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GIRE. 1998 Mar; (16):2-4.The 184 governments represented at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo achieved consensus on a Program of Action with goals for the next 20 years. The Conference recognized that population policies could not be separated from the decisions of men and women regarding their human rights to sexuality and reproduction and that healthy economic and social development must consider the balance between population and environmental resources. Women in particular must be given information, sex education, and contraceptive methods to allow them to implement their reproductive choices. The participation of thousands of independently organized women in sessions preparing for the Cairo conference and in the conference itself facilitated the change of emphasis away from imposition of family planning goals and toward a more humanist demography centering on women. An accord at the Cairo conference called for the donor countries to contribute one-third of the resources needed to carry out the Program of Action. A regular flow of funds was observed in 1994 and 1995, but external aid began to decline in 1996. Every effort must be made to ensure that the goals of the Program of Action are met.