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POPULI. 1999 Jan; 25(4):3-4.Revised population estimates released last month by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs indicate that fertility levels in developing countries are dropping, partly due to improved reproductive health and family planning services and education for women. HIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality are also helping to slow the rate of population growth in certain developing countries. The available data indicate a long-term decline to below replacement level fertility in most industrialized countries. These declines in fertility levels have caused the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to push back the date when world population will reach 6 billion people from June 16, 1999, to October 12, 1999. World population, however, continues to grow by 78 million people every year. 97% of that increase is in developing countries, where access to family planning and reproductive health services is limited.
POPULI. 1994 Jul-Aug; 21(7):4-6.An agenda for significant change is proposed for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Current progress toward the agenda is viewed as insufficient unless there are resource reallocations, political will, vision, and the adoption of the agenda at the ICPD. The ICPD goals also should be accepted by the World Summit for Social Development and by the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 in order to achieve human security and development. Population agencies must 1) increase investments in health, education, water, sanitation, housing, and social services; 2) enact and enforce legislation empowering women in sexual, social, and political ways; 3) provide credit, training, and income development so women can have decent lives; 4) involve women's advocates at all levels of decision making; and 5) eliminate the gender gap in education, prevent violence against girls, and eliminate sex role stereotypes. The literature in the population field has neglected sexuality, gender roles, and relations and has concentrated on unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and contraceptive efficacy. Many family planning (FP) programs reinforce gender roles. Improvement in the quality of services must be a top priority for FP programs. Quality of care is conceptualized differently by FP providers and women's health advocates. Basic program management and logistics systems could be changed with modest investments in staff motivation and revised allocations of human and financial resources. Clients must be treated with dignity and respect. Programs should not concentrate on married, fertile women to the neglect of adolescents and other sexually active women. Preventive health should include those sexually active beyond the reproductive age. Men's responsibility in FP is viewed as fashionable but problematic in terms of actual program change.
Synthesis of the expert group meetings convened as part of the substantive preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development.
POPULATION BULLETIN OF THE UNITED NATIONS. 1993; (34-35):3-18.As part of the preparation for the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development to be sponsored by the UN in Cairo, 6 expert groups were convened to consider 1) population growth; 2) population policies and programs; 3) population, development, and the environment; 4) migration; 5) the status of women; and 6) family planning programs, health, and family well-being. Each group included 15 experts representing a full range of relevant scientific disciplines and geographic regions. Each meeting lasted 5 days and included a substantive background paper prepared by the Population Division as well as technical papers. Each meeting concluded with the drafting of between 18 and 37 recommendations (a total of 162). The meeting on population, the environment, and development focused on the implications of current trends in population and the environment for sustained economic growth and sustainable development. The meeting on population policies and programs observed that, since 1984, there has been a growing convergence of views about population growth among the nations of the world and that the stabilization of world population as soon as possible is now an internationally recognized goal. The group on population and women identified practical steps that agencies could take to empower women in order to achieve beneficial effects on health, population trends, and development. The meeting on FP, health, and family well-being reviewed policy-oriented issues emerging from the experience of FP programs. The meeting on population growth and development reviewed trends and prospects of population growth and age structure and their consequences for global sustainability. The population distribution and migration experts appraised current trends and their interrelationship with development. In nearly all of the group meetings, common issues emerged. Concern was universally voiced for sustainable development and sustained economic growth, relevance of past experience, human rights, the status of women, the family, accessibility and quality of services, the special needs of subpopulations, AIDS, the roles of governments and nongovernmental organizations, community participation, research and data collection, and international cooperation.