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|Women's Health | Bali Declaration on Population and Sustainable Development|
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We, the members and associate members of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), having convened at the Fourth Asian and Pacific Population Conference in Bali, Indonesia from 19 to 27 August 1992, have reviewed the population situation and outlook and noted the substantial progress achieved by the countries of the region in responding to the Asia-Pacific Call for Action on Population and Development adopted by the Third Asian and Pacific Population Conference held at Colombo in 1982. We express concern that population issues remain among the most pressing challenges facing the region and, in addressing the theme of the present Conference, "Population and sustainable development: goals and strategies into the twenty-first century", we
Population factors play a decisive role in all human endeavour
Population factors play a decisive role in all human endeavour, especially in
safeguarding the environment and the pursuit of sustainable development.
Accordingly, population considerations must be fully integrated into all aspects
Sustainable development as a means to ensure human well-being, equitably
shared by all people today and in the future, requires that the interrelationships
between population, resources, the environment and development should be fully recognized, properly
managed and brought into a harmonious, dynamic balance;
Full consideration of population concerns in crucial to any strategy to
achieve sustainable development and to give future generations an environmental
legacy better than that received by the present generation;
An integrated approach incorporating population, resources, the environment
and development elements must be pursued, although understanding of the
complex interrelationships between these elements is still at an early stage.
To do otherwise would endanger the attainment of sustainable development
and narrow the options available to future generations:
Measures to improve the status, role and participation of women must be given
high priority, both because women have a fundamental right to enjoy equality
with men in all aspects of life and because women play a critical role in, and
must fully participate in, the sustainable development process;
The alleviation of poverty is fundamental to the achievement of sustainable development;
Population problems have local, national, regional and global ramifications
and must therefore be addressed at all these levels;
Every country has its own specific array of population problems and policy
objectives and has the sovereign right to pursue its own population goals,
policies and programmes respecting the goal of global sustainable
Dealing with population problems requires strengthening of social policies
as well as regional and international cooperation; and
Rapid population growth and the consequent changes in demographic structure and uneven population distribution are crucial factors that impose pressures and constraints on economic development efforts, the environment and natural resources as well as social conditions. However, these factors are often neglected in environmental and natural resources as well as social conditions. However, these factors are often neglected in environmental and economic development strategies that regard population as a neutral factor rather than a dynamic variable requiring policy intervention;
In showing concern for human wellbeing, population policies should recognize
that individuals are members of the family, community, society, State
and global community, and they possess rights within chose contexts;
Population size, growth, distribution, structure, composition and mobility
should be considered at all levels of planning and in the formulation of
comprehensive population policies;
Resolution of population concerns is central to achieving equitable and efficient development of human resources and alleviation of poverty;
Note with appreciation:
The efforts and progress made by the countries of the Asian and Pacific region
in demographic, social, economic and development spheres and the leadership
exhibited by political leaders and parliamentarians in the formulation
and implementation of national policies and programmes dealing with population and development issues
The invaluable contributions of United Nations organizations, especially ESCAP
and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and other intergovernmental
organizations and multilateral agencies in providing technical and financial support
for population programmes in the Asian and Pacific region;
The contributions of donor countries through bilateral development assistance
The pioneering and significant contributions that non-governmental organizations have made to population efforts in the region;
Keeping in mind:
The provisions of the World Population Plan of Action adopted at Bucharest in 1974; the recommendations of the International Conference on Population, held at Mexico City in 1984; the Call for Action on Population and Development adopted at the Third Asian and Pacific Population Conference, held at Colombo in 1982; the Amsterdam Declaration on a Better Life for Future Generations adopted at the International Forum on Population in the Twenty-first Century, held at Amsterdam in 1989; Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment of the United nations Conference on Environment and Development, held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992; and the deliberations of the Fourth Asian and Pacific Population Conference, held in Bali, Indonesia in 1992;
All members and associate members of ESCAP make a firm political and financial
commitment to incorporate population and environmental concerns fully in all national efforts and
achieve sustainable development;
All members and associate members of ESCAP establish a set of population
targets in line with sustainable development goals, and initiate and implement
policies and programmes to achieve those targets;
The ESCAP secretariat accord high priority and take appropriate action to
assist members and associate members in implementing their population, environmental
and development policies, programmes and strategies;
UNFPA strengthen its programme support and mobilize the needed resources
to help the members and associate members of ESCAP in implementing their population policies, programmes
Other United Nations organizations, international agencies and non-governmental organizations support the members and associate members of ESCAP in implementing their population, environmental and development policies, programmes and strategies;
The following goals and recommendations for population and sustainable development into the twenty-first century.
II. POPULATION GOALS
Within the overall objectives of sustainable development, the goals of population policy should be to achieve a population that allows a better quality of life without jeopardizing the environment and the resource base of future generations. Population policy goals should also take cognisance of basic human rights as well as responsibilities of individuals, couples and families.
The population of countries and areas in the Asian and Pacific region amounted to 3.2 billion in mid-1992. Although there has been a significant decline in the rate of population growth over the past two decades and the current annual growth rate of 1.7 per cent is expected to continue to decline steadily, it is projected that 920 million people will be added to the region's total by 2010. The bulk of the increase will occur in the South Asian countries and least developed countries, where annual population growth rates are not expected to fall much below 2 percent. It is in these less developed countries that the problems of poverty are mist acute, and pressures on the education, health and employment sectors are greatest.
Fertility, as measured by the total rate, currently averages 3.1 children per women in the Asian and Pacific region. However, there are substantial variations between and within the subregions of Asia and the Pacific region. However, there are substantial variations between and within the subregions of Asia and the Pacific. Fertility is lowest in East Asia, at 2.1 children per woman. It is highest in South Asia, at 4.3 children per woman. A similar marked disparity is exhibited in subregional levels of mortality. For example, infant mortality in South Asia, at 90 per 1,000 births, is more than three times the rate in East Asia, where it is 26 per, 1,000 births.
In many countries of the Asian and Pacific region, urban populations are expanding at three or four times the rate of the national population. The region will witness a significant increase in the number and size of urban areas, particularly of "megcities" and other large metropolitan areas. Furthermore, new issues, such as environmental degradation, ageing, imbalanced population distribution and international migration, are emerging an drequire priority consideration.
To help reduce high rates of population growth, countries and areas should adopt strategies to attain replacement level fertility, equivalent to around 2.2 children per woman, by the year 2010 or sooner. Countries and areas should also strive to reduce the level of infant mortality to 40 per 1,000 live births or lower during the same period. In countries and reas in which maternal mortality is high, efforts should be made to reduce it by at least half by the year 2010.
A. Population, environment and development
Among the ultimate objectives of sustainable development are to achieve a balance between human needs and aspirations in balance with population, resources and the environment and to enhance the quality of life today and in the future. There is an urgent need to bring into balance population dynamics, socio-economic development, the use of natural resources and environmental quality. Special attention should be paid to decreasing the demand for natural resources that is generated by unsustainable consumption and to using those resources efficiently, to minimize depletion and reduce pollution. Although consumption patterns are very high in certain parts of the world, the basic consumer needs of a large section of humanity are not being met.
In many countries and areas, high rates of population growth and concentration have caused environmental problems, such as land degradation, deforestation, air and water pollution, threats to biological diversity from habitat destruction and rise sea level due to the greenhouse effect. In some countries, calamities and associated loss of life have followed the extension of human settlements into marginal and vulnerable areas, especially along rivers, coasts and foothills.
More research needs to be undertaken to improve understanding of the complex
synergy between population, resources, environment and development. Moreover, this knowledge must
be used in formulating policies and strategies for sustainable development.
The conceptual framework and appropriate analytical tools and indicators
need to be developed further.
A comprehensive data collection and information system on key aspects of
population, development and resource linkages that have implications
for environmental quality must be developed to support planning, implementation
and management, and evaluation of, as well as research on, population and sustainable development
Governments should formulate policies and strategies and implement
programmes regarding appropriate technologies, keeping in view the interaction
between population and environment, as well as their long-term sustainability. Such policies could include
development of environmentally friendly technology, reforestation, improvement of the quality of
air and water, waste recycling and the phasing out of environmentally harmful
technology. Furthermore, countries should formulate enforceable measures to rpomote greater harmony
between population, resources, environment and development so as to achieve improved quality of life on
a sustainable basis.
There is a need for appropriate interdisciplinary programmes to develop information, education and communication (IEC) activities, human resources, and environmental and population – related educational materials for all groups in the community. In this regard institutions at all levels, governmental and non-governmental, formal and informal, private and public sector, should be involved and supported.
B. Urbanization, internal and international
Population movements in countries and areas of the ESCAP region have greatly increased in scale and complexity. Voluntary population mobility has become an option to improve the life chances and opportunities of a much wider group of people in the region than ever before. This increased potential for significant population mobility within and between countries has major social economic and environmental implications. In particular, increasing demand for overseas workers in countries and areas of the ESCAP region in which the demographic transition has been completed will become of increasing policy importance.
The gender selectivity of migrants is gradually changing as more and more women in the ESCAP region are migrating independently. This phenomenon has opened considerable opportunities to improve the role and status of women. However, growing numbers of migrant women work and live in situations that in which they are vulnerable to exploitation. The increasing tendency for people to concentrate in large metropolitan cities in the region presents a number of new and Important management challenges for policy makers and planners.
Governments should reassess policies relating to urbanization and seek to
implement policies that recognize that urbanization is inevitable. These policies
should stress human resources development and be concerned with the environment and sustainable development
and improvements in the quality of life and cities and the countryside,
particularly in slums and other disadvantaged areas.
Linkages between rural and urban areas are of such strength and significance
that rural and urban development should not be undertaken in isolation
from each other, and therefore comprehensive planning should be undertaken.
Spatial implications and environmental consequences of major sectoral policies
should be fully assessed as part of the national development planning process.
Sectors in which there is either labour shortage or labour surplus need to be
identified to faciliatate the development of policies to achieve a better
matching of the distribution of job opportunities on the one hand and labour
supply on the other.
In view of the importance of the informal sector is absorbing large numbers
of migrants and other workers in many countries and areas of the region,
measures should be taken to improve the living standards of workers in the informal sector in a manner
that is consistent with the principles of sustainable development.
Measures should also be taken to protect the rights of migrants, particularly
women and children, and to improve their access to services and working
Recognizing the importance of decentralization for sustainable development,
more decision-making power and resources should be transferred to regional and municipal bodies.
Local communities need to have more involvement in planning, management
and revenue collection. The complexity of management, services and infrastructure in large urban
agglomerations necessitates greater cooperation between various administrative
areas and levels.
Policies need to be developed to involve the private and public sectors
in adequately accommodating the growth of mega-cities and to create opportunities in rural areas and
smaller cities to divert migration away from mega-cities. To cope with rapid
urbanization government should create a favourable climate for private
sector investment in smaller towns and cities and provide the required
support mechanisms, such as physical and social infrastructure, and favourable
fiscal and monetary policies.
Existing data sources for the study of urbanization, migration and development
at the national and international levels should be fully utilized. Research
that seeks explicitly to measure the costs and benefits of rural-tourban
migration should be undertaken. Migration impact should be studied in greater detail. Data Collection
systems to obtain better information on forms of short-term migration
or circulation within national boundaries as well as international movements need to be developed.
Governments should strive to adopt more consistent and comparable data
collection systems on international movements and develop measures to
share the data and information.
Further steps should be taken to monitor adequately trends in international
migration and to develop appropriate policies to accommodate and plan
for future needs.
There should be greater cooperation among countries and areas of the region
to ensure that the rights of international migrants under the International
Labour Organization (ILO) Convention concerning Migrations in Abusive Conditions and the Promotion
of Equality of Opportunity and Treatment of Migrant Workers are protected
and their working and living conditions safeguarded.
Steps should be taken to develop policies and programmes to prepare for and acocmodate people displaced by environmental calamities.
C. Family Planning and maternal and
Family planning and maternal and child health (MCH) programmes have played an important role in influencing population growth and improving the quality of life and human resources development in the countries of Asia and the Pacific. The success of family planning and MCH programmes is closely associated with the improved role and status of women; lower infant, child and maternal mortality rates; better birth-spacing and breast-feeding practices; and the delivery of services by trained personnel. Nevertheless, much remains to be done. There is a pressing need o strengthen programmes and adopt innovative approaches and strategies. To a large extent the success of programmes depends upon empowering individuals, families and communities to plan and decide for themselves, as well as to design and implement, programmes based on their own needs.
Family planning and MCH programmes should undertake comprehensive and critical reviews of existing policies and programme strategies:
In countries where the programmes have not yet achieved the desired objectives, priority should be given to strengthening policy development and related process as well as to expanding and streamlining delivery systems of family planning and MCH within the primary health care framework, to adopting innovative management and multisectoral approaches, and to encouraging wider community and intersectoral participation in programme implementation efforts;
In countries where fertility has been reduced to a low or acceptable level, programme strategies should aim to build upon achievements made so far with a view of attaining sustainability
Efforts should be made to improve the accessibility and utilization of family
planning and MCH services for men as well as women, taking into account the
changing preferences and needs of clients and rapidly changing technologies.
Reproductive health care should be improved considerably in the region.
Policies and programmes should strive to incorporate the totality of reproductive
health care and aim at reducing maternal morbidity and mortality, induced
abortion, sterility, childlessness, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
and spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency
Special attention should be focused on countries and high fertility and high
population growth rates, especially the small island nations of the Pacific
and Indian oceans.
Family Planning and MCH programmes should encourage health full
birth-spacing and breast-feeding. They should always make available and offer birth-spacing methods of
Sustained efforts should be made to increase the involvement of males in
family planning and to promote the using of family planning methods designed for males. Specific IEC strategies
should be developed to inform and educate men about family planning and fertility regulation.
There should be population IEC programmes and services specifically designed
for youth and adolescents to minimize the incidence of unplanned adolescent pregnancies and associated
There is a need to upgrade management information systems (MIS) so
that they can provide timely and good quality information and to adopt appropriate
strategies, such as rapid and independently conducted low-cost surveys, for the proper monitoring
and evaluation of programmes. There is also a need to train MCH service
providers and programme managers in the use of such information for these purposes.
There is an urgent need to incorporate family planning in the syllabi in
medical, nursing, and other health-profession training institutions and in
other in-service training programmes for health and family planning personnel.
Concerted efforts should be made to undertake relevant research studies
and to translate the findings into action through their incorporation in
ongoig policies and programmes.
Factors relating to problems of integrating family planning and MCH programmes
should be determined and studied in order to formulate and implement
such programmes in line with the socio-cultural, political and administrative
conditions in each country.
Non-governmental organizations should continue their roles in support of national programmes. Governments should collaborate with, and enhance the potential of non-governmental organizations by:
involving them in the development of innovative programmes, especially for vulnerable segments of the population;
ensuring that through their flecibility they are able to offer a greater variety of client-responsive services;
encouraging them to strengthen their grass-roots networks and community participative strategies;
putting to best advantage their advocacy function; and
enhancing their role as good quality service providers.
D. Population and human resources
People are the most important and valuable resources that any nation possesses. It is crucial, therefore, that countries ensure that all individuals be given the opportunity to make the most of their potential. Such a policy, as noted in the Jakarta Plan of Action on Human Resources Development in the ESCAP region, will result in the enhancement of social and economic development of the community as a whole. It is recognised that demographic factors are strategically important in human resources development because of their interrelationships with employment, education, skill and capability development, health and nutrition, and the status and role of women.
Governments should recognize the key role of human resources in national
development and give strong emphasis in national planning and policymaking
to the development of human resources. Where this has not yet been done, policy and planning bodies for
human resources development should be established at a high level to ensure
that human resources development is given appropriate recognition.
Human resources development planners should recognise that individuals value education, health and other human resource investments as important elements in the quality of their life. Therefore, programmes of human resources development should be linked to the strong interest of people in availing themselves of these important elements of welfare.
More attention should be given to the formulation of policies of cope with
the socio-economic consequences of the change in the number of persons
in certain age groups, as well as overall growth in number, on fields such
as education, employment, food and nutrition, housing, and health and
Governments should improve human resources development programmes, especially vocational and occupational training in both rural and urban areas, to open up a wider range of employment options for people living in areas characterised by a surplus of labour. Efforts should be made to promote training in a variety of contexts including the workplace, the family and the community.
E. Women and Population
Women's status, as reflected in their legal rights, education, health, employment, position in the household and family decision-making power, affects demographic behaviour such as age at marriage, fertility, and infant, child and maternal mortality. These in turn have an impact on the improvement of women's status and their participation in the development process. In recognition of the importance of women's contribution to development and the need to improve the status and role of women, many countries have begun to formulate policies and implement programmes. Despite some progress, women in many countries still do not enjoy equal status with men, have only a limited role in national socio-economic development and remain unaware of their rights. For the achievement of sustainable development, the full and unfettered participation of women is essential, especially in the formulation and implementation of population policies and programmes, because they have as much, if not more, at stake as men in whatever action is taken in these areas. Given that women play an important role as managers of resources and in maintaining environmental quality, they must be involved in all decision-making relating to population and sustainable development.
Governments are urged to adopt and implement national policies and programmes
to ensure equal opportunities for females in all sectors of social and economic development as well as
political participation. Gender concerns should be incorporated in national
development planning. Specific guidelines should be drawn up for the
integration of women in all sectors of national development with a view to
supporting their productive and reproductive roles and their equal partnerships
in national development. Appropriate mechanisms should be developed or strengthened so that the
needs of women at all levels are reflected in national population and development
policies and programmes.
In order for females to benefit from the opportunities resulting from the
elimination of discrimination, efforts should be intensified to improve their
health status, especially in the field of reproductive health and nutrition,
and to ensure equal access of girls and women to education, training and
employment as well as credit and other supportive services for promoting
self-employment, particularly among the poor. Concerted efforts should be made to reduce constraints
and to facilitate the participation of women in the mainstream of social
and economic activities.
In line with the recommendations made by the Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly
on "Women and Environment: partners in life", held at Bangkok in
1991, women should be empowered with greater decision-making authority
and their viewpoints should be considered at all levels to enable better
management of resources and protection of the environment.
Governments should ensure that women are neither restricted from
participating nor forced to participate in the labour force for reasons of demographic
policy or cultural tradition. Furthermore, the reproductive role of women should in no way be used as
a reason for limiting women's right to work. Governments should take the
initiative in removing any barriers to the realizaiton of that right and, in cooperation
with the private sector, should create opportunities and supporting facilities so that activities outside
the home can be combined a sappropriate with child-rearing and household activities. Efforts should
also be made to ensure greaer involvement of men in all areas of family
responsibility. Women's productive and reproductive rights should be fully
recognized by governments and supported by society at large.
Governments should strengthen national capabilities in collecting, analysing
and monitoring gender-specific data and information to facilitate better
integration of women's concerns in development planning and implementation.
All forms of discrimination against women, legislative and otherwise, should be abolished.
F. Population and poverty alleviation
There is a complex interrelationship between rapid population growth and poverty. Some developing countries in the region have improved the living conditions of their peoples appreciably, but in many developing countries, the numbers of the poor, hungry and illiterate have increased. Poverty is very closely interrelated with environmental degradation. Population growth rates are faster in the least developed countries and areas where poverty is severe and there is less access to education and health services. At the micro-level, the poor usually have large families and are less aware of, and have less access to, social services such as family planning and MCH; this contributes to high infant, child and maternal mortality. Among the poor, children and women are especially vulnerable to exploitation. Although rapid progress in the provision of social and health services in developing countries has occurred during the past decade, the services are unevenly distributed among urban-rural areas and socioeconomic groups.
Governments should formulate more effective strategies and measures to alleviate poverty. These should include:
Implementation of integrated population and development policies and programmes, including family planning and MCH strategies, that will show population growth and produce faster income growth as well as reduce family size, improve education and productivity, and provide better life chances;
The provision of adequate and efficient basic social and health services and facilities to improve wellbeing and increase human capital and skills among the poor, so that they can respond rapidly to incomegenerating opportunities and gain access to social programmes such as education, basic health care, improved sanitation, good quality nutrition, food subsidies, family planning and housing, and thus help to improve their living conditions and alleviate poverty;
Equity in the allocation of resources and access to services should be important elements of national policy.
Governments should formulate longterm policies and strategies to ensure
that the benefits of development are shared by a wide spectrum of the
populatation. This would help to break the poverty-population-growth cycle.
Governments should formulate longterm policies and programmes to tackle
population growth and poverty jointly because of their complementarities
and strong synergy. The policies and programmes should be responsive to
poor people's needs, particularly in education, training, and family planning
and MCH programmes.
When economic restructuring occurs, Governments need to take steps to
minimize its adverse impacts upon the poor and underprivileged.
Priority should be given to research on the linkages and interactions between poverty, population dynamics, resources and the environment. The results of such research can be used in the design of policies and implementation of strategic programmes.
G. Mortality and Morbidity
Mortality has declined significantly in most Asian and Pacific countries and areas. In some countries of the region, however, the expectation of life at birth remains below 55 years. Even in countries where mortality has declined, there are sub regions and subgroups exposed to high levels of mortality and morbidity. Infants and children, and women in the reproductive ages remain particularly susceptible. Mortality and morbidity patterns are expected to change in the future in a number of countries and areas owing to the increasing incidence of STDs and HIV/AIDS, with grave consequences for the health, well-being and productivity of the people. This would also hamper the reproductive potential of the population. In addition, the incidence of degenerative diseases is increasing in the developing countries of the region. Further reductions in mortality and morbidity will depend upon improvements in the quality of health services delivery, implementation of programmes targeted at the most disadvantaged groups, and the achievement and maintenance of a higher quality of life.
In countries where infant, child and maternal mortality continues to be
high, the factors responsible need to be identified in order to formulate
policies and implement appropriate programmes for the further reduction
of such mortality.
Governments should strengthen their basic health infrastructure and manpower,
and ensure the provision of equipment and supplies for improving affordable health-services delivery.
In view of the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in the region and its increasing cumulative prevalence, countries and areas should initiate IEC programmes to educate their populations about the prevention of HIV/AIDS infection; such information should be included as an element in family planning programmes. Governments should collect data to monitor the trend of HIV/AIDS infection and design strategies and implement programmes to control its spread.
Population ageing is closely interrelated with the dynamic process of demographic and socio-economic change, with implications for the family, community and nation. With significant and rapid fertility declines and improvements in mortality, population ageing will assume greater importance in the future. The majority of the elderly have considerable potential for both self-reliance and making contributions to their families and communities. They have a right and a responsibility to make those contributions. The family is still the principal source of support for the elderly. However, with rapid industrialization, urbanization and the increasing frequency of both spouses engaging in full-time paid work, traditional family support systems for the elderly will be placed under considerable strain.
Governments are urged to formulate long-term development strategies that
take into consideration the changing age structure of the population, in particular
the implication of population ageing for economic and social development.
Development policies and programmes must take into account the characteristics of future cohorts of
older people, their potential for involvement in the process of development
and the role of the family and community in caring for the elderly.
Comprehensive programmes that aim to increase the support and contributions
of the elderly should involve all sectors and levels of government, as
well as non-governmental organizations, the private sector and unions.
Efforts should be made to develop policies and programmes at the local
level to bring the active elderly into the mainstream of economic and social
development to enhance their contributions of their families and communities. This may include lifelong
The family support system should be strengthened by providing economic
incentives, such as tax exemptions and special privileges, to families taking
care of their elderly members.
It is important to recognize the different needs of the rural and urban
elderly in developing countries, particularly in those lacking social security
Communities should be encouraged to form voluntary and mutual aid organizations
to provide support for the elderly and their families.
Broad information and education programmes should be introduced to create
awareness and understanding of the issues of ageing and to instil moral
and social values related to the support of older people. Such programmes
should be targeted at families and the general public with special emphasis on the younger generation.
Appropriate training programmes should be developed for caregivers
such as medical and paramedical staff, residential care providers, community
and social workers and family members, keeping in view the perspectives
of both the caregivers and the elderly.
Research is needed on the interrelationship among changes in family patterns and structure, cultural and traditional changes and ageing, the findings of which would promote effective integration of the elderly into the mainstream of economic and social development, and the formulation and implementation of appropriate policies and programmes.
I. Population data, research and information
While considerable progress has been made in information and database development within the region during past decades, there remains an urgent need to improve the content, quality and timeliness of data and to upgrade national skills for research, policy analysis and the development of integrated management information systems. Furthermore, smallarea data sets need to be developed for decentralized and local-level planning.
Governments are urged to strengthen methodologies for collecting quality
data and to improve efficiency in the processing and analysis of data for
policy formulation, strategy development and programme implementation.
Countries should devote more effort to upgrading analytical skills in
the areas of policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation. In particular, national
census, vital registration and survey organization capabilities should be
strengthened and enhanced.
The creation of computerized databases, both numeric and bibliographic,
at the national, regional and subregional levels should be encouraged
for the more efficient dissemination and sharing of population data and information. In particular, there
is a need to develop small-area databases for local and community area planning.
Governments should give priority to the application of modern information
technologies and to the development of the human resources and skills needed to manage them in order
to maximize the utilization of data and information at the national level.
National population information systems should be strengthened and
should follow the framework of the population Information Network (POPIN).
Coordination among national, subregional and regional information
centres and networks representing various social and economic sectors
should be strengthened to foster increased intersectoral networking,
thereby assisting in the more complete integration of population with other
aspects of development.
Governments are urged to attach high priority to population research, both
for its continuous contribution to population policy formulation, programme
implementation and evaluation and as a means to fill gaps in knowledge. Countries should establish,
strengthen and maintain population research centres.
In support of this effort, regional and international organizations should establish standards related to database development, such as data format, structure and software, to promote the compatibility of database created by national information centres and their utilization at the national and regional levels.
J. Resource mobilization
Over the years, population programmes have become more diverse and complex. National-level population programmes have been established in many of the countries of the region and have achieved varying degrees of success. Nevertheless, much remains to be done, requiring large amounts of resources, both human and financial. The need for mobilizing additional resources is greater today than ever before.
The International Forum on Population in the Twenty-first Century, held
at Amsterdam in November 1989, called for a doubling of resources by
the year 2000 to support population programmes. It is estimated that
around $US 9 billion per year will be required to support core population
programmes around the world, a substantial proportion of it in the Asian
and Pacific region. Towards this end, the option of allocating 4 per cent of
official development assistance to population programmes could be considered.
In this regard, the important role of UNFPA in mobilizing the needed resources should be recognized
and countries are requested, as appropriate, to increase their contributions
A central challenge all nations face today is to mobilize additional resources
to support broad-based population programmes. The Fourth Asian and Pacific Population Conference urges all
Governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, the
private sector and external donors to make every effort possible to increase,
on a regular basis, their financial commitment so as to attain their targets
by the year 2000.
Over the past decade, several members and associate members of ESCAP
have successfully formulated and implemented population policies and
programmes. The experience and knowledge gained in the process are very valuable and can be shared with
members and associate members still striving to attain their desired population
goals. Those successful members and associate members are urged to allocate resources for the transfer
for knowledge and skills – through the exchange of expertise, the sharing of
information and knowledge and the facilitation of training – to countries
that are in the process of attaining their demographic goals and objectives.
Such technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC) should be encouraged. Within the
framework of existing institutions, appropriate mechanisms need to be
identified to facilitate TCDC in the region and with other regions.
The emerging population issues in the region will become more diverse and complex during the 1990s, requiring flexible and innovative approaches to sustain the achievements made in the last three decades. UNFPA should provide the needed financial assistance to enable ESCAP to play an enhanced role in assisting the Governments of developing countries in the region in shaping their future population policies and programmes. In addition, UNFPA is requested to provide programme support and financial assistance to countries for the design and implementation of their population policies in accordance with national priorities, working closely with government officials to ensure effective coordination and harmonization of population activities, and to develop fully the national capacity for self-reliance.