UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND
DEVELOPMENT BEYOND 2014
The Background (Free Available)
Development is the expansion of the human opportunities and
freedom. This is an understanding inherent in the commitment by all the UN
member states. It represents the shared aspirations of governments and citizen
to ensure that- all person are free from want and fear, and are provided with
the basic opportunities and the social arrangements to develop their unique
capabilities; and, participate fully in society.
In order to achieve these goals, the Programme of Action of
the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was held in
Cairo, Egypt, in 1994, with some 20000 delegates from various countries, UN
agencies, NGOs and the Media organizations.
The Conference discussed and showed a remarkable consensus on
the issues of socio-political-economic equality, including a comprehensive
definition of sexual and reproductive health and rights of the Women and
children. Other issues discussed in the conference were- population growth,
sustainable economic growth and sustainable development.
The Realization of Human Rights and Development
The vision of development, human rights and a world order based on peace and
security remains at the foundation of the UN, since its inception in 1945.
Article 1(3) of the UN Charter states the main purpose of the
UN- ‘to achieve international cooperation in promoting and encouraging respect
for human rights and for fundamental freedom of all, without any distinction on
the basis of race, sex, language or religion’.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); The
convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women
(1979) and the convention on all Rights of the Child (1989), lay out an
extensive list of civil, political and socio-economic-cultural rights that
member states are obliged to respect, protect and fulfill.
More recently, a regional human rights protection system has emerged to
complement the international efforts. Such regional systems provide human rights
protection in the context of particular regions.
After the World Conference on Human Rights (1993), which
affirmed that- all human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent
and inter-related, and claimed that- ‘the rights of the women are human rights,
and the human rights are women’s rights’.
The ICPD brought together the issue of development and human rights, in a
compelling and operational manner.
International Conference on Population and Development (1994), Cairo
The Programme of Action of the ICPD affirmed that the right
to development is universal and inalienable. It was seen as an integral part of
the fundamental human rights. The ICPD viewed the Human person as the centre of
the development. In affirming the centrality of human rights, with regard to
population, the discussion was held on a variety of population issues,
including- immigration, infant mortality, birth control, family planning and
education of women, and protection of women from abortion services.
According to the official ICPD release, the conference delegates achieved
consensus on the following four qualititive and quantitative goals:
1. Universal Education- Universal Primary Education in
all countries by 2015. It also emphasized on urging the countries to provide a
wider access to women for secondary and higher education, as well as vocational
and technical education.