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Tellus. 1984 Jul; 5(2):8-11, 25-8.Since the formulation of the World Population Plan of Action (WPPA) in Bucharest in 1974, about 80% of governments have endorsed family planning and fertility control. There has been a growing awareness by governments that population planning must be an integral part of general policy formulation. This article describes the issues of central concern to the 1984 International Population Conference in Mexico, highlighting those which result from new global developments over the past decade. Immigration, particularly by exiles and refugees from political persecution, are contributing much more to population instability than foreseen by the WPPA. Internal migration and massive population shifts from rural to urban areas are of increasing concern to governments in developing nations. In developed countries, there has been an emergence of anxiety over zero population growth. The role of privately sponsored programs for population control is much less prominent, as governments take more responsibility for formulating population policy. A report from a meeting of 90 such nongovernmental organizations held in 1983 was reluctantly accepted as an official document at the conference in Mexico. The Canadian Task Force on Population has identified 5 issues of special concern: status of women, the environment, aging, immigration, and family planning. The Task Force includes among its objectives the encouragement of a comprehensive population policy for Canada, focussing both on Canada's special concerns and on its place in the global community. For example, acid rain and improper soil conservation are threatening Canada's status as one of the few viable "bread baskets" for the world. The growing bulge in the population over age 65 will impose economic strain in the future. Sex education for adolescents in inadequate, with only 1/2 of Canadian schools addressing sex and sexuality in the curriculum.