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    Population in the UN's "Agenda for Development".

    United Nations. Secretary General


    Responding to the concern that the United Nations puts greater emphasis on peace-keeping than on issues of development, the UN secretary-general has issued a draft Agenda for Development, paralleling the 1991 Agenda for Peace. It is intended to revitalize the vision of development and to stimulate intensified discussion of all its aspects. The report noted the decline in competitive development assistance with the ending of the Cold War. It announced that development was in crisis and concluded by saying that progress is not inherent in the human condition; retrogression is conceivable. In 245 paragraphs the report discussed five key dimensions of development (peace, economic growth, the environment, justice, and democracy) and the role of the United Nations in promoting development. The Agenda was discussed at a week-long meeting held at UN headquarters in New York in June 1994. A senior OECD official described it as relying too heavily on the orthodox development therapy of marketization, privatization, and democracy; the Group of 77 criticized it for sidestepping the issue of the UN's relationships with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; and Brazil put forward a competing agenda. Nevertheless, the Agenda did convey a distinctive vision, one that the UN would not have conceived a decade ago. On population the Agenda was extremely reticent, granting that rapid growth would be a potential problem but not discussing antinatalist policy. The principal stress was placed on strengthening civil society as indispensable for social development and public policy. It was reiterated that the United Nations, as a key mechanism for international cooperation, is the best instrument for managing the world situation with a reasonable expectation of success.
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