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International Conference on Population and Development -- ICPD

At the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, 179 countries agreed that population and development are inextricably linked, and that empowering women and meeting people's needs for education and health, including reproductive health, are necessary for both individual advancement and balanced development. The conference adopted a 20-year Programme of Action, which focused on individuals' needs and rights, rather than on achieving demographic targets.

Advancing gender equality, eliminating violence against women and ensuring women's ability to control their own fertility were acknowledged as cornerstones of population and development policies. Concrete goals of the ICPD centred on providing universal education; reducing infant, child and maternal mortality; and ensuring universal access by 2015 to reproductive health care, including family planning, assisted childbirth and prevention of sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. Read more

Key Actions for the Further Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action -- ICPD+5

Progress and challenges in the first five years of implementing the Cairo agreement were the focus of a series of meetings leading up to special session of the United Nations General Assembly ICPD+5) in June 1999. The session identified Key Actions for the Further Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, including new benchmark indicators of progress.

National governments, UN regional commissions, UNFPA and nongovernmental organizations have recently begun a new review of ICPD implementation in advance of the 10th anniversary of the Cairo conference in 2004. Read more

Millennium Development Goals -- MDGs

In 2000, leaders of 189 nations gathered at the Millennium Summit to discuss solutions to combat poverty, hunger, illiteracy, disease, discrimination against women, and environmental degradation. They agreed on a set of Millennium Development Goals aimed at cutting global poverty and hunger in half by 2015, reducing maternal and child deaths, curbing HIV/AIDS, advancing gender equality, and promoting environmentally sustainable development.

The MDGs cannot be achieved without addressing population and reproductive health issues as agreed at the ICPD. That means stronger efforts to promote women's rights and greater investments in education and health, including reproductive health and family planning. Read more

Implementing ICPD, ICPD+5 and MDGs

The international community has committed itself to an ambitious goal: cutting in half the number of people living in absolute poverty by 2015. To do this, world leaders have adopted specific targets for life expectancy, education, housing, gender equality, openness of trade, and environmental protection.

Practical efforts to eradicate poverty rest directly upon the enforcement of basic human rights. These rights are the starting point from which goals were set in the ICPD Programme of Action and the follow-up goals that came out of the ICPD+5 conference in 1999.

Poverty cannot and will not be eradicated without achieving ICPD goals. Universal access to education and reproductive health care are crucial steps that can help to eradicate poverty. Meeting these ICPD goals will pave a straight road directly toward reaching the Millennium Development Goals.

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