Information Note on the 10th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development


The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994 was a milestone in the history of population and development, as well as in the history of women's rights. The Programme of Action (PoA), adopted by consensus by 179 countries at the conference, is a forward-looking 20-year plan. While the Programme of Action is comprehensive in scope and calls for action at various levels, the strategic focus of its recommendations is for action at the national level.

The first five-year review of the implementation of the Programme of Action was conducted by the General Assembly in 1999, which adopted, by consensus, the Key Actions for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development . The review demonstrated that the ICPD goals were still relevant and that much progress had been made in advancing them. At the same time, it revealed that much greater and continued action was needed in certain programme areas. The Key Actions provided a new set of benchmarks for four priority issues: education and literacy, reproductive health care and unmet need for contraception, maternal mortality reduction and HIV/AIDS.

The 10 th Anniversary of the ICPD, the mid-point of its 20-year Programme of Action, offered an opportunity to celebrate and look forward. Several activities took place at the national, regional and global levels. Many countries translated the commitments they made in Cairo into policies and programmes designed to transform the lives of women, men and children. Most member states, UNFPA, and other partners agreed that the best way to commemorate the ICPD was through an in-depth, country-by-country analysis of achievements, constraints, lessons learned and the way forward to full implementation of the ICPD PoA. The 10 th Anniversary was also an opportunity to reflect on the diversity of the ICPD goals, and demonstrated how their achievement would forward progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

UNFPA is grateful to the donors who provided financial support for activities related to the ICPD at Ten review, namely, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

National-level Activities

The foundation of the review process of the implementation of the ICPD PoA occurred at the national level. National activities varied among countries to include some, or all, of the following: responses to regional/global inquiries, national reports and national review meetings, updates of national programmes or strategies, and national advocacy events. Common objectives in all were to: assess achievements; identify challenges, constraints and opportunities; formulate lessons learned; and strategize on how best to accelerate the full implementation of the ICPD PoA. The review process helped reinforce and complement efforts to track progress in achieving the MDGs, and reflected the linkages between ICPD goals and the MDGs.

The UNFPA Country Offices played a proactive and catalytic role in the national reviews of the ICPD PoA, and provided support from their country programme funds, when possible.

UNFPA 2003 Global Survey (previously called Field Inquiry)

UNFPA coordinated a Global Survey on national experiences among all countries. The Global Survey aimed at capturing progress achieved by countries in implementing the various commitments and recommendations contained in the ICPD PoA and Key Actions , as well as the difficulties and constraints they faced.

The Global Survey for developing countries assessed major sections of the PoA, with a more in-depth examination of certain aspects, particularly those of priority concerns to UNFPA programmes. The Survey covered population and development; gender equality, equity and empowerment of women; reproductive health and rights, including reproductive health commodity security; youth; HIV/AIDS; behaviour change communication and advocacy; partnership; resources; data, research and training; and indicators.

The Global Survey for donor countries looked at selected aspects of the PoA and focused on population, gender and reproductive health issues, partnership with NGOs and civil society, and international cooperation in population and reproductive health - the latter in the case of donor countries only.

A total of 169 countries completed the questionnaire, and a wealth of information was collected. Based on this information, the Fund prepared a global report, entitled Investing in People: National Progress in Implementing the ICPD Programme of Action 1994-2004 on national experiences in implementing the ICPD Programme of Action and Key Actions . The report was released at the annual session of the UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board on 21 st June 2004, in Geneva. The Report as well as Summary of the Findings were released, and are/will be accessible in multiple languages at

Regional-level Activities

UNFPA supported the UN Regional Commissions in marking the ICPD tenth anniversary with regional reviews, including regional analyses of the results of the Global Survey. The emphasis was on lessons learned and on exchange of experiences at the regional. Level.

Africa : The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) conducted a regional-level survey among all African countries on the implementation of the Dakar-Ngor Declaration (DND) and the ICPD PoA; this survey complements the UNFPA Global Survey, and both were used in the preparation of the Africa Regional Report. The ECA convened a ministerial level meeting on 11 June 2004, preceded by an expert meeting on 7-10 June 2004, in Dakar. The meetings endorsed the Africa Regional Report, as well as a Declaration, which reaffirms Africa's commitment to the ICPD goals, their importance in achieving the MDGs, and key areas for increased attention. For more information on the meeting and to access the Regional Report and the Declaration:

Arab Region : ESCWA, along with UNFPA and the League of Arab States, organized the Arab Population Forum on 19-21 November 2004 in Beirut. The event, hosted by the Lebanese Government, reviewed the achievements of the States of the region and the challenges facing them in the field of population and development. Participants included more than 100 parliamentarians and officials from the Arab world, representatives from the United Nations system and regional organizations, as well as civil society and experts in the field.

The meeting objectives were to assess achievements in the implementation of the ICPD PoA and of the Amman 2 Declaration on Population and Development; to identify emerging issues in the framework of the ICPD POA; and to enable stock-taking of lessons learned and best practices that could be replicated in other countries in the region.

The event focused on themes such as population, poverty and development, youth issues from a multi-faceted perspective, and analyzing and addressing prevailing challenges such as persistent high maternal mortality and RH morbidity and barriers to enforcement of reproductive rights and gender equality, and the impact of post-demographic transition.

The Forum concluded its work with the Beirut Declaration, which re-affirms the intention of the participants to continue working towards the full realization of the ICPD objectives and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Asia and the Pacific : the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) hosted the Fifth Asia and Pacific Population Conference (APPC) in Bangkok on 11-17 December 2002, on the theme of Population and Poverty. The Conference adopted a Plan of Action at the conclusion of the meeting. For more information:

Europe : The Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and UNFPA, as co-organizers, and the Government of Switzerland as the host, convened an expert meeting - the European Population Forum 2004: Population Challenges and Policy Responses , in Geneva on 12-14 January 2004. The Forum considered important emerging population changes, examined challenges they pose and identified the best policy responses to them. In this context, the Forum examined the implementation of the ICPD-related regional and global agreements of the 1990s in the UNECE region, as a source of partnerships and technical assistance, particularly in countries in transition. It also considered how the UNECE region can further the implementation of these agreements globally in the future. The Forum brought together noted experts from all parts of the UNECE region; from the major partners in the region, including the European Commission, at the highest level; from executive and legislative branches of government, academia, research, intergovernmental organizations and institutions, civil society, including non-governmental organizations, youth and the private sector. The Forum provided a platform for a rich discussion and exchange of a wide range of views, stressed the pertinence of ICPD to the Europe region and called for immediate attention to further its implementation worldwide, as well as to address prevailing population issues within the region. Background papers, presentations, statements and the Summary of Deliberations are available at

Latin America and the Caribbean : The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) held a meeting of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC) on 11-12 November 2003 in Port-of-Spain, to review progress in the implementation of the ICPD PoA in the Caribbean region. The twenty Caribbean countries and territories that attended reaffirmed their commitment to ICPD and adopted a Declaration.

ECLAC also held an open-ended meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Ad Hoc Committee on Population and Development in Santiago, Chile on 10-11 March 2004. The meeting adopted a Declaration reaffirming the commitment of countries to the ICPD goals and highlighting the importance of attaining those goals in order to achieve the MDGs. The Santiago Declaration was endorsed by consensus through a resolution adopted by the Ad Hoc Committee on Population and Development , which held its meeting on 29-30 June 2004, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and by the ECLAC sessional meeting on July 2, 2004. The resolution urges countries in the region to intensify their efforts to continue implementing the Cairo Programme of Action. It also recommends that countries should make all efforts necessary to provide the resources needed to continue implementing the Cairo Programme and, in particular, ensure its inclusion in policies to eradicate poverty, reduce social inequalities and eliminate the gender gap. The international community, it adds, should increase its technical and financial cooperation to meet these objectives. For more information on these meetings and the Declarations and Resolution adopted available here.

Global-level Activities

In June 2003, the UN General Assembly (GA) adopted resolution 57/270B on the integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic and social fields.

The GA stressed the importance of regular reviews in accordance with the provisions of the respective outcomes and follow-up processes of the conferences. Conference reviews should assess the progress made in implementation of commitments and provide occasions to reaffirm the goals and objectives agreed at the major conferences. The periodicity and format of reviews should be decided on a case-by-case basis by the GA, bearing in mind the relevant provisions, taking into account the needs, concerns and specific nature of the issue and the economic and political circumstances and developments and also bearing in mind the need to continue efforts to use the existing structures as well as the calendar of major UN events. The existing structures in the case of ICPD are the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), ECOSOC and the GA.

It was decided that the annual agenda of the GA would include an item on integrated and coordinated follow-up. It was also decided that ECOSOC would review, on an annual basis, progress in implementation of the conference outcomes through a cross-sectoral thematic approach at its coordination segment. The CPD was expected to contribute to the assessment of the cross-sectoral themes by ECOSOC.

Commission on Population and Development

As mandated by the General Assembly resolution 49/128 and subsequent decisions of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), the primary responsibility for the review and assessment of the implementation of the Programme of Action rests with the three-tiered intergovernmental mechanism comprising the General Assembly, and the Commission on Population and Development.

At its 37 th session, on March 22-26, 2004 in New York, the CPD reviewed and appraised the progress made in the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, following a thematic approach focusing on cross-cutting themes: (a) population imperatives for sustainable development, and (b) building partnerships and capacity, and mobilizing human and financial resources for the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. During the general debate on national experiences in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the ICPD, countries reported on significant progress in the implementation of the ICPD PoA and of the Key Actions at the country level, indicating that the ICPD agenda should be integrated in national policies and strategies. Yet, much remains to be done to achieve the ICPD goals, and availability of trained human and financial resources remain key obstacles.

The 37 th session of the CPD ended with the adoption of a draft provisional agenda for the 38 th session , a resolution on the work programme in the field of population, and decisions on the methods of work of the Commission. The session re-affirmed the theme for 2005, Population, Development and HIV/AIDS, with particular emphasis on poverty and for 2006, International Migration and Development. It also decided to consider as an additional topic for 2005, the contribution of the implementation of the POA of ICPD to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration.

The draft resolution on the Follow-up of the Programme of Action of the ICPD, was the object of intense negotiations and consultations. The resolution was adopted on May 6 th , when the CPD reconvened. The resolution reaffirms the POA and the Key Actions . The resolution expresses concern that, based on current trends, many countries may fall short of achieving the agreed goals and commitments of the PoA and stressed, among others, the importance of population and reproductive health for development. 

General Assembly Commemoration of the Tenth Anniversary of ICPD

In December 2003, the General Assembly adopted decision 58/529, entitled "Commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development". By this decision, the Assembly decided to devote one day, during its fifty-ninth session in 2004, to the Commemoration of the Tenth Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development . The Commemoration was held on 14 October 2004 , and provided an opportunity for Member States of the United Nations to make statements and to re-affirm their commitment to the Cairo Programme of Action. For summaries of the proceedings, including Member States' statements, click here.

Annual Session of the UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board

A Special Event Panel Discussion, on Putting People First: Implementing the ICPD Agenda and Achieving the MDGs , took place on 21 June 2004 , in the afternoon, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. More information on this event can be accessed at:

High-level Roundtables and other events

UNFPA organized four thematic roundtables on key issues for the further implementation of the ICPD PoA in the framework of the ten-year review.

High Level Global Consultation on Linking HIV/AIDS with Sexual and Reproductive Health. This consultation, held on 7 June 2004 in New York, brought together high-level global leaders from both the reproductive health and HIV/AIDS fields to reach consensus on a set of actions/recommendations to be taken to ensure more effective integration and linkage between policies and programmes that address HIV/AIDS and those that address reproductive health. The Roundtable was preceded by a technical meeting which took place in New York on 10-11 May. The resulting Commitment to Action endorsed by the Global Leaders was disseminated widely, including at a UNFPA-organized Leadership panel at the XV World AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, in July 2004. 

A group of senior policy makers and global leaders have joined the international High-level Roundtable Reducing Poverty and Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Investing in Reproductive Health and Rights . Hosted by the Government of Sweden, and co-organized by UNFPA, the Roundtable was held in Stockholm, Sweden, on 11 and 12 April 2005. The Roundtable brought together global leaders to forge consensus on why investing in reproductive health and rights is a key element of poverty reduction strategies, building on the findings of the technical preparatory meeting, held on 5 and 6 October 2004 in Stockholm. The outcome of this meeting, a global Call to Action, will be widely disseminated to influence major global discussions, including the 2005 UN Summit to review progress in the implementation of the Millennium Declaration.

Roundtable on International Migration and Development: The Challenges Ahead. This roundtable explored the implications and challenges of migration for poverty reduction, development and demographic dynamics. Participants included policy-makers from both developing and developed countries, government and civil society representatives, and migration experts. The Roundtable launched the publication, Meeting the Challenges of Migration: Progress since the ICPD prepared by the International Migration Policy Programme (IMP), in collaboration with UNFPA. For a copy of the publication:

The Global Commission on International Migration was actively involved in the Roundtable and discussed progress in formulating a coherent, comprehensive and global response to migration, including gaps in current policy approaches to migration, inter-linkages with other issues such as trafficking, human rights, and gender, and recommendations for the future. The roundtable took place on 12 October 2004 in the UN in New York. As a result of the meeting, International Migration and Development a Round Table Presentation was published and will be soon posted on the UNFPA website.

Roundtable on Operationalizing the Inter-linkages between Population Dynamics, Reproductive Health, and Poverty . A high-level, 2-day Roundtable on population and poverty will be held to bring together academics, researchers, policy-makers, development practitioners and those working in the field of population and poverty to revisit and redefine the inter-linkages between population dynamics and poverty. The Roundtable also aims to operationalize these linkages in a poverty reduction policy and programme framework. This roundtable is tentatively scheduled for June 2005 in New York .

Three advocacy and awareness-raising activities were organized to reflect on progress achieved since the Cairo Conference in providing reproductive health services to conflict-affected populations .  The events included a Side Event a the Commission of the Status of Women, a panel presentation in the Global Health Council Annual Conference (entitled: Health Systems: Putting Pieces Together), and an event to take place on World Refugee Day, June 20 th .  All three events highlight the findings of a Global Evaluation assessing progress and challenges over the past 10 years in this relatively new field of humanitarian response and included in the report, entitled "Inter-Agency Global Evaluation of Reproductive Health for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons". The evaluation was undertaken by the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) on Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations, a group of more than 30 United Nations, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and where UNFPA is an active member.

State of the World Population Report - the 2004 UNFPA publication State of World Population 2004: The Cairo Consensus at Ten: Population, Reproductive Health and the Global Effort to End Poverty focused on the decadal experience in the implementation of the ICPD PoA, and used, inter alia, some of the results of the UNFPA Global Survey. A number of media and advocacy events were held to launch the report on 15 September 2004. For information and a full-text copy of the report in multiple languages:

Financial Resource Flows for Population Activities in 2002 - this UNFPA publication is intended to be a tool for donor and developing country Governments, multilateral organizations and agencies, private foundations and NGOs to monitor progress in achieving the financial resource targets agreed to at the ICPD. Development cooperation officers and policy makers in developing countries can use the report to identify the domestically generated resources and complementary resources from donors needed to finance population and reproductive health programmes.

Financing the ICPD Programme of Action: Ten Years Later this UNFPA publication provides a brief overview of where the international community stands in terms of financing ICPD a decade after Cairo. It answers such questions as: why fund population activities, what will it take to achieve the ICPD objectives, where are we now, who funds population activities, where is the money going, which countries benefit most from assistance, how much are developing countries mobilizing themselves, and how much do we need in the years ahead. The brochure, which also provides estimates of donor assistance for 2003 and 2004, can be used to advocate for the mobilization of resources necessary to implement the Cairo agenda.

Parliamentarian Groups

Global: The second International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD), jointly organized by the Inter-European Parliamentarian Forum on Population and Development and UNFPA, in collaboration with the Council of Europe, was held on 18-19 October 2004, at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. The conference was a follow-up to the first IPCI/ICPD, which was held in November 2002 in Ottawa, Canada. For detailed information on the event, including the Strasbourg Statement of Commitment adopted at the Conference, which can be found here.

Africa and the Arab Region : The Forum of African and Arab Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FAAPPD) held a 3-4 day seminar/workshop and its Third General Conference in 2004, highlighting the tenth anniversary of ICPD. The organization devoted one of the three days of the General Conference to the matter. With financial support from the Population Action International, FAAPPD held a MP Roundtable on the Implementation ICPD Programme of Action on 6 June 2004 as a pre-conference side event to the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Ministerial High-Level Conference in Dakar, Senegal, 7-11 June 2004. The Parliamentarians endorsed a Declaration reaffirming Cairo.

Asia and the Pacific : The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) organized four major events in 2004 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of ICPD: the Asian Women Parliamentarians and Ministers' Conference was held on 29-30 June in Canberra, Australia (see; the Asian Medical Parliamentarians Conference was held on 19-21 June in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; a parliamentarians' seminar in conjunction with the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) in Kazakhstan on 28-29 September; and the Southeast Asian Meeting of Professional Parliamentarians on ICPD Implementation took place on 16-17 November in Bangkok, Thailand. It also supported national level parliamentarians conference on ICPD at 10 in India, Laos/PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Europe : The Inter-European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (IEPFPD) held its annual Council Meeting for parliamentarians and secretariats from its member countries and select parliamentarians from non-member countries in Ankara, Turkey, in April 2004. The IEPFPD also hosted the Central and East European Initiative in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 28-31 July. The IEPFPD and the UN Foundation held an informal discussion among decision makers on Global Leadership in Meeting the Millennium Development Goals Ensuring Contraceptive Supplies on August 31, 2004 at the Global Roundtable for Countdown 2015: SRHR for All.

Latin America and the Caribbean : The Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (IAPG) organized a sub regional parliamentary meeting on ICPD at Ten and the MDGs on 30 November 2004 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Parliamentarians from six southern cone countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay) attended this meeting.

Inter-governmental Groups

An International Forum on Population and Development: Implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the UN Millennium Development Goals, organised jointly by the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Partners in Population and Development, took place in China on 7-9 September, 2004. The aim of the Forum was to share experiences in the implementation of the ICPD PoA and their crucial contribution to meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals, as well as to develop strategies for better implementation of the ICPD PoA and MDGs through South-South collaboration.

Partners in Population and Development, with support from UNFPA, held a Policy Dialogue on Renewing Commitment to ICPD to Achieve the MDGs on 6 April 2005, during the 38 th Session of the Commission on Population and Development.

Non-Governmental Organizations

'Countdown 2015: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All ' comprised a series of activities and events that held throughout 2004 and into 2005 - and was a key element of efforts by NGOs and civil society to mark the tenth anniversary of ICPD at the national, regional and international levels. ' Countdown 2015 ' began as an initiative of Family Care International (FCI), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Population Action International (PAI) that involved a wide range of NGO and donor partners committed to making the ICPD vision a reality. ' Countdown 2015 ' activities included:

  • A Global Roundtable held in London, 31 August - 2 September 2004, preceded by a Youth Day on the 30th of August; the Roundtable issued a Declaration as well as recommendations for accelerating and furthering the implementation of the ICPD PoA.
  • A series of six regional meetings organized jointly by IPPF Regions in partnership with other NGOs and networks;
  • A Magazine and Report Card aimed at assessing country performance on ICPD goals;
  • A communications campaign aimed at refocusing attention on the importance of the goals of the ICPD.

For more information on the event and a copy of the Declaration :

The Population Institute and Population 2005 organized The Global Population Forum 2004 ,' from the May 1315, 2004 in Washington, DC. The forum was attended by program managers, policy makers and NGO representatives. It focussed on four topics: HIV/AIDS , Family Planning and Reproductive Health , Aging and Migration , and issued a Declaration re-affirming commitments to the ICPD PoA.

Information on the event and a copy of the Declaration are available at:

UNFPA will sponsor a scientific plenary session on the topic of The ICPD Vision: How Far Has the 11-Year Journey Taken Us ?' at the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) 2005 International Congress to be held on July 18-23, 2005 in Tours, France,

World Leaders Supporting the ICPD

In conjunction with the GA Commemoration, the United Nations Foundation and the Summit Foundation organized an event for The World Leaders Statement in Support of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Leaders in Government, non-governmental, business, scientific, religious, youth and other sectors were invited to sign a statement in support of full implementation of the Programme of Action. The Statement aimed to: (1) reaffirm the ICPD's vision at its midpoint;
(2) galvanize support in the public and private sectors; and
(3) to generate new momentum for achievement of the ICPD goals.

ICPD Follow-up: The Next Ten Years and Beyond:

UNFPA, in cooperation with the relevant agencies, published in early 2005 a compendium of the official outcomes of the ICPD at Ten, entitled The World Reaffirms Cairo: Official Outcomes of the ICPD at Ten Review . The volume contains, in multiple languages as relevant, the declarations, resolutions, and action plan from the official reports of the review meetings of the UN Regional Commissions and the Commission on Population and Development, held between 2002-2004. A full-text version of the publication is available at: