The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was signed in Cairo in 1994 by leaders from 179 nations. Consensus was reached on the objective to raise the quality of life and well-being of human beings and to promote human development by recognizing the interrelationships between population and development policies aiming to achieve poverty eradication, sustainable economic growth, education, especially for girls, gender equity and equality, infant, child and maternal mortality reduction, the provision of universal access to reproductive health services, including family planning and sexual health, sustainable patterns of consumption and production, food security, human resources development and the guarantee of all human rights, including the right to development as a universal and inalienable right and an integral part of fundamental human rights.
In its Programme of Action the countries agreed a range of demographic and social objectives as well as qualitative and quantitative goals to be achieved over a 20 years period. It reflects the contribution that early stabilization of the world population would make towards the achievement of sustainable development.
The Assembly notes that while some progress has been made, goals on education enrolment, gender equity and equality, infant child and maternal mortality and the provision of universal access to reproductive health services, including family planning and sexual health remain unacceptably off track. 113 countries failed to achieve the 2005 goals on gender parity in both primary and secondary school. An estimated 137 million women had in 2007 an unmet need for family planning. More than 500.000 die every year for pregnancy-related causes, 99% of them in developing countries. In the meanwhile, global Official Development Assistance dropped in 2007 for the second consecutive year.
The Assembly recalls that the contribution of the Council of Europe’s Member States accounts for 64% of all world development aid which provides for many population assistance programmes around the world. Europe’s declining demography and Europe’s support of national population strategies of developing countries underline its responsibility on the issues of Population and Development.
Only five years are left to meet the ambitious goals the international community agreed in Cairo. Therefore, the Assembly believes that it is time for the Council of Europe to explore the progress that has been made in the run-up of the 15 anniversary of the signature of ICPD and the actions that will be required to keep up with the goals set in 1994.
The Assembly therefore calls on Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers to:
The Assembly therefore also decides to prepare contribution to the International Parliamentary Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, which will take place in November 2009 in Cairo under the auspices of UNFPA and EPF.