Commission on Population and Development: Resolution 2009

Resolution 2009/1

The contribution of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development to the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals

The Commission on Population and Development,

Recalling the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development3 and the key actions for its further implementation,

Recalling also the United Nations Millennium Declaration5 and the 2005 World Summit Outcome, 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,

Bearing in mind that 2009 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo in 1994, and of the adoption of its Programme of Action, and welcoming the decision of the General Assembly to commemorate it at its sixty-fourth session,7

Recognizing that the full implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the key actions for its further implementation, including those related to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, which would also contribute to the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action,8 population and development, education and gender equality, is integrally linked to global efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development and that population dynamics are all-important for development,

Recognizing also that the full 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 achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including those set forth in the United Nations Millennium Declaration and the 2005 World Summit Outcome, and that these goals are mutually reinforcing,

Recognizing further that population dynamics, development, human rights and sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, which contribute to the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action, empowerment of young people and women, gender equality, rights for women and men to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality and reproduction, free of coercion, discrimination and violence, based on mutual consent, equal relationships between women and men, full respect of the integrity of the person and shared responsibility for sexual behaviour and its consequences, are important for achieving the goals of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development,

Recalling relevant provisions on population and development contained, inter alia, in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,9 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,11 the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,12 and the Political Declaration13 and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002,14 as well as the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS of 2 June 2006,16 the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development17 and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development,

Reaffirming that development is a central goal in itself and that sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental aspects constitutes a key element of the overarching framework of United Nations activities,

Recognizing that all populations of the world are undergoing a historically unique transition from high levels of fertility and mortality to low levels of fertility and mortality, known as the demographic transition, which has strong effects on the age structure of populations, and cognizant of the fact that countries are at different stages of this transition, with some countries still experiencing high levels of fertility,

Recognizing also that in the first stage of the demographic transition, when mortality is falling, the proportion of children increases, that in the second stage, when both fertility and mortality are falling, the proportion of adults of working age increases, and that in the third stage, when fertility and mortality reach low levels, only the proportion of older persons increases,

Recognizing further that the second stage of the demographic transition presents a window of opportunity for development and that the translation of this window of opportunity into benefits for development requires national policies and an international economic environment conducive to investment, employment, sustained economic development and further integration and full participation of developing countries in the global economy,

Noting the important contribution made by migrants and migration to development and its importance as a component of population dynamics as well as the need to identify appropriate means of maximizing development benefits and responding to the challenges which migration poses to countries of origin, transit and destination, especially in light of the current economic and financial crisis,

Noting also the challenges and opportunities of urban growth and internal migration and that, by taking prompt, forward-looking and sustained action, Governments can ensure that those phenomena have a positive impact on economic growth, poverty eradication and environmental sustainability,

Concerned that, given current trends and the negative effects of the global financial and economic crisis, many countries will fall further short of achieving the agreed goals and commitments of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development as well as most of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals,

Recognizing that under-age and forced marriage and early sexual relationships have adverse psychological effects on girls and that early pregnancy and early motherhood entail complications during pregnancy and delivery and a risk of maternal mortality and morbidity that is much greater than average, and deeply concerned that early childbearing and limited access to the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual and reproductive health, including in the area of emergency obstetric care, cause high levels of obstetric fistula and maternal mortality and morbidity,

Encouraging States to create a socio-economic environment conducive to the elimination of all child marriages and other unions as a matter of urgency, to discourage early marriage and to reinforce the social responsibilities that marriage entails in their educational programmes,

Recalling the commitment to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015 as set out in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the need to integrate this goal in national strategies and programmes to attain the internationally agreed development goals and the Millennium Development Goals, and recognizing that reproductive health and reproductive rights embrace certain human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other consensus documents, that these rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health, which also includes the right to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence, as expressed in human rights documents, that in the exercise of this right, they should take into account the needs of their living and future children and their responsibilities towards the community, that the promotion of the responsible exercise of those rights by all people should be the fundamental basis for Government- and community-supported policies and programmes in the area of reproductive health, including family planning, that as part of their commitment, full attention should be given to the promotion of mutually respectful and equitable gender relations and, particularly, to meeting the educational and service needs of adolescents to enable them to deal in a positive and responsible way with their sexuality, that reproductive health eludes many of the world’s people because of such factors as inadequate levels of knowledge about human sexuality and inappropriate or poor-quality reproductive health information and services, the prevalence of high-risk sexual behaviour, discriminatory social practices, negative attitudes towards women and girls and the limited power many women and girls have over their sexual and reproductive lives, that adolescents are particularly vulnerable because of their lack of information and access to relevant services in most countries, and that older women and men have distinct reproductive and sexual health issues, which are often inadequately addressed,

Recognizing the need to address the social and economic inequities that increase vulnerability and contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS, that the global HIV/AIDS pandemic disproportionately affects women and girls, and that the majority of new HIV infections occur among young people,

Concerned that funding levels for the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development do not meet the current needs and recognizing that the lack of adequate funding remains a significant constraint to the full implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development,

Welcoming the decision of the Economic and Social Council to devote the high-level segment of its substantive session of 2009 to the topic “Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to global public health”,

Taking note of the reports of the Secretary-General on world population monitoring20 and on the monitoring of population programmes,21 both of which focus on the contribution of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development to the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, 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,

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

2. Calls upon Governments to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development by continuously assessing progress in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and by intensifying the actions to achieve over the next five years the goals and objectives agreed to in Cairo as well as Governments’ commitments towards the Millennium Development Goals, especially targets 5a and 5b;

3. Recognizes that development is a complex and multidimensional process, 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;

4. Calls upon Governments, with the support of regional and international financial institutions and other national and international actors, to adopt appropriate measures to overcome the negative impacts of the economic and financial crisis on development, ensuring that policies maintain commitment to the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals;

5. Also calls upon Governments, in cooperation with the international community, to reaffirm their commitment to promote an enabling environment to achieve sustained economic growth in the context of sustainable development and to eradicate poverty, with a special emphasis on gender, reducing the debt burden and ensuring that structural adjustment programmes are responsive to social, economic and environmental concerns in order to achieve the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals;

6. Further calls upon Governments, in formulating and implementing national development plans, budgets and poverty eradication strategies, to prioritize actions to address challenges relating to the impact of population dynamics on poverty and sustainable development, keeping in mind that universal reproductive health-care services, commodities and supplies, as well as information, education, skill development, national capacity-building for population and development and transfer of appropriate technology and know-how to developing countries are essential for achieving the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals and can contribute to economic and social development and to poverty eradication;

7. Urges Governments, in order to ensure the contribution of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development to the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, to, inter alia, protect and promote the full respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms regardless of age and marital status, including by eliminating all forms of discrimination against girls and women, working more effectively to achieve equality between women and men in all areas of family responsibility and in sexual and reproductive life, empowering women and girls, promoting and protecting women’s and girls’ right to education at all levels, providing young people with comprehensive education on human sexuality, on sexual and reproductive health, on gender equality and on how to deal positively and responsibly with their sexuality, enacting and enforcing laws to ensure that marriage is entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses, ensuring the right of women to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, free of coercion, discrimination and violence, combating all forms of violence against women, including harmful traditional and customary practices such as female genital mutilation, developing strategies to eliminate gender stereotypes in all spheres of life and achieving gender equality in political life and decision-making, which would contribute to the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals;

8. Also urges States to enact and strictly enforce laws to ensure that marriage is entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses and, in addition, to enact and strictly enforce laws concerning the minimum legal age of consent and the minimum age for marriage and to raise the minimum age for marriage where necessary;

9. Further urges Governments and development partners, including through international cooperation, in order to improve maternal health, reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality and prevent and respond to HIV/AIDS, to strengthen health systems and ensure that they prioritize universal access to sexual and reproductive information and health-care services, including family planning, prenatal care, safe delivery and post-natal care, especially breastfeeding and infant and women’s health care, prevention and appropriate treatment of infertility, quality services for the management of complications arising from abortion, reducing the recourse to abortion through expanded and improved family planning services and, in circumstances where abortion is not against the law, training and equipping health-service providers and other measures to ensure that such abortion is safe and accessible, recognizing that in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning, treatment of sexually transmitted infections and other reproductive health conditions and information, education and counselling, as appropriate, on human sexuality, reproductive health and responsible parenthood, taking into account the particular needs of those in vulnerable situations, which would contribute to the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals;

10. Recognizes that, to address the challenges of population and development effectively, broad and effective partnership between Governments and civil society organizations is essential to assist in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of population and development objectives and activities;

11. Requests the United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies, within their respective mandates, to continue to support countries in implementing the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and thus contribute to eradicating poverty, promoting gender equality, improving adolescent, maternal and neonatal health, preventing HIV/AIDS and ensuring environmental sustainability, including to address the negative impacts of climate change;

12. Urges Governments to strengthen international cooperation in order to assist in the development of human resources for health through technical assistance and training, as well as to increase universal access to health services, including in remote and rural areas, taking into account the challenges faced by developing countries in the retention of skilled health personnel;

13. Reiterates the need for Governments to ensure that all women and men and young people have information about and access to the widest possible range of safe, effective, affordable, evidence-based and acceptable methods of family planning, including barrier methods, and to the requisite supplies so that they are able to exercise free and informed reproductive choices;

14. Calls upon Governments and the international community to strengthen their efforts to lower infant and child mortality and ensure that all children, girls and boys alike, enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, especially by combating malnutrition, taking measures to prevent and treat infectious and parasitic diseases and eliminating all forms of discrimination against the girl child;

15. Recognizes that the largest generation of adolescents ever in history is now entering sexual and reproductive life and that their access to sexual and reproductive health information, education and care and family planning services and commodities, including male and female condoms, as well as voluntary abstinence and fidelity are essential to achieving the goals set out in Cairo 15 years ago;

16. Calls upon Governments, with the full involvement of young people and with the support of the international community, to give full attention to meeting the reproductive health-care service, information and education needs of adolescents to enable them to deal in a positive and responsible way with their sexuality;

17. Urges Governments to scale up significantly efforts towards achieving the goal of universal access to comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention programmes, treatment, care and support by 2010, and the goal to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015;

18. Also urges Governments to integrate HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support into primary, maternal and child health-care programmes and integrate sexual and reproductive health information and services into HIV/AIDS plans and strategies, so as to increase coverage of antiretroviral treatment and prevent all forms of transmission of HIV, including mother-to-child transmission, protecting human rights and fighting stigma and discrimination by empowering women to exercise their right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, free of coercion, discrimination and violence; 

19. Calls upon Governments to strengthen initiatives that increase the capacities of women and adolescent girls to protect themselves from the risk of HIV infection, principally through the provision of health care and health services, including for sexual and reproductive health, in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, and that integrate HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support, including voluntary counselling and testing and prevention education that promotes gender equality;

20. Urges Governments, supported by international cooperation and partnerships, to expand to the greatest extent possible the capacity to deliver comprehensive HIV/AIDS programmes in ways that strengthen existing national health and social systems, including by integrating HIV/AIDS intervention into programmes for primary health care, mother and child health, sexual and reproductive health and nutrition, programmes addressing tuberculosis, hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections and programmes for children affected, orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS, as well as into formal and informal education;

21. Recognizes the dire need to increase financial resources for the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, particularly for family planning, and calls upon the international community to assist Governments in this regard, to increase funding to reduce unmet needs for family planning, which is far below suggested targets, and to ensure that funding lines for family planning programmes and commodities are included in national budget formulations and that development funding enables the development of quality, comprehensive and integrated reproductive health programmes;

22. Calls upon Governments to take into account the linkages of population dynamics, including population growth, changing age structures and spatial distribution, with economic growth and sustainable development in formulating and implementing national development policies and strategies, including those addressing climate change and the current food and financial crises;

23. Encourages Member States, assisted, as appropriate, by the offices, agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system and other international organizations, to explore ways to strengthen international cooperation in the area of international migration and development in order to address the negative impact of the current economic and financial crisis on the international migration process and on the migrants themselves in order to reinforce efforts to maximize the benefits of international migration for development, especially in regard to poverty eradication and the improvement of education and health, recognizing that migratory patterns should not unduly benefit particular origin, transit or destination countries, and therefore urges that due recognition be given to the need for concrete actions to strengthen bilateral, regional and international cooperation and dialogue in the area of international migration and development and, where appropriate, to develop and implement national policies and cooperative strategies to ensure that migration contributes to the development of both countries of origin and countries of destination;

24. Also encourages Governments to increase and strengthen or, where necessary, develop and implement information, education and communication strategies, programmes and actions to increase awareness, knowledge, understanding and commitment at all levels of society, including among young people, on issues of priority in regard to population and development, and to ensure that all segments of the population, including those who are in vulnerable situations, are taken into account in such strategies;

25. Reaffirms strongly that population distribution policies should be consistent with such international instruments, when applicable, as the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, including article 49 thereof;

26. Encourages Governments, including through technical and financial support and cooperation, to prevent and address, as a matter of priority, deaths and complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, which are still the leading cause of death of women of reproductive age in many developing countries, recognizing that maternal mortality and morbidity have shown very little decline in the least developed countries, that the lack of safe motherhood services is still one of the world’s urgent concerns and that reducing maternal mortality and morbidity saves women’s lives, protects family health, alleviates poverty and improves opportunities for the next generations;

 27. Recognizes that sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights and women’s rights and empowerment deserve increased attention in humanitarian assistance and post-crisis recovery, and therefore emphasizes the need for Governments, United Nations agencies, regional and international organizations and non-governmental organizations involved with providing support to countries and regions affected by crises to address the specific needs of those affected in a comprehensive and coherent manner;

28. Calls upon Governments, with the help of the international community, as needed, to achieve universal access to quality education, with particular priority given to primary and technical education and job training, to combat illiteracy and to eliminate gender disparities in access to, retention in and support for primary and secondary education and to promote non-formal education for young people, guaranteeing equal access for women and men to literacy centres, in order to benefit fully from the demographic dividend;

29. Urges developed countries that have not yet done so, in accordance with their commitments, to make concrete efforts towards meeting the target of 0.7 per cent of their gross national product for official development assistance to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of their gross national product to least developed countries, and encourages developing countries to build on the progress achieved in ensuring that official development assistance is used effectively to help meet development goals and targets and, inter alia, to assist them in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women;

30. Decides that, with the agreement and consent of the host country, the United Nations development system should assist national Governments in creating an enabling environment in which the links and cooperation between national Governments, the United Nations development system, civil society, national non-governmental organizations and private sector entities that are involved in the development process are strengthened, including, as appropriate, during the preparation process of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, with a view to seeking new and innovative solutions to development problems in accordance with national policies;

31. Urges Governments to monitor their progress towards the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the key actions for its further implementation and the Millennium Development Goals at the local and national levels and, in this regard, to make special efforts to strengthen relevant national institutions and mechanisms to generate population data, disaggregated, as appropriate, by sex and age and other categories, as needed for monitoring the improvement of maternal health, the achievement of the target of universal access to reproductive health and progress in empowering women and achieving gender equality and to use these data for the formulation and implementation of population and development policies;

32. Takes note of the revised cost estimates presented by the Secretary-General for each of the four programme components identified in chapter XIII of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development,24 and urges national Governments and development partners to cooperate closely to ensure that resources are used in a manner which ensures maximum effectiveness;

33. Requests the Secretary-General to continue assessing and reporting on the full implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the key actions for its further implementation, conducting substantive research on the interrelations between population and development and the negative impacts of the economic and financial crisis on development, including progress towards the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and considering the synergies between population dynamics, the goals of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.