Press Release

Latin America and Caribbean Set To Adopt Declaration on Population and Development

2 July 2004
Author: UNFPA

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—Latin American and Caribbean countries are set to reaffirm support for the Programme of Action of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development. They are scheduled to do so by adopting a resolution that endorses a declaration adopted last March in Santiago. The resolution will be presented today at the plenary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The Commission has 41 States and seven associate members.

The draft resolution was approved by consensus on Wednesday night by ECLAC’s Ad Hoc Committee on Population and Development.

The United States joined the consensus on the text – sponsored by about 40 countries and territories – after participants agreed to let the document take note of the report of the Santiago preliminary meeting. At that forum, the United States had expressed the lone dissent, dissociating itself from the Santiago Declaration. It is expected to explain its position at this afternoon’s ECLAC plenary. Other countries will also speak on the Cairo and Santiago agreements.

The consensus text urges countries in the region to intensify their efforts to continue implementing the Cairo Programme of Action. They should make all efforts necessary, it adds, 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 urges, should increase its technical and financial cooperation to meet those objectives.

“It is clear that the spirit of Cairo is alive and well, especially in this region,” said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, addressing delegations at Wednesday’s closing session of the population committee. “It is clear that it is your Programme of Action, and you are tailoring it to the social, cultural and economic realities of your countries and in line with the universally agreed international human rights.”

“There cannot be true democracy without true equality, and if there is no true equality, there cannot be true human rights,” she added. “This is what Cairo is all about.”

Apart from the consensus text presented by its population committee, the ECLAC plenary is expected to take action on other resolutions and close today.


UNFPA is the world’s largest multilateral source of population assistance. Since it became operational in 1969, it has provided help to developing countries, at their request, to meet reproductive health needs and support development efforts.

For more information, please contact: Abubakar Dungus or Yvonne White-Roberts, UNFPA, tel.: +1 (646) 226-6120, or visit the UNFPA’s web site at

Contact Information:

Abubakar Dungus

Puerto Rico
Population : 2.9 mil
Fertility rate
Maternal Mortality Ratio
Contraceptives prevalence rate
Population aged 10-24
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 73%
Girls 79%

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