Quantitative Goals of the ICPD

The ICPD Programme of Action sets out 20-year goals in three related areas: expanding the availability of education, particularly for girls; reducing mortality rates; and increasing access to quality reproductive health services, including family planning.


All countries should strive to ensure complete access to and achievement of primary education by both girls and boys as soon as possible and before 2015. The goal of universal access by the year 2000 was agreed at the 1990 World Conference on Education for All, held at Jomtien in Thailand.

In view of education's importance in improving women's status, countries are urged to ensure the widest and earliest possible access by girls and women to secondary and higher education, vocational education and technical training; and to improve the quality and relevance of that education. [para. 4.18]

With a view to closing the gender gap in primary and secondary education by 2005, countries should take affirmative steps to keep girls and adolescents in school by building more community schools, training teachers to be more gender sensitive, providing scholarships and other incentives and by sensitizing parents to the value of educating girls. Also, pregnant adolescents should be enabled to continue their schooling. [para. 11.8]

Mortality Reduction

Specific infant and child mortality-reduction goals aim to reduce the gap between developed and developing countries as soon as possible:

Reproductive Health and Family Planning

Recognizing the importance of reproductive health care for human health and well-being, the ICPD urged countries to make such care accessible through the primary health care system to all individuals of appropriate ages as soon as possible and no later than 2015. [para. 7.6] In addition, it urged countries to act to meet their populations' family planning needs as soon as possible and to seek to provide universal access to a full range of safe and reliable family planning methods within reproductive health services in accord with their laws and practices by 2015.

The aim should be to assist couples and individuals to achieve their reproductive goals and enable them to exercise the right to have children by choice. [para. 7.16] Public, private and non-governmental family-planning organizations should seek to remove all programme-related barriers to family-planning use by 2005 through the re- design or expansion of information and services, to increase the ability of couples and individuals to make free and informed decisions about the number, spacing and timing of births and protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. [para. 7.19]