International Conference on Population and Development
Over the last half century,
ideas about the relationships between population, sustainability and
human rights have evolved significantly.
At the centre of this evolution stands the 1994 International
Conference on Population and Development , where 179 countries
adopted a 20-year Programme of Action, which focused on individuals'
needs and rights, rather than on achieving demographic targets.
This watershed event shed new light on the linkages between
reproductive health and rights and other aspects of development.
The Programme of Action agreed to at the ICPD informs the
eight Millennium Development Goals.
The Islamic Republic of
Iran's commitment to these international development goals is
exemplified by its achievements in providing near-universal access
to family planning services for married couples, by investing in
safe motherhood and reducing its maternal mortality ratio to the
extent that it will certainly achieve the MDG5 target by 2015, if it
already hasn't. Further,
gender disparity in education has all but disappeared: enrolment
rates at primary and secondary level are virtually the same for boys
Significantly, two-thirds of university entrants are girls.
The educational achievements of girls, however, is only
slowly being replicated in the labour market.
Iran has a rich history of
positive engagement in the population and development field.
It was in Tehran in 1968, at the International Conference on
Human Rights - Convened by the UN General Assembly - that couples
were recognised as having a "basic human right to determine freely
and responsibly the number and spacing of their children".
Jumping to 1994, the delegation of the Islamic Republic of
Iran at the ICPD in Cairo made critical contributions to both the
content and process of the conference and the development of the
Programme of Action. The
commitment continues. At
the 2005 World Summit in New York, world leaders reaffirmed the need
to keep gender equality, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health at the top
of the development agenda. They also acknowledged that universal
access to reproductive health is a central strategy for eradicating
poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Millennium Development Goals
the Millennium Summit in 2000, 189 Member
States agreed to help the world's poorest
countries within a framework for progress
consisting of eight Millennium Development
These interlinked goals and targets
are the result of decades of experience and
discussions at all levels, including a
series of international conferences in the
1990s on population and development, human
rights, women, social development, HIV/AIDS
and financing for development.
The MDGs serve as a time-bound,
achievable blueprint for reducing poverty
and improving lives agreed to by all
countries and all leading development
They set out specific targets for
life expectancy, education, housing,
reproductive health, gender equality,
openness of trade, and environmental
UNFPA's work in the fields of reproductive
health and rights, women's empowerment and
population issues is at the core of the
achievement of the MDGs.
Poverty cannot and will not be
eradicated without also achieving the ICPD
goals. Universal access to education and
reproductive health care are crucial steps
that can help individuals break out of
cycles of poverty. Reproductive rights are
central to women's empowerment and empowered
women are the key to healthier and more
productive families, communities and
countries. The ICPD committment and the
Millennium Development Goals are interlinked
and mutually reinforcing.
Selected ICPD & MDGs targets