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State of the world population

Recommendation 1564 (2002)

Parliamentary Assembly
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 29 May 2002 (see Doc. 9452, report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography, rapporteur: Mrs Lörcher).
1. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) State of the World Population Report 2001, in western Europe an average of 14 women per 100 000 die as a result of childbirth, while in eastern Europe these figures attain 50 women per 100 000 and in East Africa 1 300 women for every 100 000. While the largest number of HIV/Aids cases and instances of maternal mortality occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, some parts of Europe can dubiously boast the highest rates both of HIV/Aids transmission and of reliance upon abortion.
2. The Parliamentary Assembly notes that despite international consensus in guaranteeing sexual and reproductive health and rights as outlined in the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and as endorsed by its Recommendation 1515 (2001) on sustainable development and demographic change, much work still needs to be accomplished with regard to creating an environment which is favourable to sexual and reproductive health and rights and providing the necessary funds, domestic and international, to reach the ICPD goals.
3. The Assembly also recalls its Recommendations 1260 (1995) and 1243 (1994), and further reaffirms its support for the programme of action adopted by the ICPD.
4. The Assembly notes that there is currently a 61% shortfall in the financial commitments made by donor countries to fund population activities and sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world.
5. The Assembly further draws attention to the 24% shortfall in domestic spending on sexual and reproductive health and rights and, consequently, the need to prioritise sexual and reproductive health and rights within national health budgets.
6. The Assembly considers that two remaining major challenges for the implementation of the ICPD programme of action remain: the creation of an enabling environment and the fulfilment of financial commitments.
7. The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
immediately resume work on the draft recommendation of the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG) on the right to free choice in matters of sexuality and reproduction, with a view to its adoption by 2004;
support the work of the European Population Committee (CAHP) on demographic trends, population and sexual and reproductive health and rights and widely disseminate the results of any relevant research;
integrate ICPD commitments into the evaluation of Council of Europe member states’ honouring of obligations, particularly concerning the provision of a legislative framework guaranteeing a high level of sexual and reproductive health and rights;
monitor the adoption of national legislation to implement ICPD issues in member states, in collaboration with appropriate civil society organisations;
examine the role of religion and international policy making by consulting specialist opinions from all sectors of society;
monitor funding of population and ICPD issues, especially bilateral and multilateral funds earmarked for the UNFPA, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and national non-governmental organisations concerned with population, as well as funding for related population agencies;
call on governments of member states to reaffirm their support for the ICPD programme of action by:
a increasing their level of spending on health to be commensurate with the task of providing universal reproductive health by 2015;
b increasing their Official Development Assistance (ODA) to reach the 0.7% target of gross national product within a set time frame;
c increasing their funding for population and sexual and reproductive health activities to a level of 4% of the ODA budget;
d working to create all-party parliamentary groups on population and developments in their respective national parliaments, and work with national non-governmental organisations to join or create these parliamentary groups where they do not yet exist;
e seeking to include reference to spending on sexual and reproductive health and rights and on population assistance in the OECD’s annual report on the state of the world economy.