Background on Key International Agreements and Declarations
following list briefly describes, and provides links to, major
international agreements and declarations that guide UNFPA’s work.
The work of UNFPA is guided by the Programme of Action (POA)
that was endorsed by about 179 countries in Cairo at the 1994
Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The Conference
shifted the emphasis of population planning from reaching
demographic targets to promoting human rights and sustainable
development, changing the focus from numbers to people.
A 1999 review of progress since the Cairo Conference (ICPD + 5)
included reports on national implementation efforts, global expert
meetings and an international forum at The Hague, organized by
UNFPA. It culminated in a special session of the United Nations
General Assembly that identified
Actions for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action of
the International Conference on Population and Development and
set new benchmarks for measuring progress towards ICPD goals.
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted at the
September 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW) by
representatives from 189 countries. The Platform reflects a new
international commitment to the goals of equality, development and
peace for all women everywhere. It builds on commitments made during
the United Nations Decade for Women, 1976-1985 and on related
commitments made in the cycle of United Nations global conferences
held in the 1990s.
Beijing + 5
was a Special Session of the General Assembly entitled "Women: 2000:
Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century”
that took place in June 2000 at UN Headquarters in New York. At that
session, governments reaffirmed their commitment to the goals of the
1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and also considered
future actions and initiatives for the year 2000 and beyond.
Convention on the Rights
of the Child (CRC) is the most widely and rapidly ratified human
rights treaty in history. It was drafted over the course of 10 years
(1979-1989) with the input of representatives from all societies,
all religions and all cultures. Ratification formally binds
governments to meet the obligations and responsibilities outlined in
The Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
is an international bill of rights for women. General Assembly
adopted the Convention in December 1979. The treaty came into force
on 3 September 1981. As of December 1998, 163 countries -- more than
two-thirds of the members of the United Nations -- are party to the
Convention and an additional 4 have signed the treaty.
United Nations Millennium Declaration was unanimously adopted at
the conclusion of the Millennium Summit, the first General Assembly
of the century and the largest-ever gathering of world leaders. It
contains a statement of values, principles and objectives for the
international agenda for the twenty-first century, and sets
deadlines for many collective actions.