Commission on Population and Development: Resolution 2008

Resolution 2008/1
Population distribution, urbanization, internal migration
and development

The Commission on Population and Development,

Recalling the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development,1 in particular chapter IX, on population distribution, urbanization and internal migration, and the key actions for further implementation of the Programme of Action,2 in particular section II.D, on internal migration, population distribution and urban agglomerations,

Recalling also the United Nations Millennium Declaration3 and the 2005 World Summit Outcome,4 as well as General Assembly resolution 60/265 of 30 June 2006 on the follow-up to the development outcome of the 2005 World Summit, including the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals,

Recalling further the relevant provisions on population distribution, urbanization and internal migration and development contained, inter alia, in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (“Johannesburg Plan of Implementation”), the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and its Programme of Action, the Habitat Agenda and the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium, as well as the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS of 2 June 2006, the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action15 and the Barbados Programme of Action,

Recognizing that the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the key actions for its further implementation are integrally linked to global efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development and that the achievement of the goals of the Programme of Action is consistent with and makes an essential contribution to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals,

Recognizing also that the world population is undergoing a historic and unprecedented transformation from being mostly rural to being predominantly urban, but that major disparities in the level of urbanization remain among regions and countries, with Africa and Asia still being mostly rural and other regions being highly urbanized, and therefore that this transformation requires integrated and participatory approaches to spatial management, including through coordinated action between national Governments and local authorities, with the support of the international community,

Recognizing further the negative impact of environmental degradation, including climate change, on population distribution, internal migration, urbanization and development, as well as the challenges that rural and urban transformations carry for environmental sustainability,

Noting that the number of urban dwellers in developing countries is growing significantly and that future population growth will be concentrated primarily in the urban areas of developing countries, particularly in small and medium-sized cities,

Recognizing that natural increase, internal migration and the reclassification of rural areas as urban contribute to urban population growth,

Recognizing also that the levels of poverty are highest in rural areas, that poverty levels are increasing in the urban areas of some developing countries and that the urban poor are especially vulnerable and often have no other option but to live in slums, which are characterized by overcrowded conditions, unsafe housing,crime and other social problems, and lack of access to improved water sources, sanitation and health services,

Recognizing further that in developing countries, there are differences among urban settings regarding access to social services,

Recalling the commitment to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015, as set out at the International Conference on Population and Development, integrating this goal in strategies to attain the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, aimed at reducing maternal mortality, improving maternal health, reducing child mortality, promoting gender equality, combating HIV/AIDS and eradicating poverty,

Taking note of the reports of the Secretary-General on world population monitoring17 and on the monitoring of population programmes,18 both of which focus on population distribution, urbanization, internal migration and development, and taking note also of the report of the Secretary-General on the flow of financial resources for assisting in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development,19

Acknowledging that for developing countries that cannot generate sufficient resources, the lack of adequate funding remains the chief constraint to the full implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, and urging the international community, including Governments of both donors and developing countries, to continue to mobilize the required resources for the full implementation of the Programme of Action, taking into consideration current needs,

Recognizing that poverty, unemployment, hunger and malnutrition are some of the major causes of migration from rural to urban areas in many developing countries,

Affirming that all States and all people should cooperate to eradicate poverty and attain sustainable development in order to decrease disparities in standards of living and better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world,

1. Reaffirms the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development3 and the key actions for its further implementation;4

2. Calls upon Governments, in formulating population distribution policies, to ensure that their objectives and goals are consistent with internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, all human rights and fundamental freedoms, the eradication of poverty in both urban and rural areas, the promotion of gender equality, equity and empowerment of women and environmental sustainability;

3. Reaffirms the commitments to, and emphasizes the need to fully implement, the global partnership for development set out in the United Nations Millennium Declaration,5 the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development16 and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit for Sustainable Development (“Johannesburg Plan of Implementation”),11 and to enhance the momentum generated by the 2005 World Summit in order to operationalize and implement, at all levels, the commitments set out in the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits, including the 2005 World Summit, in the economic, social and related fields;

4. Calls upon Governments to address the challenges and opportunities of urban growth and internal migration by taking prompt, forward-looking and sustained action to ensure that those phenomena have a positive impact on economic growth, poverty eradication and environmental sustainability and, in doing so, to enable the participation and representation of all relevant stakeholders in planning for an urban future, and calls upon the international community to support the efforts of developing countries in this regard, including through building capacities to respond to these challenges and opportunities;

5. Urges Governments to promote development that would encourage linkages between urban and rural areas in recognition of their economic, social and environmental interdependence;

6. Emphasizes the need to eradicate poverty in rural areas, including through strategies that, integrating a gender perspective, are aimed at promoting interactions between cities and rural localities, particularly by generating employment for rural residents, creating opportunities to market agricultural products in urban areas and facilitating access to credit, education, vocational training and health services for rural residents and rural-urban migrants;

7. Also emphasizes, in the context of population distribution, urbanization, internal migration and development, and bearing in mind national priorities, the importance of establishing and funding active labour market policies devoted to the promotion of full and productive employment and decent work for all, including the full participation of women in all international and national development and poverty eradication strategies, the creation of more and better jobs for women, both urban and rural, and their inclusion in social protection and social dialogue;

8. Urges Governments to improve the plight of the urban poor, many of whom work in the informal sector of the economy, and to promote the integration of internal migrants from rural areas into urban areas by developing and improving their income-earning capability, with special attention to women, in particular female workers and female heads of households;

9. Calls upon Governments to take into account the impacts of population distribution, urbanization, internal migration and development in the formulation of family-sensitive policies in the field of housing, work, health, social security and education;

10. Also calls upon Governments to increase the capacity and competence of city and municipal authorities to manage urban development to safeguard the environment, to respond to the need of all citizens, including young people and urban squatters, for personal safety, basic infrastructure and services, to eliminate health and social problems, including problems of drugs and criminality, and problems resulting from overcrowding and disasters, and to provide people with alternatives to living in areas prone to natural and man-made disasters;

11. Urges Governments to promote healthy living in both rural and urban areas in all spheres of health, including sexual and reproductive health, in particular the improvement of maternal, child and adolescent health, and efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality, in the light of the challenges and opportunities presented by population distribution, urbanization, internal migration and development;

12. Calls upon Governments to develop and implement policies aimed at ensuring that all persons, irrespective of where they live, have adequate economic and social protection during old age;

13. Recognizes that the effective implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development requires an increased commitment of financial resources, both domestically and externally, and in this context calls upon developed countries to complement the national financial efforts of developing countries related to population and development and to intensify their efforts to transfer new and additional resources to the developing countries, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Programme of Action, in order to ensure that population and development objectives and goals are met;

14. Notes that recent increases in the flow of financial resources for assisting in the implementation of the Programme of Action have been primarily a result of the increased funding for HIV/AIDS activities, and expresses concern that funding for family planning is far below the suggested targets;

15. Encourages Governments, in formulating and implementing policies, strategies and programmes on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support and on other communicable diseases, to focus on the diverse and special needs of urban and rural populations and of migrant populations, including temporary migrants, and emphasizes the need to address the overall expansion and feminization of the HIV/AIDS pandemic;

16. Also encourages Governments to promote the principles and practice of sustainable urbanization in order to address environmental issues, including climate change, thereby reducing the vulnerability of the low-income sectors of society to the risks posed by environmental impacts in a rapidly urbanizing world, and invites the international donor community to support the efforts of developing countries in this regard;

17. Urges Governments to set up or, where they already exist, to strengthen relevant institutions and mechanisms for spatially disaggregated data collection, demographic estimates and projections by age, sex and household composition linked to environmental, economic and social issues at the national and local levels in order to inform policy formulation, regional, urban and rural planning, the planning of service provision, investment decisions or advocacy in favour of vulnerable and marginalized groups, bearing in mind the gender perspective;

18. Stresses the need for technical and financial support for the activities associated with the preparation and conduct of the 2010 round of population censuses, which will provide important data on urban and rural development;

19. Acknowledges that the United Nations regional commissions play an important role in adapting the international population and development agenda to the regional contexts, and encourages the Secretary-General to continue relying on the regional commissions for the implementation of the regional population and development agendas;

20. Requests the Secretary-General to continue, in the framework of the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, his substantive work on population distribution, urbanization and internal migration, including integrating a gender perspective into its analyses and recommendations, in collaboration and coordination with relevant United Nations agencies, funds and programmes and other relevant international organizations, and to continue assessing the progress made in achieving the goals and objectives on population distribution, urbanization, internal migration and development set out in the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits, giving due consideration to their implications for development.