UNFPAState of World Population 2004
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State of World Population
Population and Poverty
Population and the Environment
Migration and Urbanization
Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment
Reproductive Health and Family Planning
Maternal Health
Preventing HIV/AIDS
Adolescents and Young People
Reproductive Health for Communities in Crisis
Action Priorities
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Putting People at the Centre
From Words to Action
Countries Report on Progress
National Ownership and Culture
Birth of a New Global Consensus
Wide-ranging Impact
Long Way to Go
The Way Forward

Countries Report on Progress

A global survey(1) of governments undertaken in 2003 by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, provides further evidence that developing countries today strongly feel a strong sense of “ownership” of the ICPD agreement, and are making concerted efforts to implement its recommendations and achieve its goals.

Solid gains have been made in integrating population concerns into development strategies to alleviate poverty, promote human rights and redress inequality, protect the environment and conserve natural resources, and decentralize planning. Institutions and laws have been established and modified to speed progress.

Access to reproductive health and family planning services has expanded significantly, along with actions to meet young people’s needs, address HIV/AIDS and reduce maternal mortality. But countries responding to the survey also recognized that much more must be done to ensure reproductive rights, access to reproductive health services by adolescents, a wider range of contraceptive choices and higher quality clientcentred services.

Among the main findings of UNFPA’s global survey:

POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT. Nearly all (96 per cent) of the 151 developing countries responding reported action to integrate population concerns into development policies and strategies. Most said they had adopted policies to address population-poverty interactions. Half the countries reported activities to influence the distribution of their populations, for example by creating new economic growth centres and decentralizing planning and political decisionmaking. Countries are also becoming more pragmatic in focusing resources and addressing priority needs (see Chapter 2).

GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT. Ninety-nine per cent of countries reported that they had adopted policies, laws or constitutional provisions to protect the rights of girls and women. Many have established national commissions for women. Countries have set up mechanisms to provide women with education, skills and employment, and to promote women’s equal participation in the political process and community affairs. Laws have been adopted and advocacy undertaken to counter gender-based violence. Various measures have been taken to increase girls’ enrolment in primary and secondary schools.

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND FAMILY PLANNING. Countries have begun to integrate reproductive health services into primary health care. Most are improving the training and increasing the numbers of health providers. They have improved service facilities and expanded access, particularly for people living in remote areas. Use of modern contraception continues to grow, and countries have linked family planning with other reproductive health services. Efforts to reduce maternal deaths and injuries are getting increased attention, with more emphasis on attended delivery and expanding the availability of emergency obstetric care and referral and transport systems (see Chapter 6).

HIV/AIDS. Three fourths of countries reported adopting national strategies on HIV/AIDS; a third said they had specific strategies aimed at high-risk groups. Many countries are promoting the consistent and correct use of condoms and providing voluntary counselling and testing. Advocacy campaigns have used celebrities or religious leaders to promote safer sexual behaviour (see Chapter 8).

ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE. Countries increasingly recognize the need to address the reproductive health and rights of adolescents, and 92 per cent reported action in this regard. Some have rescinded laws and policies that restricted adolescents’ access to reproductive health information and services, and more than half have established youth-friendly services. Most have introduced reproductive health education, as an important component of basic life skills, into school curricula and programmes for outof- school youth. Many countries are also adopting a holistic approach that deals with the larger context of young people’s lives, including socio-economic realities, poverty and livelihoods (see Chapter 9).

PARTNERSHIPS. Most governments are working with a wide variety of civil society and private sector groups— including national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), particularly family planning associations, women’s associations and community groups—on a broad range of ICPD-related issues. This collaboration is especially helpful in reaching groups otherwise not covered by services (see Chapter 11).

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