PC), version 1.0, and a user's guide entitled Population and Development Projection Methods for Microcomputers: A User's Guide (ST/ESA/SER.R/123).

59. The Commission was informed that reports had been published documenting the experiences of integrated development and population planning in three countries: Thailand (ST/ESA/SER.R/110), Turkey (ST/ESA/SER.R/112) and India (ST/ESA/SER.R/114).

60. The Commission noted with satisfaction that the proceedings of the United Nations International Symposium on Population and Development Planning, organized in 1989 in Riga by the Population Division, in collaboration with the Latvian State University and the Moscow State University, had been published. The publication was entitled Population and Development Planning: Proceedings of the United Nations International Symposium on Population and Development Planning, Riga, Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, 4-8 December 1989.

61. The Commission noted that work under the project aimed at assessing the demographic consequences of major development projects had been completed and that an overview report on three case-studies (Costa Rica, India and Morocco) would be issued as a working paper.

62. The Commission was informed that work under the project on the economic and social aspects of population ageing in selected developing countries had been completed and that two case-studies had been published, one focusing on Argentina (ST/ESA/SER.R/113) and the other on India (State of Kerala) (ST/ESA/SER.R/119).

63. The Commission was pleased to learn that the proceedings of the International Conference on Ageing Populations in the Context of the Family, which had been organized in 1990 by the Population Division and the municipal Government of Kitaky■sh■, Japan, in collaboration with the Japan Ageing Research Centre, the former Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations Office at Vienna, and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), had been submitted for publication.

64. The Commission was informed that the Population Division, in collaboration with the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and San Diego State University, had organized a Round Table on the Ageing of Asian Populations which met in Bangkok in 1992. The proceedings of the Round Table had been submitted for publication. 65. The Commission was informed that work on the substantive preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development had included the organization of two expert group meetings. The first, the Expert Group Meeting on Population, Environment and Development, had been convened in New York in January 1992. A report on the meeting (E/CONF.84/PC/4) had been presented to the Preparatory Committee for the Conference at its second session, held in May 1993, and proceedings of the meeting had been submitted for publication. The second, the Expert Group Meeting on Population Growth and Demographic Structure, had been convened in Paris in November 1992. A report on the meeting (E/CONF.84/PC/8) had also been presented to the Preparatory Committee for the Conference at its second session, held in May 1993.

4. Monitoring, review and appraisal, coordination and dissemination of population information

66. The monitoring of world population trends and policies and the review and appraisal of progress made towards the implementation of the World Population Plan of Action are discussed in chapter II.

67. The Commission was pleased to learn that in spite of the additional responsibilities the Population Division had taken on in terms of substantive preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development, it had maintained a high level of output in its overall dissemination programme. During the period 1991-1993, 33 research studies, technical manuals, proceedings of expert group meetings and seminars and wall charts had been issued, in addition to six issues of the Population Bulletin of the United Nations and the Population Newsletter. In response to an increasing demand for information in computer-readable form, 14 new databases and software products had been produced. The Commission was informed that the demand for publications remained strong and that efforts to improve dissemination were continuing.

68. The Population Commission was informed that since its twenty-sixth session, the activities of the global Population Information Network (POPIN) had included the convening of the fifth POPIN Advisory Committee Meeting at Geneva in September 1992 and participation in POPIN exhibits at the Fourth Asian and Pacific Conference at Bali, Indonesia, in August 1992 and in the Working Group on the Management of the POPIN Thesaurus, which had been convened in New York in September 1992 by the Committee for International Cooperation in National Research in Demography (CICRED). The Commission was pleased to note the publication of the third edition of the POPIN Thesaurus in English, French and Spanish under the auspices of CICRED.

69. The Commission was pleased to learn that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) had provided funding for POPIN and that a global POPIN Coordinator had been appointed on 1 October 1993. As one of its first activities, the reactivated global POPIN Coordinating Unit, along with the regional Population Information Networks and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), had established an electronic population information service on the Internet. The service, known as the POPIN Gopher, included population resources such as journals and newsletters, software, statistical tables, bibliographic and demographic databases, news summaries, press releases and documentation of the International Conference on Population and Development and of the twenty-seventh session of the Population Commission.

5. Technical cooperation in population                                                 [ Up ]

70. The Population Commission was informed of the technical assistance provided to 50 countries in the areas of population training, analysis of demographic and socio-economic data, population policy, and population and development. Formulation of population policies and strengthening of national capacities had been given special emphasis.

71. The Commission noted with satisfaction that joint short-term training and research with member States, institutions and the regional commissions in demographic data analysis, dissemination and utilization had been undertaken, with the aim of improving national capacities for microcomputer analysis of the 1990 round of population censuses.

72. The Population Commission was also informed of the new system of technical support services to population programmes in developing countries. Under the new arrangement, provision of technical advice and back-stopping of projects at the country level had been decentralized to eight country support teams based in the major developing regions. The new system would utilize national and regional capabilities to bring technical cooperation closer to the countries concerned.

6. Demographic and social statistics

73. The Population Commission was informed that in the 1990 census round, 206 countries or areas had taken their population and/or housing censuses during the period 1985-1994. The Statistical Division of the Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis of the United Nations Secretariat was currently engaged in preparations for the 2000 World Population and Housing Census Programme. In order to support countries in conducting population and housing censuses, work on a new series of population and housing censuses handbooks was being continued. Two parts of the handbook series, one dealing with planning, organization and administration of population and housing censuses and the other dealing with selected demographic and social characteristics, had been published. Two other parts, dealing with economic characteristics and migration characteristics, would be issued during the biennium 1994-1995.

74. Work on vital statistics and civil registration had included the implementation in developing countries of the International Programme for Accelerating the Improvement of Vital Statistics and Civil Registration Systems. As part of the Programme, three workshops had been held - in Buenos Aires, Damascus, and Beijing. Participants in the workshops had underscored the need for a national master plan for the improvement of the systems and emphasized that countries themselves needed to make a commitment to accelerating improvement and to rely largely on their own resources in implementing reforms.

75. In the field of social statistics, significant progress had been made on methodology and data collection relating to persons with disabilities. The data would be useful in the monitoring of disability at the community level.

76. The Commission was pleased to learn that an updated issue of The World's Women, 1970-1990: Trends and Statistics, would be completed in 1995, in time for the Fourth World Conference on Women.

77. The Commission was informed that the publication of the annual Demographic Yearbook and of the quarterly Population and Vital Statistics Report was continuing on a regular basis. A special issue of the Yearbook dedicated to population ageing and the situation of elderly persons had been completed and was expected to be released shortly. In observance of the International Year of the Family, the Statistical Division had produced a statistical chart on world families, with the cooperation of the secretariat of the International Year of the Family.

78. The Statistical Division had also completed a project, with funding from UNFPA, to develop the Demographic and Social Statistics Database in a microcomputer-based system. When fully developed, the Database would make available all demographic and related statistics disseminated through the United Nations Demographic Yearbook since 1948 for 220 countries and areas in the world.

79. In the area of technical cooperation, the success of the 1990 World Population and Housing Census Programme had largely been due to technical cooperation activities undertaken by the Statistical Division, the regional commissions and others, with the financial support of UNFPA. The Statistical Division had executed more than 100 country projects each year during the period 1991-1993.

B. Proposed programme of work for the biennium 1994-1995            [ Up ]

1. Analysis of demographic variables at the world level

80. The Commission was informed that a study on differentials in child survival by sex had been initiated and was expected to be completed during the biennium 1994-1995. The need for reliable sex-specific estimates of infant and under-five mortality was stressed as was the policy relevance of a better understanding of the processes leading to higher female than male mortality in childhood in certain contexts.

81. With respect to international migration, the Commission endorsed the preparation of a report on levels and trends of international migration that would draw on the data contained in the international migration data bank, whose updating and computerization would continue.

82. The Commission noted that for the biennium 1994-1995, work had begun on a study of the family-building process. The study would examine changes in the timing of marriage, parity progression ratios and birth intervals in selected developing countries. It would consider the role of family planning as a factor influencing not only fertility levels but also the timing of births - particularly the occurrence of closely spaced births. In addition, a detailed study on the determinants of contraceptive use and an analysis of fertility in high-fertility countries would be undertaken. The Commission suggested that greater attention should be paid to consensual and temporary marital unions as a topic of study and as a factor influencing other demographic and social phenomena, including contraceptive practice.

2. World population projections

83. Recognizing the great demand for recurrent updating of the global estimates and projections of populations, the Population Commission recommended that the preparation of estimates and projections of population by country, urban and rural populations, and urban agglomerations continue.

84. The Commission noted with satisfaction that the 1994 revision of the global population estimates and projections was currently in preparation, that the projection horizon had been extended to the year 2050, and that the 1994 revision would provide age and sex distributions and demographic indicators for countries with 150,000 or more inhabitants, and for the numerous newly independent States.

85. The Commission noted with satisfaction that in the 1994 revision, the projection horizon would be the year 2015 for urban agglomerations and the year 2025 for urban and rural populations.

86. The Commission noted that the next session of the ACC Subcommittee on Demographic Estimates and Projections would be held in June 1994 in New York and reiterated its support for the coordination activities of the Population Division, the regional commissions and the specialized agencies in the area of population and sectoral estimates and projections.

3. Population policy and socio-economic development

87. The Commission noted with satisfaction that a major activity in the area of population policy would be a new and expanded three-volume edition of World Population Policies. It would contain an in-depth analysis of population policies, particularly in terms of sustainable development, and greater emphasis on a number of new and emerging areas of population policy, such as women's reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, refugees and asylum-seekers, environmental issues, and urban management.

88. The Commission was informed that a major activity during the 1994-1995 biennium would be a project on international migration policies. It would entail preparing an analytical survey report on emerging policy issues at the forefront of governmental concern and systematically collecting information on governmental policies concerning the flow of immigrants, emigrants, migrant workers, dependants of migrant workers, refugees, asylum-seekers, and undocumented migrants. International migration policies would be summarized and presented in a wall chart.

89. The Commission was pleased to note that the population policy database Global Population Policy Database, 1995 and of Global Policy Diskette Documentation, 1995, both fifth editions, were scheduled to be finalized by the end of the biennium.

90. The Commission noted with satisfaction that intermediate activities in the biennium would include two additional case-studies in the Population Growth and Policies in Mega-Cities series, as well as a study on AIDS policies. 91. The Commission noted with satisfaction that work on the relationships among population, resources, the environment and development had been given high priority. A report on a project funded by UNFPA aimed at investigating the current state of knowledge regarding the relationships between population and the environment in developing countries would be presented to the International Conference on Population and Development and the Commission on Sustainable Development. The Commission recommended that the report be widely circulated among policy makers, scientists and the public.

4. Monitoring, review and appraisal, coordination and dissemination of population information

92. The monitoring of world population trends and policies and the review and appraisal of progress made towards the implementation of the World Population Plan of Action are discussed in chapter II.

93. With respect to activities in the area of dissemination of population information, the Population Commission was informed that the Population Division would continue to issue all its recurrent and non-recurrent publications, continue to increase output in computer-readable form and continue its efforts to disseminate more widely and effectively the results of its research activities.

94. Concerning global POPIN, the Commission was pleased to learn that the POPIN Gopher would be expanded to include additional population resources. The global POPIN Coordinating Unit would also, in collaboration with UNFPA, set up an electronic library at Cairo for the International Conference on Population and Development. During the biennium 1994-1995 POPIN would establish closer working relationships with the regional POPIN programmes.

5. Technical cooperation in population                                                 [ Up ]

95. The Commission was informed that during the biennium 1994-1995, the number of country projects entirely executed by the Population Division would decrease as a result of decentralization.

However, the five population specialists to be provided to the Population Division by UNFPA would provide substantive support to the eight country support teams. The Commission was informed that the new arrangements for technical support services would continue to emphasize the importance of population training.

C. Activities of the regional commissions

1. Economic Commission for Africa

96. The Commission noted with satisfaction that the convening of the Third African Population Conference in 1992 represented a major development in Africa. The Dakar/Ngor Declaration on Population, Family and Sustainable Development (E/CONF.84/PC/13, annex, annex II), adopted by the Conference, was considered to be the most advanced collective position of the African Governments on population issues. For the first time, quantitative objectives had been set that constituted landmarks for the individual and collective efforts of African countries to implement population policies. The Commission was informed that the Dakar/Ngor Declaration made provisions for the establishment of a follow-up Committee of member States to ensure its proper implementation.

97. The Commission noted that although the collection and analysis of demographic data remained a primary concern, the population subprogramme of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) was giving higher priority to the consideration of issues relating population to development, including poverty alleviation, human settlements, environment, and the empowerment of women. In addition, ECA planned to establish a unit charged with monitoring and documenting the interrelationships among population, development and health, including the impact of AIDS.

2. Economic Commission for Europe

98. The Commission was informed that the population programme of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) for the period 1992-1995 included four major projects: (a) East-West international migration; (b) economic and social conditions of elderly populations; (c) fertility and family surveys and studies; and (d) population-related policies.

99. The project on international migration comprised the publication of a "rapid information system" designed to provide timely information on flows of refugees, asylum-seekers and regular migrants; a study of international migration policies in ECE member States; and country studies on the determinants and consequences of emigration from Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine.

100. With respect to elderly populations, ECE was gathering a set of comparable census samples from the 1990 round of censuses that would be used to prepare country monographs and cross-country comparative studies on the social and economic conditions of the elderly.

101. The project on fertility and family surveys and studies represented a collaborative effort to compile comparable sample survey information for 20 countries and to carry out studies on trends in union formation and dissolution, reproduction, work, and education and their interactions. Eight countries had completed fieldwork, and another eight would carry out surveys during the period 1994-1995, while the rest, mostly in eastern Europe, were still seeking funding.

102. The project on population policies had involved the gathering of detailed information on policies relating to fertility and the family, international migration and foreigners, and population ageing and the status of the elderly for about 25 ECE countries. That information would allow the preparation of two volumes of essays analysing policies, providing funding could be secured.

3. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

103. The Commission noted that the Latin American Demographic Centre (Centro Latinoamericano de Demografía (CELADE)), the specialized population unit of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), had carried out activities in all the priority areas identified by the Economic and Social Council. The activities of CELADE were coordinated with those of other units and organizations of the United Nations system. In particular, CELADE had carried out an analysis of the 1990 round of censuses that had permitted the updating of population estimates and projections for the region; CELADE had collaborated with the Inter-American Development Bank in a project to take account of population variables in designing investment programmes in the region; the Redatam computer package permitting the analysis of geographically disaggregated data had been extended to cover more than 30 countries in the region; and courses on population and development had been offered under the Global Programme of Training in Population and Development funded by UNFPA.

104. The Commission was pleased to note that CELADE had carried out various activities in preparation for the International Conference on Population and Development, including the preparation of a report entitled Population, Equity and Changing Productive Patterns that was discussed at the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Conference on Population and Development held in Mexico City in April and May 1993. Aside from adopting a set of recommendations that fed into the preparatory process for the International Conference on Population and Development, the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Conference had requested that a draft Regional Plan of Action be drafted by ECLAC in collaboration with UNFPA. The draft had been discussed during four subregional meetings held in 1993 and transmitted to ECLAC at its twenty-fifth session by a High-Level Meeting of Governmental Experts of the Latin American and Caribbean countries held in March 1994. The Commission was informed that after formal adoption by ECLAC, the draft Regional Plan of Action would be revised in light of the results of the International Conference on Population and Development and would become operational in 1995.

4. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific                     [ Up ]

105. The Commission was informed that the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) had organized the Fourth Asian and Pacific Population Conference in Denpasar, Indonesia, from 19 to 27 August 1992, and had adopted the Bali Declaration on Population and Sustainable Development (see document E/CONF.84/PC/14, annex). For this purpose, three pre-Conference seminars had been organized on: (a) population, environment and sustainable development (May 1991); (b) migration and urbanization in Asia and the Pacific (January 1992); and (c) planning and implementation of effective family planning/family health and welfare programmes (March 1992).

106. During the period under review, ESCAP had continued to conduct collaborative research on such topics as population and environment dynamics; rural-urban migration and urbanization; the role and status of women in relation to development; and the consequences of population change in Asia. In the area of technical assistance, ESCAP had tried various approaches to improving the technical skills and knowledge of Government officials and other professionals working in the field of population. Because of the importance of population information, ESCAP continued to promote new and better techniques for handling, sharing and disseminating population information, especially through the Asia-Pacific Population Information Network (ASIA-PACIFIC POPIN). Other means of disseminating population information included the publication of Asia-Pacific Population Journal, Population Headliners, and the Asian Population Studies Series, and the organization of various meetings and workshops.

5. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

107. The representative of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) informed the Commission that the population activities of ESCWA encompassed three major activities: (a) preparation of population estimates and projections; (b) analysis of the social, economic and political aspects of international migration flows in the region; and (c) analysis and promotion of population-related policies, including integrating population variables into development planning. International migration was of major importance for the region, involving all types of migrants and having various implications for development. However, funds to conduct in-depth research in that area had not been forthcoming.

D. Action taken by the Commission                                                  [ Up ]

Work programme in the field of population

108. At the 456th meeting, on 30 March, the Commission had before it a draft resolution (E/CN.9/1994/L.4) entitled "Work programme in the field of population" sponsored by Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America. The draft resolution read as follows:

Work programme in the field of population

The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling General Assembly resolutions 3344 (XXIX) and 3345 (XXIX) of 17 December 1974, concerning the recommendations of the United Nations World Population Conference, and 39/228 of 18 December 1984 on the International Conference on Population,

Recalling also General Assembly resolution S-18/3 of 1 May 1990, containing the Declaration on International Economic Cooperation, in particular the Revitalization of Economic Growth and Development of the Developing Countries, as well as Assembly resolution 45/199 of 21 December 1990 on the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade,

Recalling further its resolutions 1981/28 of 6 May 1981 on the strengthening of actions concerned with the fulfilment of the World Population Plan of Action, 1985/4 on the implications of the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and 1985/6 on the status and role of women and population, both of 28 May 1985, 1986/7 of 21 May 1986 on population questions, 1989/89 on the population situation in the least developed countries, 1989/90 on incorporating population factors in the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade, 1989/92 on strengthening actions concerned with the fulfilment of the World Population Plan of Action and 1989/94 on United Nations support for African countries in the field of population, all of 26 July 1989, and 1991/92 of 26 July 1991 on the work programme in the field of population,

Stressing the relationship between population and development as stated in General Assembly resolution 45/216 of 21 December 1990, namely the supportive role of the work programmes of the United Nations system in the field of population in the attainment of the goals and objectives set out in the Declaration on International Economic Cooperation, in particular the Revitalization of Economic Growth and Development of the Developing Countries, and in the International Development Strategy for the Third United Nations Development Decade, and taking into consideration the specific needs of developing countries, as well as the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade and the pursuit of goals of economic cooperation,

Recalling the report of the International Conference on Population, in which it was reaffirmed that the principles and objectives of the World Population Plan of Action remained fully valid,

Reaffirming the important role of the Population Commission as the advisory body of the Economic and Social Council on population matters,

Bearing in mind recommendations that may emanate from the International Conference on Population and Development,

Taking note of the report of the Population Commission on its twenty-seventh session and the views expressed therein on the progress of work in the field of population and the proposed work programme,

1. Notes with satisfaction the progress made in implementing the work programme for the period 1991-1993 and the medium-term plan for the period 1992-1997;

2. Requests the Secretary-General:

(a) To continue to give high priority to the monitoring of world population trends and policies;

(b) To continue work on the following:

(i) Biennial revisions of estimates and projections of national, urban, rural and city populations, including demographic indicators and age structure;

(ii) Studies on the interrelationships between population and development;

(iii) Studies on the interrelationship between the status and role of women and population;

(iv) Comparative analysis of population policies;

(v) Analysis of mortality, with special attention to adult mortality;

(vi) Studies on reproductive behaviour and on family planning and its demographic impact;

(vii) Studies to measure and understand changes in population distribution, especially internal migration and urbanization;

(viii) Studies on levels, trends and policies in international migration;

(ix) Dissemination of population information and further strengthening of the Population Information Network at the regional and global levels;

(x) Provision of technical cooperation support as requested and as resources permit;                                                                                                   [ Up ]

(c) To continue coordination of the substantive preparatory work for the International Conference on Population and Development;

(d) To continue to review and appraise the actions resulting from the United Nations international population conferences of 1974, 1984 and 1994;

(e) To continue to work closely with Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, as appropriate, in the implementation of programmes;

(f) To further improve communication and coordination among the Population Division of the Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis of the Secretariat, the regional commissions and Governments, particularly in order to prepare the most accurate population estimates and projections possible, an activity in which the Population Division should continue to play a leading role;

(g) To give high priority to strengthening multilateral technical cooperation programmes in the field of population, including the utilization of technical cooperation in and among developing countries, as necessary;

3. Re-emphasizes the importance of maintaining the scope, effectiveness and efficiency of the global population programme and of continuing to strengthen coordination and collaboration among the Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis of the Secretariat, the regional commissions, the United Nations Population Fund, the World Bank, and other organizations and bodies of the United Nations system in the planning and execution of their population programmes, as well as the need for organizations of the United Nations system to strengthen coordination and collaboration with Member States, other intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental and national organizations, as appropriate.

109. At the 458th meeting, on 31 March, the Secretary of the Commission informed the Commission that the draft resolution contained no programme budget implications.

110. At the same meeting, the Vice-Chairman of the Commission (Jamaica) read out the following revisions to the draft resolution, which had been agreed to during informal consultations:

(a) In preambular paragraph 2, after the words "Developing Countries", the paragraph should read as follows: "and 45/199 of 21 December 1990 on the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade, as well as 48/181 of 21 December 1993 on the integration of the economies in transition into the world economy";

(b) In preambular paragraph 4, after the words "field of population", the paragraph should read as follows: "taking into consideration the specific needs of developing countries, and in the attainment of the goals and objectives set out in the Declaration on International Economic Cooperation, in particular the Revitalization of Economic Growth and Development of the Developing Countries, as well as the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade";

(c) A new preambular paragraph, 5 bis, should be inserted, to read as follows: "Recalling also the recommendations of the five regional population conferences that were convened as part of the preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development";

(d) Preambular paragraph 6, which began with "Reaffirming" should be placed after preambular paragraph 7, which began with "Bearing in mind";

(e) In operative paragraph 2 (b) (v), the words "with special attention to adult mortality" should be deleted;

(f) Operative paragraph 2 (b) (vi) should read "Studies on family formation, reproductive behaviour and family planning and also on their demographic impact";

(g) Operative paragraph 2 (b) (vii), after the word "distribution", should read "including internal migration, urbanization and displaced persons";

(h) Operative paragraph 2 (b) (viii) should read "Studies on levels, trends, policies, determinants and consequences of international migration, including refugee-related issues";

(i) In operative paragraph 2 (b) (ix), the word "national" should be inserted after the words "at the";

(j) Operative paragraph 2 (b) (x), after the words "cooperation support", should read "in response to requests from developing countries and economies in transition";

(k) In operative paragraph 2, subparagraphs (c) and (d) should be deleted and subparagraphs (e), (f) and (g) should become subparagraphs (c), (d) and (e), respectively;

(l) A new operative paragraph 3 should be added, to read as follows: "Requests the Secretary-General of the International Conference on Population and Development to continue to make full use of the existing resources of all units of the United Nations system concerned, in particular the Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis of the Secretariat and the United Nations Population Fund".

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Chapter IV. Follow-up to the recommendations of the International Conference on Population, 1984                                                         [ Up ]

111. The Population Commission considered item 5 of its agenda at its 456th and 457th meetings, on 30 March 1994. It had before it the following documents:

(a) Concise report of the Secretary-General on the monitoring of world population trends and policies, with special emphasis on refugees (E/CN.9/1994/2);

(b) Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations system in the field of population (E/CN.9/1994/5);

(c) Report of the Secretary-General on the monitoring of multilateral population assistance (E/CN.9/1994/6);

(d) Report of the Secretary-General on the work of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in the implementation of the World Population Plan of Action (E/CN.9/1994/7);

(e) Report of the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund on the activities of the Fund (E/CN.9/1994/8).

A. Activities of the United Nations Population Fund                        [ Up ]

112. The representative of the United Nations Population Fund introduced the report of the Executive Director of UNFPA on the Fund's activities (E/CN.9/1994/8). The programme review and strategy development (PRSD) exercise had developed significantly, in both quantity and quality, since its introduction in 1989. In the past four years, 68 missions had been undertaken: 29 to Africa; 12 to Arab States and Europe; 15 to Asia and the Pacific; and 12 to Latin America and the Caribbean. Recognizing that systematic, timely and efficient monitoring and evaluation were indispensable to ensure that population programmes had produced effective results, UNFPA continued evaluation exercises during the period 1991-1993. Several major thematic evaluations were conducted of activities such as information, education and communication (IEC) in support of family planning service delivery; income-generating projects to empower women and change reproductive behaviour; improving the quality of family planning services; and local production of contraceptives.

113. The Commission was informed that the Fund had made major advances in successor support-cost arrangements, as approved by the Governing Council in its decision of June 1991 related to the provision of high-quality technical assistance. The Fund's principal mechanism to provide technical assistance at the country level was the country support team (CST). Eight were in operation:

three in sub-Saharan Africa; three in Asia and the Pacific; and one in the Arab States and Europe, and one in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Fund had also continued to promote coordination and collaboration in population planning and programmes. As Chair of the Joint Consultative Group on Policy (JCGP) during 1992, UNFPA had advanced several coordination activities through various working groups. The global initiative on contraceptive requirements and logistics, spearheaded by UNFPA, had involved bilateral and multilateral collaboration for in-depth studies in seven countries and others were in the pipeline.

114. The financial position of UNFPA had improved in 1992, with income increasing by 6.3 per cent over 1991 to $238 million. Total expenditures in 1992 had been $193.6 million. As of January 1994, the total number of authorized budget posts was 837, comprising 180 Professional and 657 General Service staff. UNFPA had increased the proportion of women staff members in the Professional category to 44 per cent, one of the highest percentages among United Nations agencies and organizations.

115. The Commission noted that during the period 1991-1993, UNFPA had supported numerous activities to strengthen and expand family planning services, especially in rural and remote areas. In sub-Saharan Africa, 29 out of 41 countries had reported significant progress in expanding their family planning networks. The Fund had been promoting a wider reproductive health perspective, emphasizing the reduction of the number of abortions and adolescent pregnancies; increasing contraceptive prevalence and effective counselling; and widening the choice of contraceptive methods. The Fund had supported many IEC activities that were instrumental in generating political and public support for population activities and in increasing acceptance of family planning services. IEC activities had included development of national population IEC strategies; incorporating population and family life education into school curricula and out-of-school programmes; and peer education and youth-to-youth counselling on adolescent reproductive health.

116. Delegates commended the work and programmes of UNFPA, mentioning in particular the emphasis on improving programme effectiveness and on gender concerns. It was noted that there was a need for effective follow-up to programme evaluations, a continuing need to strengthen institutional capacity within developing countries to implement programmes and, despite recent progress, still a great need to meet the basic demand for family planning and reproductive health services. In order to prevent gaps as well as overlap in programmes, there was a need for coordination among the agencies and other groups supporting population activities, and note was taken of UNFPA's leading role in that regard. UNFPA was urged to continue to stress the use of national experts in executing programmes in developing countries. The number of such experts was increasing, even though there remained a pressing need to train more population specialists.

B. Monitoring of multilateral population assistance                            [ Up ]

117. The Commission was informed that the report on the monitoring of multilateral population assistance (E/CN.9/1994/6) had been prepared in response to a recommendation of the International Conference on Population held at Mexico City in 1984, in which the Secretary-General was requested to undertake the monitoring of multilateral population programmes of the United Nations system. The report covered substantive and operational aspects of multilateral population assistance within the United Nations system. 118. The United Nations system had continued to strengthen the substantive content of its programmes and had increased the volume of financial assistance directed to developing countries. For the United Nations system as a whole, assistance to population programmes had increased from $181 million in 1987 to $253 million in 1992. UNFPA funds had accounted for 81 per cent of those resources.

119. Family planning integrated with reproductive health and carried out through the primary health-care system continued to absorb most of the multilateral resources for population. IEC efforts in support of family planning had also received considerable assistance. In the past two years, the allocations for basic data collection and analysis had decreased.

120. There had been a continued emphasis on support for programmes and projects designed to improve the status and living conditions of women. Women's concerns had increasingly been mainstreamed into all substantive areas of population assistance. At the same time, projects to improve the status of women, such as education for girls, leadership training, literacy programmes and projects designed to increase the income of women and their families, were being supported by multilateral agencies.

121. The past two years had seen continued support for population programmes in Africa, where reproductive health and family planning needs were a major concern and where population growth rates were currently the highest in the world. About one third of UNFPA resources for Africa were devoted to maternal and child health and family planning (MCH/FP) programmes. Trends in multilateral assistance in Africa had shown that the earlier emphasis on basic data collection and policy formulation was giving way to operational population-programme activities, particularly in MCH/FP.

122. The 1990s were considered to be critical: Actions in population taken in that decade would play a large part in determining individual welfare and even survival as well as the size and composition of populations well into the twenty-first century. It had become increasingly apparent that current multilateral resources for population and development were inadequate to meet the challenges of the decade.

123. In response to a query from delegates, the UNFPA representative clarified the fact that a decline in UNFPA-funded projects executed by the specialized agencies had been due to the recommendation contained in General Assembly resolutions 44/211 and 47/199 that every effort should be made to promote the national execution of population projects. The Commission's attention was drawn to the pressing population problems and need for technical assistance in parts of Europe, particularly in the countries in transition. The representative of UNFPA noted that UNFPA did support both country and regional projects in Europe, even though the region contained no countries currently designated for priority assistance.

C. Activities of the United Nations system in the field of population                                                                                                                [ Up ]

124. The report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations system in the field of population (E/CN.9/1994/5) presented an overview of the activities of the units and organizations of the United Nations system that had carried out population activities during the early 1990s. That report presented information on recent changes in policies, mandates, objectives, organizational structure and planning, and programming and budgeting procedures, as well as on resources, coordinating mechanisms and the proportion of resources devoted to population activities during the period 1992-1993.

1. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

125. The representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) informed the Commission that his organization, having been mandated to provide refugees with international protection and assistance, considered the collection and maintenance of refugee statistics to be an important element of its work. The Commission noted with satisfaction that UNHCR had recently established a statistical entity within the Office and had published The State of the World's Refugees: The Challenge of Protection, which included detailed statistics on refugees and asylum-seekers.

126. The representative of UNHCR underscored the difficulties involved in the collection and measurement of refugee statistics. Differences in national policies, which were subject to constant changes, also affected these data, making it extremely difficult to make international comparisons. The Commission was informed that UNHCR had taken the initiative to improve the quality of data by developing guidelines that set out practical and technical procedures for the registration of refugees in the field.

2. International Labour Organization

127. The International Labour Organization (ILO) prepared a written statement, which was made available to the Population Commission.

3. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

128. The representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported that the Organization's programme was undergoing a period of transition, moving away from a focus on project execution towards one of technical support to the UNFPA country support teams (CSTs) in the framework of the technical support services (TSS) system. The changes were also taking place in the substantive area, since there was an increasing effort at diversification in the direction of FAO's main areas of concern (agricultural production and food security within a sustainable development framework).

129. There were two major forces at work in the transition process. The first was the implementation of the TSS system. The second was driven by the renewal process that FAO was going through and its current restructuring. This had resulted in a greater commitment to the field of population and its interrelationships with agriculture and rural development, as witnessed by the decision to establish a new Population Programme Service.

130. The objective of this new Service was to ensure that population issues were taken into account in FAO's activities in order to achieve more effectively its objectives. This implied identifying and analysing the implications of the population factors relevant to agricultural, fisheries and forestry issues.

4. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

131. The representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) informed the Commission that in the field of population a major area of concern for UNESCO had been population information, education and communication programmes. Population education was a rapidly expanding field and in recent years close to a 100 countries had developed population education programmes in the formal and non-formal education system.

132. UNESCO and UNFPA had jointly organized the First International Congress on Population Education and Development (ICPED), held in Istanbul, in April 1993, which had adopted the Istanbul Declaration on the role of population education in human development and had also approved an Action Framework for Population Education.

133. The Commission was informed that a new UNESCO interdisciplinary and inter-agency cooperation project, entitled "Environment and population education and information for human development", sought a new approach to education, training and information activities designed to deal with the interwoven issues of population, environment and sustainable development in a manner that was both integrated and based on sound scientific knowledge.

134. Research and training activities were carried out in selected countries from all major regions on sociocultural factors affecting fertility change; changes in family and household patterns and gender roles; sociocultural aspects of international migration; and the role of women as agents of social change. 135. The long-term effect of population programmes depended on whether steps were taken to improve the status of women. UNESCO continued to expand its activities concerning various aspects of women's empowerment including women's and girls' education at all levels, training for economic self-reliance and the protection and enhancement of women's legal, social and human rights.

5. World Health Organization

136. The representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) informed the Commission that the "Health for all" strategy had led to a worldwide recognition of the role of health in development. The Commission was informed that the visible aspect of WHO's activities was their impact on the reduction of morbidity and mortality. In spite of the increase in many "poverty diseases", overall mortality and infant and child mortality continued to decrease globally.

137. The Commission was informed that WHO had continued its efforts to strengthen national health infrastructures to deal more effectively with resurging public health problems, such as malaria, AIDS and drug abuse.

138. Countries were encouraged to include in their health strategies specific equity targets to improve the health of disadvantaged groups with disproportionately high rates of mortality, such as women, the rural poor and the inhabitants of urban slums.

139. Through the "Health for all" strategy, and the development of district health systems, WHO had been an early advocate for decentralization, community involvement, and integration of health in the process of development. Following the principle of equity, WHO had been voicing the needs of women, children and adolescents to prepare for a better future and had helped in building international support for such vulnerable groups.

D. Work of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in the implementation of the World Population Plan of Action                   [ Up ]

140. The results of the fourth survey of activities carried out by intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in the field of population were presented in the report of the Secretary-General on the work of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in the implementation of the World Population Plan of Action (E/CN.9/1994/7). The survey focused on activities carried out during the biennium 1990-1991, with some preliminary information on resources for 1992, based on the replies received from 8 intergovernmental and 104 non-governmental organizations. The report provided information on various characteristics of the organizations, including the location of their headquarters, the nature of their activities, their links with the United Nations system, and their human and financial resources, as well as their involvement in the implementation of the recommendations relative to each of the various sectors and functions covered in the World Population Plan of Action.

141. The Population Commission noted the importance of the fourth survey of population activities. However, several delegates mentioned that their organizations suffered from survey fatigue as a reaction to increased demands made upon them to respond to questionnaires. It was suggested that ways should be investigated to reduce such paperwork.

142. The representative of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), a global association of 2,000 individual population scientists, reported that over the last 50 years the organization had contributed significantly to a growing body of knowledge on the interrelationships between demographic behaviour and development processes. IUSSP, through its general conferences held at different locations every four years, its regional conferences, its scientific meetings, its newsletter, its books and the journals that it partially supported, had played a major role in establishing the determinants and consequences of changing population growth and structure, as a field of study.

143. In this work, IUSSP had relied on a solid body of material in the area of information-gathering and analysis carried out at the international level by the Population Division of the United Nations Secretariat. It was important to IUSSP's mission that such information be collected and presented according to the highest standards possible. IUSSP joined others in its praise of the work of the Population Division and suggested that its role be widened to allow more internationally comparative work. It was declared that it was in everyone's interest to extend and deepen the technical capacity of the Population Division of the United Nations Secretariat.

144. IUSSP expressed its commitment to continuing its scientific programme through its scientific committees. The next General Conference would be held in 1997. The continuing strong support of UNFPA was essential to the mission of IUSSP.

145. The representative of the Population Council reported that the Council planned to emphasize three main policy routes to reduce population growth rates: (a) high-quality family planning services to help satisfy the unmet need for fertility regulation and reduce unplanned and unwanted pregnancies; (b) affirmative social and economic measures to improve girls' and women's educational and economic opportunities; and (c) promotion of later age at marriage and longer spacing between births to reduce pressures on women for early marriage and motherhood. Additional Council priorities included: (d) commitment to incorporation of relevant reproductive health services as constituting part of improving the quality of care of family planning services, including detection and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and prevention of unsafe abortion; (e) expansion of contraceptive choices and access to family planning services; (f) development of new contraceptive methods for people with special unmet needs, such as adolescents, breast-feeding mothers, unmarried women, women at risk for sexually transmitted diseases, older women, and men; (g) research efforts on gender and the family; (h) research on the relationships among population, environment, and development from the perspective of resource disparities; and (i) expansion of the Council's public information outreach efforts to bring the results of its research to the attention of policy makers and programme managers, as well as influential journalists and media around the world.

146. The representative of Population Communications-International informed the Commission about its work with mass communications media in promoting social change, in particular through improving knowledge about the links among population, environmental degradation, poverty and gender issues. She also noted the long and rewarding collaboration between non-governmental organizations and the United Nations in the field of population and looked forward to her organization's future participation in the work of the Population Commission.

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Chapter V. Provisional agenda for the 28th session of the Commission                                                                                                                   [ Up ]

147. The Commission considered item 6 of its agenda at its 458th meeting, on 31 March 1994. It had before it a note by the Secretariat containing the draft provisional agenda for the twenty-eighth session together with a list of requested documentation (E/CN.9/1994/L.3/Rev.1).

148. At the same meeting a statement was made by the representative of Pakistan who indicated that her delegation would go along with the proposed item 4 of the provisional agenda on the understanding that it should not prejudge the outcome of the International Conference on Population and Development.

149. At the same meeting, statements were also made by the representatives of Colombia and the Russian Federation, as well as by the observers for Egypt and the Holy See.

150. At the same meeting, the Commission approved the draft provisional agenda for its twenty-eighth session, as amended during the discussion (see chap. I, sect. B, draft decision).

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Chapter VI. Adoption of the report of the Commission on its 27th session                                                                                                                [ Up ]

151. At the 458th and 459th meetings, on 31 March 1994, the Commission adopted the draft report on its twenty-seventh session (E/CN.9/1994/L.5 and Add.1 and 2 and the paper containing an informal version of the draft report with the continuation of chaps. III and IV), as revised during the discussion.

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Chapter VII. Organization of the session                                             [ Up ]

A. Opening and duration of the session

152. The Population Commission held its twenty-seventh session at United Nations Headquarters from 28 to 31 March 1994. The Commission held 8 meetings (452nd to 459th meetings) and 1 informal meeting.

153. The session was opened by the Director of the Population Division.

154. Introductory statements were made by the Under-Secretary- General for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund and the Director of the Population Division.

B. Attendance

155. The session was attended by 24 States members of the Commission. Observers for other States Members of the United Nations and for two non-member States also attended. Representatives of specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations also attended. A list of participants is given in annex I to the present report.

C. Election of officers

156. At the 452nd and 453rd meetings, on 28 March 1994, the Commission elected the following officers by acclamation:

Chairman: Shigemi Kono (Japan)

Vice-Chairmen: Pauline Knight (Jamaica) Andr s Klinger (Hungary) Jenny Gierveld (Netherlands) Ahmed Yousif Mohamed (Sudan)

Rapporteur: Jenny Gierveld (Netherlands)

D. Agenda

157. At the 452nd meeting, on 28 March 1994, the Commission adopted the provisional agenda contained in document E/CN.9/1994/1. The agenda was as follows:

1. Election of officers.

2. Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters.

3. Action by the United Nations to implement the recommendations of the World Population Conference, 1974:

(a) General debate on national experience in population matters;

(b) Monitoring of population trends and policies, with special emphasis on refugees;

(c) Review and appraisal of progress made towards the implementation of the World Population Plan of Action.

4. Programme questions:

(a) Programme performance and implementation;

(b) Proposed programme of work for the biennium 1994-1995.

5. Follow-up to the recommendations of the International Conference on Population, 1984.

6. Provisional agenda for the twenty-eighth session of the Commission.

7. Adoption of the report of the Commission on its twenty-seventh session.

158. At the same meeting, the Commission approved the organization of the work for the session (E/CN.9/1994/L.1).

E. Consultation with non-governmental organizations

159. In accordance with rule 76 of the rules of procedure of the functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council, representatives of the following non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Council made statements in connection with agenda item 5 (Follow-up to the recommendations of the International Conference on Population, 1984):

Category II: International Union for the Scientific Study of Population

The Population Council

Roster: Population Communications-International

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United Nations Document E/1994/28 E/CN.9/1994/9

The electronic version of this document is being made available by the United Nations Population Information Network (POPIN) Gopher of the Department of Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, Population Division.

 

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