Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The year 2009 marked the 15th Anniversary of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, Egypt in 1994. As the name implies, the conference was designed to address the relationship between population growth and development. At that conference, 179 nations agreed on a 20-year action plan, sometimes called the Cairo Consensus, to achieve universal education, especially for girls, reductions in infant, child and maternal mortality, and access to reproductive health care. The Cairo Consensus posited that if needs for family planning and reproductive healthcare are met, then population stabilization will occur naturally and not as a result of coercion or control.
To commemorate the anniversary, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, will deliver a speech on Friday, January 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm in the Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room at the Department of State. In her speech, Secretary Clinton is expected to announce renewed U.S. commitment to reaching the ICPD goals and the other United Nations Millennium Development goals by 2015.
With just five years of the 20-year action plan left, the 15th anniversary is a good reminder that it is time to refocus on how these goals will be achieved.