Population Commission Recommends Continued Monitoring of World Population Trends and Policies

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Population Commission recommends continued monitoring of world population trends and policies

The Population Commission at its24th session (New York, 28 January-6 February) recommended continued vigorous monitoring world population trends and policies and to prepare the review and appraisal of the World Population Plan of Action adopted by the World Population Conference at Bucharest in 1974.

It did so in approving by consensustwo resolutions for adoption by its parent body, the Economic and Social Council. The 27-member Commission, which was mandated after the Bucharest Conference to monitor population trends and policies, normally meets every two years.

The Commission also asked for continuedand strengthened interdisciplinary technical co-operation activities in training in demography, evaluation and analysis of basic population data, formulation and integration of population policy in development planning, as well as for continued analysis, evaluation and publication of the experience of technical co-operation activities in the field.

In a text on follow-up to recommendationsof the International Conference on Population (August 1984, Mexico City), the Council would request the Secretary-General to regularly prepare reports on the activities of the United Nations system in the population field, on the work of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in implementing the 1974 World Population Plan of Action and on the monitoring of multilateral population assistance.

The Executive Director of theUnited Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) would also be asked to continue to report to the Commission on Fund activities.

The Commission decided provisionallyit would consider in 1989 action to implement the 1974 World Population Conference recommendations, including convening an intergovernmental conference on population in 1994; a 1990-1991 programme of work in the field of population; implementation of the programme budget for 1988-1989; and follow-up on the recommendations of the 1984 International Conference on Population.

The Commission decided to hold alengthy substantive discussion in 1989 on the Secretary-General's report on population trends and policies, focusing on a specific topic such as changes in population structure including the aging of populations.

85-90 million a year

Rafeeuddin Ahmed, Under-Secretary-Generalfor International Economic and Social Affairs, told the Commission on 28 January that for many countries, population growth remained a matter of central concern. Humanity would continue to increase by some 85 million to 90 million persons each year throughout the remainder of this century.

Mortality, he said, remained unacceptablyhigh in some regions, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, and there was now a gap of as much as 35 years in life expectancy between countries with high and low mortality rates.

Fertility level and patterns haddeclined dramatically in recent years in some developed and developing countries, yet remained at historically unprecedented high levels in others, the latter to be found especially in Africa, where women bore an average of 6.5 children in the course of their life.

Rafael M. Salas, UNFPA ExecutiveDirector, noted that some time in the middle of 1987, the world's population was expected to reach 5 billion. …