UN secretary general calls for commitment to Cairo Conference plan

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has marked the fifteenth anniversary of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

It adopted a 20-year plan to provide access to reproductive health, reduce maternal deaths, promote women's rights and help reduce poverty.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon commented that the 1994 Cairo Conference marked a major shift in the international mindset on population issues.

He added: "Countries from around the world affirmed that population, far from being about numbers, is about people - and that women's health, education, employment and empowerment are the keys to a sustainable future.

"Today, we meet to hail the progress that has been achieved... to acknowledge the many problems that remain... and to strengthen our resolve to overcome them."

Mr Ban added that, during a period of global economic problems, this was not a time to renege on promises made to protect and invest in women – "for their sake and for the sake of our collective future".

Last month, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, claimed there is an unmet need for modern and effective family planning around the world today.ADNFCR-2094-ID-19406649-ADNFCR