On 22 September 2014, world leaders gathered in New York for a United Nations General Assembly special session
(UNGASS) to discuss the progress and achievements of the goals of the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in 1994.
Senior government officials from 90 countries took part in the session. Plenary meetings featured statements by the President of the UN General Assembly, the Secretary-General, the Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. Member and observer States, as well as five selected representatives of non-governmental organizations, also spoke.
Overall, participants agreed that population concerns must be at the core of the post-2015 development agenda and cited the need for universal access to basic services, such as health care and education. They shed light on their respective national trends, including maternal and infant death, fertility, contraceptive use, ageing and HIV/AIDS prevalence, as well as programmes for family planning and sex education. Several speakers voiced strong support for sexual and reproductive health and rights, and representatives from developing countries appealed for reliable financial and technical aid to implement their respective sustainable development agendas.
There was strong endorsement and ownership of the outcomes of the ICPD regional meetings held as part of the ICPD Beyond 2014 review. Outcomes from these conferences were accepted as regional action plans for the full implementation of the ICPD Beyond 2014. Member States re-affirmed their full commitment to the ICPD Programme of Action and its full implementation beyond 2014. In their statements, they welcomed the Secretary-General’s report and made strong calls for the inclusion of the findings and recommendations of the ICPD Beyond 2014 Review, set out in the Framework of Actions Beyond 2014, into the post-2015 development agenda. They underscored the need to ground future development aspirations in the principles of human rights and equality.