U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DISPATCH SUPPLEMENT 
VOLUME 5, NUMBER 8, SEPTEMBER 1994 
UN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT 
PUBLISHED BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS 
 
 
UN International Conference on Population and Development 
Cairo, Egypt 
September 5-24, 1994 
 
 
ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE: 
1.  International Conference on Population and Development--Vice 
President Gore 
2.  Defining a Global Approach Toward Stabilizing The World Population--
Vice President Gore 
3.  Focus on Population and Development:  The U.S. and the UN 
International Conference On Population and Development 
4.  Fact Sheet:  UN Conferences on Socioeconomic Issues 
5.  Fact Sheet:  Global Environmental Issues   
 
 
ARTICLE 1: 
 
International Conference on Population and Development 
Vice President Gore 
Remarks at the opening session of the UN International Conference on 
Population and Development, Cairo, Egypt, September 5, 1994 
 
Good morning.  I am honored to join you as we begin one of the most 
important conferences ever held. 
 
On behalf of President Clinton and the people of the United States, I 
would like first of all to express my thanks and appreciation to our 
host, President Mubarak.  His leadership has been marked by a continuing 
commitment to building a better future for his people, this region, and 
the world.  This conference is dedicated to helping achieve the same 
ends.  I can think of no better or more fitting setting than Cairo for 
the work we begin today. 
 
I would also like to thank Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and  
Dr. Nafis Sadik for their inspired leadership in shepherding this 
conference from a concept to a reality.  Allow me to also thank Prime 
Minister Brundtland and Prime Minister Bhutto for their leadership and 
their contributions to the world's efforts to deal with this vital 
issue. 
 
Most importantly, I want to acknowledge the enormous contributions of 
government officials, non-governmental organization representatives, and 
private citizens toward addressing one of the greatest challenges--and 
greatest opportunities--of the coming century.  We owe all of you who 
have been involved in this process a debt of gratitude. 
 
We would not be here today if we were not convinced that the rapid and 
unsustainable growth of human population was an issue of the utmost 
urgency.  It took 10,000 generations for the world's population to reach 
2 billion people.  Yet over the past 50 years, we have gone from 2 
billion to more than 51/2 billion.  And we are on a path to increase to 
9 or 10 billion over the next 50 years.  Ten thousand generations to 
reach 2 billion and then in one human lifetime--ours--we leap from 2 
billion toward 10 billion. 
 
These numbers are not by themselves the problem.  But the startlingly 
new pattern they delineate is a symptom of a much larger and deeper 
spiritual challenge now facing humankind.  Will we acknowledge our 
connections to one another or not?  Will we accept responsibility for 
the consequences of the choices we make  or not?  Can we find ways to 
work together, or will we insist on selfishly exploring the limits of 
human pride?  How can we come to see in the faces of others our own 
hopes and dreams  for the future?  Why is it so hard to recognize that 
we are all part of something larger than ourselves? 
 
Of course, these are timeless questions that have always characterized 
the human condition.  But they now have a new urgency, precisely, 
because we have reached a new stage of human history--a stage defined 
not just by the meteoric growth in human numbers but also by the 
unprecedented Faustian powers of the new technologies we have acquired 
during these same 50 years--technologies which not only bring us new 
benefits, but also magnify the consequences of age-old behaviors to 
extremes that all-too often exceed the wisdom we bring to our decisions 
to use them. 
 
For example, warfare is an ancient human habit, but the invention of 
nuclear weapons so radically altered the consequences of this behavior 
that we were forced to find new ways of thinking about the relationship 
between nuclear states in order to avoid the use of these weapons.  
Similarly, the oceans have always been a source of food, but new 
technologies like 40-mile-long driftnets coupled with sophisticated 
sonar equipment to precisely locate fish have severely depleted or 
seriously distressed every ocean fishery on our planet.  Thus, we have 
begun to curtail the use of driftnets. 
 
But it is becoming increasingly clear that our margin for error is 
shrinking as rapid population growth is combined with huge and 
unsustainable levels of consumption in the developed countries, powerful 
new tools for exploiting the earth and each other, and a willful refusal 
to take responsibility for the future consequences of the choices we 
make.  Economically, rapid population growth often contributes to the 
challenge of addressing persistent low wages, poverty, and economic  
disparity. 
 
Population trends also challenge the ability of societies, economies, 
and governments to make the investments they need in both human capital 
and infrastructure.  At the level of the family, demographic trends have 
kept the world's investment in its children--especially girls--
unacceptably low.  For individuals, population growth and high fertility 
are closely linked to the poor health and diminished opportunities of 
millions upon millions of women, infants, and children.  Population 
pressures often put strains on hopes for stability at the national and 
international level.  Look, for example, at the 20 million refugees in 
our world who have no homes. 
 
The delegates to this conference have helped create a widely shared 
understanding of these new realities.  But what is truly remarkable 
about this conference is not only the unprecedented degree of consensus 
about the nature of the problem, but the degree of consensus about the 
nature of the solution.  A real change has occurred during the last 
several years in the way most people in the world look at and understand 
this problem.  The change is part of a larger philosophical shift in the 
way most people have begun to think about many large problems.  There 
used to be an automatic tendency--especially in the developed world--to 
think about the process of change in terms of single causes producing 
single effects.  Thus, when searching for the way to solve a particular 
problem--however large--it seemed natural enough to search for the 
single most prominent "cause" of the problem and then address it 
forcefully.  Many divisive arguments resulted between groups advocating 
the selection of different causes as the "primary" culprit deserving 
full attention. 
 
Thus, when it became clear that new medical technologies were bringing 
dramatic declines in death rates but not in birth rates, many pioneers, 
in the effort to address the population question, settled on the notion 
that the lack of contraceptives was the primary problem and argued that 
making them widely available everywhere would produce the effect we 
desired--the completion of a demographic transition with the achievement 
of low birth rates as well as low death rates.  But as it became clear 
that contraception alone seldom led to the change nations were seeking 
to bring about, other single causes were afforded primary attention.  
For example, in the historic Bucharest conference 20 years ago, when 
thoughtful people noticed that most of the societies which had 
stabilized their population growth were wealthy, industrial, and 
"developed," it seemed logical to conclude--in the phrase common at the 
time--"development is the best contraceptive." 
 
Meanwhile, some insights from developing countries were given 
insufficient attention.  For example, some African leaders were arguing 
30 years ago that "the most powerful contraceptive in the world is the 
confidence of parents that their children will survive."  And in places 
like Kerala, in southwestern India, local leaders were making economic 
development more accessible by giving women as well as men access to 
education and high levels of literacy, while at the same time providing 
good child- and maternal-health care as well as widespread access to 
contraception.  In the process, they found that their population growth 
rate fell to nearly zero.  
 
The world also has learned from developing countries that the wrong kind 
of rapid economic development--the kind that is inequitable and 
destructive of traditional culture, the environment, and human dignity--
can lead to the disorientation of society and a lessened ability to 
solve any problems, including population.  But here, in Cairo, there is 
a new and very widely shared consensus that no single one of these 
solutions is likely to be sufficient by itself to produce the pattern of 
change we are seeking.  However, we also now agree that all of them 
together, when simultaneously present for a sufficient length of time, 
will reliably bring about a systemic change to low birth and death rates 
and a stabilized population.  In this new consensus, equitable and 
sustainable development and population stabilization go together.  The 
education and empowerment of women, high levels of literacy, the 
availability of contraception, and high-quality health care--these 
factors are all crucial.  They cannot be put off until development takes 
place; they must accompany it--and, indeed, should be seen as part of 
the process by which development is hastened and made more likely. 
 
This holistic understanding is representative of the approach we must 
take in addressing other problems that cry out for attention.  
Recognizing connections and interrelationships is one of the keys.  For 
example, the future of developed countries is connected to the prospects 
of developing countries.  It is partly for this reason that we in the 
United States wish to choose this occasion to affirm, unequivocally, all 
human rights, including the right to development. 
 
Let us be clear in acknowledging that persistent high levels of poverty  
in our world represent a principal cause of human suffering, 
environmental degradation, instability, and rapid  population growth.  
But the solution--like the solution to the population challenge--will 
not be found in any single, simplistic answer.  It will be found in a 
comprehensive approach that combines democracy, economic reform, low 
rates of inflation, low levels of corruption, sound environmental 
stewardship, free and open markets at home, and access to markets in the 
developed countries.  We must also acknowledge--in developed and 
developing countries alike--the connection between those of us alive 
today and the future generations that will inherit the results of the 
decisions we make.  Indeed, a major part of the spiritual crisis we face 
in the modern world is rooted in our obstinate refusal to look beyond 
the immediacy of our own needs and wants and instead invest in the kind 
of future our children's children have a right to expect.  It should be 
obvious that we cannot solve this lost sense of connection to our future 
merely through appeals to reason and logic. 
 
Personally, I am convinced that the holistic solution we must seek is 
one that is rooted in faith and a commitment to basic human values of 
the kind enshrined in all of our major religious traditions and 
principles increasingly shared by men and women all around the world: 
 
--  The central role of the family; 
--  The importance of community; 
--  The freedom of the human spirit; 
--  The inherent dignity of every individual woman, man, and child on 
this planet; 
--  Political, economic, and religious freedom; and 
--  Universal and inalienable human rights. 
 
Will we draw upon the richness of these shared principles and values as 
we embark on our efforts today, or will we allow ourselves to be divided 
by our differences?  There are, of course, differences that will be 
extremely difficult to ever fully resolve.  For example, we are all well 
aware that views about abortion are as diverse among nations as among 
individuals.  I want to be clear about the U.S. position on abortion so 
that there is no misunderstanding.  We believe that making available the 
highest quality family planning and health care services will, 
simultaneously, respect women's own desires to prevent unintended 
pregnancies, and reduce population growth and the rate of abortion. 
 
The United States Constitution guarantees every woman within our borders 
a right to choose an abortion, subject to limited and specific 
exceptions.  We are committed to that principle.  But let us take a 
false issue off the table:  The United States does not seek to establish 
a new international right to abortion, and we do not believe that 
abortion should be encouraged as a method of family planning. 
 
We also believe that policy-making in these matters should be the 
province of each government, within the context of its own laws and 
national circumstances and consistent with previously agreed-upon human 
rights standards.  In this context, we abhor and condemn coercion 
related to abortion or any other matters of reproduction. 
 
We believe that where abortion is permitted, it should be medically safe 
and that unsafe abortion is a matter of women's health that must be 
addressed.  But as we acknowledge the few areas where full agreement 
among us is more difficult, let us strengthen our resolve to respect our 
differences and reach past them to create what the world might remember 
as the "spirit of Cairo"--a shared and unshakable determination to lay 
the foundation for a future of hope and promise. 
 
This is the opening session.  Each of us plays a crucial role in 
ensuring the success of this historic endeavor.  The essential 
ingredient we all must bring to it is our commitment to make it work.   
 
The Scottish mountain climber W.H. Murray wrote early in this century:   
 
Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, 
always ineffectiveness.  Concerning all acts of initiative . . . there 
is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas 
and splendid plans:  that the moment one definitely commits oneself, 
then providence moves too. 
 
I saw this truth in operation earlier this year at the southern end of 
this continent when I represented my country at the inauguration of 
Nelson Mandela.  As he raised his hand to take the oath, I suddenly 
remembered a Sunday morning four years earlier when he was released from 
prison and my youngest child, then seven, joined me to watch live 
television coverage of the event and asked why the entire world was 
watching this person regain his freedom. 
 
After I explained as best I could, my son asked again, "Why?"  After a 
series of "whys," I began to feel frustrated--but I suddenly realized 
what a rare privilege it was to explain to a child the existence of such 
an extraordinary positive event when I, like other parents, had so often 
been confronted with the burden of explaining to my children the 
existence of evil and terrible tragedies and injustices in our world.  
So as President Mandela completed his oath, I resolved that I would 
spend the next several days in South Africa trying to understand how 
this wonderful development had occurred.  And what I found--in addition 
to the well-known courage and vision of both Mandela and De Klerk--was 
the key ingredient that had not received emphasis in the news coverage:  
Ordinary men and women of all ethnic backgrounds and all walks of life 
quietly had made up their minds that they were going to reach across the 
barriers that divided them and join hands to create a future much 
brighter than any they had been told was possible to even imagine. 
 
We here today face the same choice and the same opportunity:  Will we 
give to our children's children the burden of explaining to their 
children the reason why unspeakable tragedies that could have been 
avoided occur in their lives?  Or will we give them the privilege and 
joy of explaining the occurrence of unusually positive developments--the 
foundations for which were laid here at this place at this time?  The 
choice is ours.  Let us resolve to make it well.   
(###). 
 
 
 
ARTICLE 2: 
 
Defining a Global Approach Toward Stabilizing the World Population 
Vice President Gore 
Statement released by the White House, Washington, DC, September 13, 
1994 
 
The approval of the Program of Action in Cairo today marks a tremendous 
achievement for the delegations present, but more importantly for the 
world's future.  I want to commend the delegations for their work and 
their dedication in achieving a consensus which, although difficult in 
some areas, has created a new framework for action on population and 
development issues.  For the first time in a UN conference dealing with 
population issues, all participating nations have joined in agreement on 
a large portion of the Program of Action. 
 
I wish to especially commend the Government of Egypt and President 
Mubarak.  Not only a wonderful and gracious host for the conference, 
Egypt was also a key actor in negotiations surrounding some of the 
ICPD's most difficult issues. 
 
In addition, I wish to thank the United Nations, and especially the ICPD 
Secretary General, Dr. Nafis Sadik, for her untiring and successful 
efforts in building consensus in Cairo.  I also want to specifically 
thank the United States delegation, led by Under Secretary of State Tim 
Wirth.  The United States, under his leadership, was able to contribute 
effectively to bringing the world to this important consensus. 
 
Finally, the NGO community throughout the world--and, I would add, 
especially women's groups--have played a historic role in helping to 
bring their knowledge and expertise into the debate and moving the ICPD 
from a concept at Rio to a reality at Cairo.  The Program of Action is 
better informed for it. 
 
This Program of Action is a watershed in defining a global approach 
toward stabilizing the world's population--encompassing increased 
availability of family planning, sustainable economic development, the 
empowerment of women--to include enhanced educational opportunities, and 
a reduction in infant and child mortality.  All of these are important 
goals in their own right that work best when joined together into a 
comprehensive program.  No single solution will be sufficient by itself 
to produce the patterns of change so badly needed.  But together, over a 
sufficient length of time, a broad-based strategy will help us achieve a 
stabilized population and thereby improve the quality of life for our 
children.  The Program of Action just adopted in Cairo offers us a plan 
that will work and that has the full support of the United States.   
(###). 
 
 

 
ARTICLE 3: 
 
Focus on Population And Development: The U.S. and the UN International 
Conference on Population and Development 
 
World leaders gathered in Cairo, Egypt, in September 1994 to address 
crucial problems facing humanity at the third decennial UN conference on 
population.  The International Conference on Population and Development 
(ICPD) presented a critical opportunity to develop a program of action 
to address problems that cause immeasurable human suffering in all parts 
of the world. 
 
Delegates to the ICPD agreed on a Program of Action that will help guide 
the population programs of the United Nations and national governments 
into the next century.  The Program of Action is not a binding treaty, 
but it will serve as a benchmark and standard toward which governments 
and agencies should strive. 
 
The U.S. Government fully participated in both the preparations for 
Cairo and the conference itself--and in articulating a new approach to 
population policy.  The new approach enjoys the support of a majority of 
the world's nations.  Grounded in a commitment to health, development, 
and empowerment, the new approach strengthens families and communities, 
promotes economic and social development, and affirms, in the words of 
the UN Charter, "the dignity and the worth of the human person."   
 
An Emerging Consensus 
 
The new international consensus on population policy is a recent 
development, but it has been decades in the making.  Since they were 
implemented on a broad scale in the 1960s, population and family 
planning programs have enabled millions of men and women to plan the 
size and spacing of their families.  In large part, these services have 
improved the lives of millions of people, but they have periodically 
drawn criticism for narrowly focusing on lowering birthrates and 
insufficiently addressing human rights, women's health, and cultural 
differences.  Previous UN conferences on population were marked by 
heated debates on how to address population growth and, indeed, whether 
population growth is a problem at all.   
 
At the World Population Conference in Bucharest in 1974, the U.S. and 
other industrialized countries advocated programs to slow growth rates, 
while the developing countries countered that "development is the best 
contraceptive."  By 1984, when the UN held its second conference on 
population in Mexico City, many positions were reversed.  The developing 
countries acknowledged the need for population programs, but the U.S. 
delegation pronounced population a "neutral factor" and scaled back 
family planning efforts worldwide.  During the 1992 earth summit in Rio 
de Janeiro, delegates vigorously debated the role of population in 
sustainable development. 
 
In welcome contrast, the Cairo conference was characterized by an 
extraordinary degree of international agreement.  The new consensus 
reflects, in part, the degree to which population professionals have 
responded to concerns voiced by women's groups and the citizens of 
developing countries.  It also is a product of improved understanding of 
the complex context in which decisions about childbearing are made.  
There is now broad agreement that development and family planning can 
work separately to slow population growth but that they work most 
effectively when pursued together.  There also is increasing recognition 
that population growth is part of a constellation of factors that can 
cause environmental degradation.  And it is widely acknowledged that 
family planning should be provided as part of broader primary and 
reproductive health initiatives, that population policy should encompass 
economic opportunity for women, and that legal and social barriers to 
gender equality should be eliminated. 
 
The preparatory process for the Cairo conference also benefited from a 
high level of citizen participation.  More than 1,200 representatives of 
citizens' groups attended the last preparatory meeting in New York and 
more than 2,000 attended the conference.  They played an important role 
in drafting conference documents.  Many of the representatives were 
women from diverse backgrounds and all regions of the world.  The U.S. 
delegation included 15 citizen representatives, including women's health 
experts, environmentalists, and population experts.   
 
The Administration actively sought the input of citizens and 
organizations in the development of its new policies.  State Department 
representatives participated in town meetings from coast to coast and 
conducted meetings encouraging participation in document drafting.  
Continuous outreach for input has been at the crux of U.S. preparations.  
The increased international involvement of citizen groups signals an 
important shift--from top-down imposition of "population control" 
measures to community-based programs that are crafted to respond to the 
needs of individuals and families.    
 
North-South Agreement  
 
At previous UN population conferences, the fault lines of debate tended 
to separate industrialized and developing countries.  The Cairo process, 
in contrast, has prompted far more cooperation between North and South.  
This may imply a greater understanding that political boundaries are 
porous--that modern-day plagues of environmental devastation and disease 
do not respect national borders and that increasing globalization has 
drawn more tightly the bonds that connect us.  The problems facing the 
human community--although they differ greatly in magnitude--are the same 
the world over.  We all aspire to have strong families, secure 
livelihoods, high-quality health care, and a healthy environment.  We 
share a concern about the world that our children will inherit and 
struggle to maintain our moral compass in a world that is rapidly 
changing. 
 
These shared concerns are each, in some way, enmeshed with the issue of 
population growth.  The size and rate of growth of the human population 
certainly affects the quality of public health, opportunities for 
employment, and the ability of families and societies to provide for 
their members.  But there are other, equally important factors:  the way 
resources are used and distributed and the economic, political, and 
social factors that moderate access to opportunity.  Participants in the 
Cairo conference addressed population growth not simply as a problem of 
numbers but as one of many factors that shape the human prospect.  The 
conference's guiding vision was stabilized population growth and 
sustainable development to meet the needs of current generations without 
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.  
Successfully realized, this goal will assure broad-based economic 
growth; protect the environment; and enhance human rights, health, and 
potential. 
 
The theme of the Cairo conference, "Choices and Responsibilities," 
encapsulated the new approach to population issues.  This emphasis 
reinforced the U.S. conviction that the decision to bear a child is a 
profoundly personal one and that men and women have the right to decide 
freely the number and spacing of their children.  With choice, however, 
comes responsibility.  The Cairo conference underscored the 
responsibilities of parents to their children, of men and women to each 
other, of governments to their citizens, of caregivers to their clients, 
and of current to future generations.  
 
A Program of Action 
 
Following is a broad outline of the Program of Action that was approved 
by consensus in Cairo.  The U.S. Government supports the programs and 
policies embodied in this document.  Therefore, the following also is a 
statement of U.S. population policy.  U.S. domestic policies in this 
area are identical to those it supports internationally.  
 
Principles.  The Program of Action is guided by a set of principles 
agreed to by 180 countries.  These call for full respect for religious 
diversity, critical values, and cultural backgrounds; international 
human rights standards; and national laws when implementing population 
and development programs.  They are based on the interrelationship 
between population and sustainable development. 
 
The Family.  Families are the basic unit of society.  They are the 
nurturers, caregivers, role models, and teachers who instill shared 
societal values.  Around the world, they also are challenged as never 
before.  The number of single-parent homes has soared to as many as one 
in three worldwide.  Families are sundered for many reasons--divorce, 
death, war, or migration in search of economic opportunity.  But the 
result is often the same:  Most single-parent families are headed by 
women, many are desperately poor, and children are denied the benefits 
of an intact family. 
 
The Cairo Program of Action seeks to preserve the integrity of families 
and help those that face special challenges, such as single-parent 
families and extended families caring for the elderly.  Improved health 
care and greater economic security, which are discussed in detail, are 
recommended to bolster the capacity of family members to sustain and 
care for each other.  The Program of Action asks governments to ensure 
that men shoulder their full share of responsibility as parents, for 
example, through the enforcement of child support laws.  Governments are 
urged to help increase the earning power of poor women, especially those 
with children, through training and self-help programs.  The Program of 
Action also calls for measures that enable parents to combine family 
responsibilities and labor-force participation.  An example of such 
policies is the Family and Medical Leave Act, signed into law by 
President Clinton in 1993, which guarantees that no worker will have to 
choose between keeping his or her job and caring for a new child or sick 
family member. 
 
Elderly men and women are valued members of the family.  In the 
developed countries, falling birth rates and medical advances have 
created a sharp increase in the number of elderly men and women.  By the 
year 2025, people over 60 years of age are expected to comprise nearly 
one-fourth of the population.  Sadly, the erosion of extended family 
networks has left many older men and women without adequate care and 
support.  The Cairo Program of Action seeks to repair frayed support 
networks by promoting the strengthening of social security systems and 
enhancing the ability of families to care for elderly members.  
 
Sustainable Development.  Despite the great technological advances of 
the last half-century, a global chasm of inequity still separates rich 
and poor.  While a billion of the world's people live in relative 
affluence, an- other billion exist on the knife-edge of survival; one 
person in five does not have enough to eat.  Despite decades of 
development efforts, the gap between rich and poor nations--and 
inequalities within nations--remains wide. 
 
In much of the developing world, poverty is both a cause and effect of 
population growth.  Mortality rates have fallen steeply due to public 
health advances, but fertility remains high, in part, because poor 
families rely on children for social and economic security.  A 
destructive synergism takes hold:  Rapid population growth perpetuates 
poverty by straining the ability of families and societies to support 
their members, and economic uncertainty, in turn, fosters rapid 
population growth. 
 
Among the greatest challenges we face as a global community is that of 
assuring secure livelihoods for the world's people.  This problem is 
acute in the developing countries, where the UN estimates that a half-
billion people currently are unemployed or underemployed.  To 
accommodate their growing populations, those countries must create 30 
million new jobs each year to maintain current employment levels.  Few 
consider it likely that the strained governments of the developing world 
can generate increases of that magnitude. 
 
At the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio in 
1992, world governments agreed to "Agenda 21"--a worldwide blueprint for 
sustainable development. The ICPD Program of Action reinforces many of 
the UNCED objectives, without rewriting Agenda 21.  The Program of 
Action recommends steps to both stabilize population growth and foster 
broad-based economic development.  It asks the international community 
to rethink trade policies to maximize job creation in the industrial, 
agricultural, and service sectors; to seek methods of reducing the debt 
burden on developing countries; and to promote development strategies 
that enhance the personal and economic potential of the world's poorest 
citizens through health care, education, and training.  For their part, 
developing country governments are urged to create and sustain 
democratic institutions, curtail corruption, and redirect domestic 
budget priorities to human resource development.   
 
Gender Equity.  Another inequitable divide separates boys and girls, men 
and women.  In many parts of the world, girls are fed less, given less 
medical care, withdrawn from school earlier, and forced into hard labor 
sooner than boys.  Women, who perform an estimated 60% of the world's 
work, own only 1% of the world's land and earn just 10% of the world's 
income.  This inequity exacts another toll in women's lives, health, and 
potential and is closely associated with high fertility.  Where they are 
denied education, secure livelihoods, and the full legal and social 
rights of citizenship, women depend on children as their only means of 
attaining status and security.  Efforts to increase women's self-
determination have been shown to improve the health and well- being of 
women and their children and to slow the pace of population growth.  For 
example, women with even a primary school education have fewer, 
healthier, and better-educated children and are far less likely to die 
in childbirth than their uneducated peers. 
 
Improving the status of women is a core objective of the Program of 
Action, which urges governments to close the gender gap in education and 
political life and to eliminate all forms of institutionalized 
discrimination against women, for example, in hiring practices, access 
to credit, and property-ownership laws.  It condemns the preferential 
treatment of boys and encourages affirmative measures to improve the 
health, nutritional status, and self-esteem of girls.  
 
Health.  In the past 50 years, global life expectancy has increased by 
nearly 20 years, and the risk of dying in the first year of life has 
fallen by almost two-thirds.  While these gains are significant and 
encouraging, they mask persistent disparities between rich and poor.  
Poor people worldwide--particularly women and children--sicken and die 
by the thousands from health problems that are readily preventable and 
curable. 
 
Every year, 500,000 women die of pregnancy-related causes.  The vast 
majority of those deaths take place in the developing world.  An African 
woman, for example, is 200 times more likely than a European woman to 
die in childbirth.  The infant mortality rate in the developing 
countries is six times higher and the child mortality rate is  seven 
times higher than in developed countries.  Disparities exist within 
countries as well.  In the U.S., infant mortality among whites is at 8 
per 1,000 births, while African-American infant mortality is at 18 per 
1,000--a rate higher than that in Cuba or Poland. 
 
Maternal and child mortality is closely associated with insufficient 
family planning services and reproductive health care.  At least 100 
million women in the developing world--one in six married women outside 
China--wish to avoid or postpone pregnancy but lack access to modern 
contraception.  Even where family planning and reproductive health 
services are available in developing countries, the quality of care is 
often poor.  When couples lack the ability to plan and space their 
pregnancies, high fertility takes a great toll on women's lives and 
health.  The leading causes of maternal deaths are postpartum 
hemorrhage--which is most common among poor women who have had several 
closely spaced pregnancies--and unsafe abor- tion.  Between 50 and 60 
million abortions are performed each year, nearly half of which are 
illegal and often unsafe. 
 
High fertility takes a toll in children's lives as well.  A child born 
less than two years after a previous birth is more likely to die before 
his or her fifth birthday.  Child mortality and high fertility form 
another destructive synergism:  Where infant and child mortality rates 
are high, parents tend to have more children in the hope that some will 
survive, yet high fertility results in an even greater number of infant 
and child deaths in the absence of necessary health services.   
 
The ominous advance of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases 
(STDs) poses another threat to global health.  The World Health 
Organization estimates that, in 1994 alone, approximately 2 million 
people will become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.  Women 
are the fastest-growing population of persons living with AIDS and HIV 
infection.  In some U.S. cities, AIDS already has become the leading 
cause of death among vulnerable groups of women, especially those 
between the ages of 15 and 45. 
 
The Cairo Program of Action recommends several measures to halt these 
pandemics of disease and death.  It calls for extending integrated 
primary, maternal, and child health services to all, and ensuring 
universal access to prenatal care, immunization coverage, and programs 
to combat malnutrition.  Such programs are urged to pay particular 
attention to the most vulnerable and under-served groups in the 
population and to remove barriers to access.  The Program of Action asks 
governments to develop multisectoral strategies to combat AIDS and other 
STDs, particularly through early diagnosis and treatment and public 
education campaigns stressing the importance of safe and responsible 
sexual behavior.   
 
Improved family planning and reproductive health services are a 
cornerstone of the Program of Action's recommendations to improve 
health.  The Program of Action asks governments to assess the extent of 
unmet need for family planning services and to provide universal access 
to the full range of safe contraception and reproductive health 
services.  It rejects the use of incentives, such as cash gifts to those 
who agree to use contraception, as well as disincentives, such as 
policies that punish families for having more than a certain number of 
children. 
 
The Program of Action does not promote abortion, but it does recognize 
the need to address unsafe abortions as a critical public health 
concern.  This issue also generated controversy at the conference, 
because although abortion is permitted under some circumstances in 173 
of 190 countries, national laws on abortion vary.  The Program of Action 
will be implemented by each country in accordance with national law and 
international human rights standards.  Nearly all countries at the 
conference agreed on reducing the need for abortion through the 
provision of safe and effective family planning services.  The Program 
of Action urges governments to consider including a commitment to 
women's health and well-being in their policies.  It supports women's 
access to quality health care services, including reliable information, 
counseling, and medical care to enable them to terminate their 
pregnancies in those cases allowed by law, as well as access to services 
to provide for the management of complications of unsafe abortions. 
 
Adolescents.  Adolescent sexual activity and fertility pose a special 
set of problems and challenges.  Adolescents often are directly or 
indirectly coerced into early sexual activity, either through forced 
marriage or the seemingly inexorable forces of peer pressure.  Although 
men and women are marrying later in many parts of the world, adolescent 
marriages are still common in some areas.  In Mali, for example, the 
average age for marriage is 16.  And in the U.S., one in five 15-year-
old girls has had sex at least once; the comparable figure for boys is 
two in five.  Many adolescents lack the emotional and cognitive maturity 
to enter into responsible sexual relationships.   
 
Whether it takes place within or outside marriage, early sexual activity 
risks the lives and well-being of young women and their children.  
Adolescent mothers are twice as likely to die in childbirth as mothers 
aged 20-24, and their babies are more than twice as likely to die in 
their first year of life.  Moreover, adolescent motherhood--particularly 
among the unmarried--can sharply limit a young woman's education and 
earning potential, as well as her children's horizons.  And sexually 
active adolescents risk exposure to deadly STDs, including increased 
incidence of AIDS among teenagers.  Among unmarried teens, STDs and 
unplanned pregnancies may reflect their lack of access to family 
planning and reproductive health services, which are often limited to 
married couples. 
 
These problems are expected to grow along with the burgeoning world 
population of adolescents which, by the year 2000, is expected to number 
1 billion.  Accordingly, the Program of Action offers several strategies 
to address sexual activity and fertility.  It asks governments to 
enforce laws governing the minimum age of consent and age at marriage.  
The Program of Action also recommends programs to curtail adolescent 
pregnancy by encouraging young teens to delay the initiation of sexual 
activity.  In addition to emphasizing the importance of interpersonal 
relationships and responsibilities of sexuality, the Program of Action 
advocates measures to ensure that adolescent girls have alternatives to 
early childbearing, such as educational and employment opportunities.  
Governments are asked to ensure that those teens who are sexually active 
have access to appropriate counseling, family planning, and reproductive 
health services.  The Program of Action recognizes that parents have a 
central role in teaching their adolescent children about moral and 
responsible behavior and recommends programs that support and strengthen 
that role.  
 
The Environment.  Our planet's thin layer of life is threatened as never 
before.  Ozone depletion, climate change, and species loss are all red 
alerts that we have strained the regenerative capacity of ecological 
systems.  These problems have deeply disturbing implications for future 
generations.  As the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal 
Society of London warned in 1992, "If current predictions of population 
growth prove accurate and patterns of human activity on the planet 
remain unchanged, science and technology may not be able to prevent 
either irreversible degradation of the environment or continued poverty 
for much of the world." 
 
Population growth per se is not a direct cause of environmental 
problems; the effect of any given population on the environment can be 
magnified or mitigated by patterns of resource consumption and 
technology.  The industrialized world has the most environmentally 
damaging habits and technology, and, therefore, contributes the lion's 
share to trends attributed to global environmental degradation.  
Estimates show that, with only 22% of the world's population, the 
developed countries use two-thirds of all resources consumed and 
generate 75% of all pollutants and wastes.  Many analysts believe that 
the earth cannot support all of its current--much less future--
inhabitants at contemporary developed-country levels of consumption.  A 
central challenge for the international community is, therefore, to 
craft a paradigm of development that meets human needs at lower 
environmental cost. 
 
The Program of Action emphasizes the role of unsustainable resource use 
as a cause of environmental problems and urges the development and 
sharing of environmentally sustainable technologies and practices.  It 
also calls for the integration of population dynamics into planning for 
sustainable development and asks governments to integrate women into 
matters of natural resource protection and management.    
 
Urbanization-Migration.  Whether from country to city or from one 
country to another, many people have traditionally moved in search of 
improved opportunities--a better job; better surroundings; a better 
quality of life.  In recent decades, millions have sought better lives 
by moving to urban areas, and cities have mushroomed.  The number of 
cities with populations of more than 1 million rose from 111 in 1960 to 
288 in 1990, more than two-thirds of which are in the developing world.  
Building capacity to provide housing, employment, and sanitation for 
growing urban populations is a major challenge for many countries.  To 
meet that challenge, the Program of Action promotes urban development 
that is both participatory and environmentally sustainable.  It also 
urges governments to provide services for migrants from rural areas, in 
order to improve their health and earning potential. 
 
Other migrants seek better lives across national boundaries.  
International migration encompasses two distinct phenomena:  the 
voluntary movements of people which are beneficial to both migrants and 
host countries, such as family reunification and legal labor migration; 
and what has been called "irregular" migration--those flows which are 
involuntary (refugees) or illegal (undocumented labor migration).  While 
reliable global statistics are hard to come by, it is safe to say that 
international migration is increasing.  Refugee flows, which take place 
mostly within and between developing countries, also have escalated in 
size and volatility in recent years.  Data linking population growth to 
migration outflows are inconclusive because it is difficult to isolate 
the role of population growth from other variables influencing 
migration.  But it is clear that the combined effects of rapid 
population growth, poverty, resource depletion, and human rights 
violations can fuel political unrest and drive population growth 
movements, particularly irregular migration, which can destabilize both 
sending and receiving countries.  
 
The Cairo Program of Action reflects a growing awareness that more must 
be done to address the root causes of irregular migration.  Stepped-up 
border control measures, while necessary, will not be sufficient to cope 
with illegal immigration; nations need to address the panoply of social 
and environmental problems that impel people to leave their homes.  
Governments are asked to take measures to improve the quality of life in 
migrant-sending countries by, for example, fostering employment, opening 
markets, promoting good governance, and preventing land degradation.  
The Program of Action also urges governments to adopt effective 
sanctions against those who profit from smuggling aliens and to 
safeguard the human rights of undocumented migrants.  The international 
community is asked to continue to protect refugees and asylees, to seek 
to reduce the pressures that fuel refugee movements, and to support 
international refugee assistance.   
 
Investments.  The Cairo Program of Action represents more than agreement 
in principle.  Both developed and developing countries have renewed 
their commitment to provide resources for family planning, health, and 
human development programs.  In the U.S., the President's budget request 
for family planning and reproductive health programs for fiscal year 
1995 is $585 million, an $83-million increase over the previous year.  
Additional resources also are needed for child health, education, and 
development programs.  Japan has agreed to spend $3 billion over seven 
years on a broad package that includes family planning, reproductive 
health, AIDS prevention, maternal and child health, and basic education-
-a tenfold increase over current spending.  Germany has indicated that 
it will significantly increase its current contribution, after doubling 
its investment over the past four years, and the European Union 
announced recently that its contributions will increase tenfold to $350 
mil- lion by the year 2000.  Australia and the United Kingdom also are 
reported to be planning significant increases.  Developing countries, 
which provide at least two-thirds of the financing for population 
programs, will foster local partnerships with non-governmental 
organizations to make optimal use of those resources.   
 
Conclusion 
 
The International Conference on Population and Development is a crucial 
milestone on our long journey toward population stabilization and 
sustainable development.  The challenges before the global community are 
great, but we are compelled to act by moral imperatives to alleviate 
human suffering and to safeguard our collective future. 
 
There are many sound reasons for hope.  For all the difficulties we 
face, we can still say that in the last 50 years we have made more 
progress in alleviating human misery than in the previous two millennia.  
Life expectancy in the developing countries grew by one-third, death 
rates for infants and children were cut in half, and real incomes more 
than doubled.  If we could do all that while burdened with the political 
and economic costs of the Cold War, how much greater should be the goals 
we set for ourselves now? 
 
The Cairo conference provided an unparalleled opportunity to define 
those goals, and the Program of Action approved at the conference 
provides a firm basis for action in support of those goals.  The Clinton 
Administration intends to carry on the leadership role evidenced in 
Cairo in support of the programs and policies of the Program of Action.  
(###). 
 
 

 
ARTICLE 4: 
 
Fact Sheet:  UN Conferences on Socioeconomic Issues 
 
Since 1990, a series of UN conferences has focused the UN system on 
pragmatic strategies to address development problems.  These conferences 
demonstrate the links among development and population, environment, 
poverty, universal basic education, and gender equity and the need to 
address them in terms of sustainability. 
 
The first such meeting was the Education Conference in Jomtien, 
Thailand, in March 1990; followed by the Children's Summit in New York 
City in September 1990; the UN Conference on the Environment and 
Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,  in June 1992; the Human Rights 
Conference in Vienna, Austria, in June 1993; and the International 
Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt, in September 
1994. 
 
The next two conferences will be the World Summit for Social Development 
in Copenhagen, Denmark, March 1995 and the Fourth World Conference on 
Women in Beijing, China, September 1995. 
 
International Conference On Population and Development 
 
The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) took 
place in Cairo, Egypt, on September 5-13, 1994.  A forum for non- 
governmental organizations also took place in parallel with the 
conference.  With the world's population at 5.7 billion--and expected to 
increase at a rate of nearly 1 billion per decade--this conference 
occurred at a critical time for global commitment to population 
stabilization.  Preparations for the conference and the conference 
itself increased global awareness of population and development issues.   
 
The United States supported the ICPD's objective to establish a program 
of action for the next two decades.  Global consensus was achieved on 
the following key objectives: 
 
--  Establishing a long-term goal of stabilizing population growth 
levels consistent with sustainable development; 
 
--  Establishing an international partnership for sustainable 
development that recognizes the responsibility of the North to address 
wasteful resource use in conjunction with the South's addressing high 
rates of population growth; 
 
--  Developing a comprehensive approach for national efforts and 
international assistance programs that includes: 
  
--Addressing the unmet need and demand for family planning and 
reproductive health services;  
 
--Strategies for preventing HIV/AIDS infection;  
 
--Child survival and women's health needs;  
 
--The need to advance the rights and economic, political, and social 
roles of women;  
 
--Improving the education of girls and women; and  
 
--Increasing male responsibility in family planning and child rearing. 
 
--  Mobilizing institutional capability and financial resources 
necessary to implement the above goals. 
 
World Summit for Social Development 
 
The World Summit for Social Development will be held March 11-12, 1995, 
at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, with pre-summit meetings March 6-10, 
1995.  UN General Assembly Resolution 47/92 and the summit's Preparatory 
Committee identify the summit's three core issues as: 
 
--  Reduction and elimination of widespread poverty; 
 
--  Expansion of productive employment and reduction of unemployment; 
and 
 
--  Enhancement of social integration. 
 
The summit will provide a forum to underscore the transboundary nature 
of many of the social problems facing countries today, and to integrate 
the multiple commitments of previous UN meetings into a coherent 
framework. The United States will work toward achieving global consensus 
in summit documents that focus on specific objectives with cross-
sectoral impact such as: 
 
--  Emphasizing that good governance and democratic structures that 
foster broad-based grass-roots participation are fundamental to social 
development; 
 
--  Taking specific steps to attain full equality between women and men; 
 
--  Entering into a global compact to eliminate severe malnutrition and 
ensure universal access to primary health care, safe water and 
sanitation, primary education, and voluntary family planning and 
reproductive health services by early in the next century; and 
 
--  Renewing global commitments to protect and promote human rights, end 
all forms of discrimination, and promote the full participation in 
society of all individuals, especially minorities, women, and people 
with disabilities. 
 
Fourth World Conference On Women 
 
The Fourth World Conference on Women will be held in Beijing, China, 
September 4-15, 1995, at the Beijing International Conference Center.  
The conference will produce a platform for action document and agreement 
on the means to implement it.  The platform is intended to accelerate 
the implementation of the document adopted at the 1985 Nairobi World 
Conference.  A parallel forum for NGOs will be held at the Beijing 
Workers' Sports Service Center from August 30 to September 8, 1995. 
 
The United States will work to ensure that the platform reflects the 
concerns and priorities of its citizens and is a concise, action-
oriented document.  The Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor and 
the Department of State are jointly convening 10 regional meetings 
within the United States in 1994 to discuss topics related to the draft 
platform.  Some of these topics include: 
 
--  Women in leadership positions; 
--  Knowing and exercising legal rights; 
--  Overcoming poverty among women; and 
--  Education and training for  women and girls.  
(###). 
 
 

 
ARTICLE 5: 
 
Fact Sheet:  Global Environmental Issues 
 
The environmental challenges confronting the world today are greater 
than at any time in recent history.  Threats to the global environment--
such as climate change, increasing population growth, stratospheric 
ozone depletion, and the loss of biological diversity and forests--
affect all nations, regardless of their level of development.  As a 
result, the environment is becoming an increasingly important part of 
the foreign policy agenda.  The U.S. accords high priority to addressing 
global environmental problems and is pursuing a wide-ranging agenda of 
action to protect the environment and promote the goal of sustainable 
development. 
 
Global Climate Change 
 
The possibility that human activities may cause climate change is one of 
the most serious international environmental concerns.  The U.S. has 
been a leader in the effort to respond to this threat.  Negotiations on 
a Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), which began near 
Washington, DC, in early 1991, culminated in an agreement that received 
more than  150 signatures at the UN Conference on Environment and 
Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992.  The convention 
entered into force on March 21, 1994. 
 
The climate change convention establishes an effective process for 
dealing with this global issue.  Industrialized countries are developing 
specific action plans to limit their emissions of greenhouse gases and 
enhance forests and other greenhouse gas "sinks."  Other countries are 
to take similar actions in the future.  In April 1993, President Clinton 
announced that the U.S. intends to return its greenhouse gas emissions 
to their 1990 levels by the year 2000. 
 
In October 1993, the President presented a National Climate Change 
Action Plan, containing nearly 50 domestic measures designed to meet 
this U.S. commitment.  In addition, it includes a U.S. initiative on 
joint implementation to promote cooperation between countries on 
projects that will reduce or sequester greenhouse gas emissions.  This 
initiative can serve as  a model for an international joint 
implementation regime.  By September 1994, the U.S. will make its 
national submission under the climate change convention detailing the 
actions it is taking in all areas to address the threat of global 
climate change. 
 
To assist developing countries and countries with economies in 
transition to market economies in establishing analytical foundations 
for addressing the threat of climate change, the U.S. offered $25 
million in financial support and technical assistance for country 
studies in fiscal years 1993 and 1994.  Eligible efforts included 
inventories of greenhouse gas emissions, vulnerability studies, and 
analyses of options to address vulnerabilities and reduce greenhouse gas 
emissions.  The U.S. is working with more than 50 countries on such 
studies.   
 
All Group of Seven (G-7) countries agree that the FCCC does not 
adequately address the post-2000 era.  The U.S. urges that suitable 
measures for next steps be proposed and discussed at the upcoming 
preparatory session in February 1995.  The first Conference of Parties 
to the convention is scheduled to take place in late March 1995 in 
Berlin, Germany. 
 
Protection of the Ozone Layer 
 
There is scientific consensus that the depletion of the ozone layer 
continues to be a serious problem.  The U.S. has led efforts to address 
this threat to the atmosphere, beginning with a decision in 1978 to ban 
the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in nonessential aerosols.  Because 
protection of the ozone layer is possible only with participation by all 
countries, the U.S. urged the conclusion of an agreement to restrict the 
use of CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances. 
 
This effort led to a succession of landmark international agreements 
since 1985 designed to protect the ozone layer, including the 1985 
Vienna Convention and the 1987 Montreal Protocol.  Based on an amendment 
under which countries will completely phase out the production of CFCs 
and most other ozone-depleting substances by the end of 1996, President 
Clinton announced in April 1993 that the U.S. will reach the phase-out 
target for most substances by the end of 1994. 
 
UNCED and the Commission On Sustainable Development 
 
UNCED was a landmark event in addressing the global environment.  Unlike 
other environmental conferences, UNCED focused on "sustainable 
development," i.e., economic growth that takes into account 
environmental concerns.  UNCED resulted in adoption of three key 
documents: 
 
--  Agenda 21, an action program to guide national and international 
environmental and development efforts into the 21st century; 
 
--  The Rio Declaration, a statement of principles regarding the 
environment and development;  and 
 
--  A statement of principles for the conservation and sustainable use 
of forests worldwide. 
 
Based on UNCED recommendation, the UN established the Commis- sion on 
Sustainable Development (CSD) to monitor implementation of Agenda 21 
recommendations.  The U.S. strongly supports the CSD as a primary 
international body for promoting sustainable development world- wide.  
The CSD, which last met in May 1994, will continue to meet annually to 
pursue follow-up to the Rio Conference.  At the May 1994 meeting, the 
CSD discussed the role of official development assistance in 
implementing Agenda 21 goals and ways in which UN system support for 
Agenda 21 could be made more effective. 
 
The U.S. is working domestically to implement the recommendations made 
at the Rio Conference.  On June 14, 1993, President Clinton announced 
the formation of the President's Council on Sustainable Development 
(PSCD), which will develop specific policy recommendations for a 
national strategy for sustainable development that can be implemented by 
the public and private sectors.  The PSCD represents a ground-breaking 
commitment to explore and develop policies that encourage economic 
growth, job creation, and effective use of our natural resources. 
 
In addition to the treaties on biodiversity and climate change, UNCED 
also endorsed the Convention to Combat Desertification, particularly in 
Africa.  Negotiation of this new treaty in the "Rio Family" was 
completed in Paris on June 18, 1994. 
 
Conservation of Biological Diversity 
 
The U.S. is party to a large number of bilateral and multilateral 
agreements designed to protect endangered species and ensure wildlife 
conservation.  One of the most important is the Convention on 
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 
(CITES), which enables the 122 CITES signatories to monitor and control 
international trade in wild species.  CITES was crucial in efforts by 
the U.S. and other countries to protect the African elephant by banning 
trade in elephant ivory, and it is now involved in efforts to protect 
the rhinoceros and tiger.  The ninth CITES Conference of Parties will be 
held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on November 7-18, 1994. 
 
While CITES has been effective in protecting species that are threatened 
as a direct result of international trade, the main cause of species 
loss is habitat destruction.  The U.S. seeks to address this issue 
through a variety of means, such as increased funding for forest 
conservation programs, the establishment of protected areas under the 
World Heritage Convention and other agreements, and the Ramsar Treaty on 
International Wetlands.  The U.S. Agency for International Development 
currently provides more than $160 million a year in assistance for 
tropical forestry and biological diversity programs. 
 
On June 4, 1993, the U.S. signed the UN Convention on Biological 
Diversity, which establishes a framework for countries to work together 
to protect the earth's species.  The treaty is now before the U.S. 
Senate for ratification.  The U.S. believes that the convention presents 
a unique opportunity for nations not only to conserve the world's 
biological diversity but also to realize economic benefits from the 
conservation and sustainable use of its genetic resources. 
 
Population and Environment 
 
During the 1990s, the increase in the size of the world's population 
will be greater than ever, with annual increases between 90 and 100 
million.  Unaddressed, global population will almost certainly double 
and could triple before the end of the next century.  The implications 
of such growth for global economic, political, social, and environmental 
security are profound. 
 
The third UN International Conference on Population and Development 
convened in Cairo, Egypt, September 5-13, 1994.  The Cairo conference 
provided a once-in-a-decade opportunity to marshal resources behind a 
global comprehensive effort   to stem rapid population growth.  The U.S. 
worked with its international partners to develop comprehensive programs 
which include addressing the unmet need and demand for family planning 
and reproductive health services; developing strategies for improving 
women's health needs and improving child survival; improving the social, 
economic, and political status of women; and mobilizing institutional 
and financial resources to meet these goals.  All these initiatives 
influence population growth and are most effective when pursued 
together; efforts in this regard will continue.  
 
Financing Environmental Protection 
 
The U.S. supports effective use of resources and institutions to promote 
sustainable development and environmental protection.  It has been a 
leader among bilateral donors in supporting environmental programs 
abroad and ensuring that environmental considerations are taken into 
account in assistance programs.  The U.S. foreign assistance budget 
gives priority emphasis to sustainable development, including programs 
for reducing natural resource degradation, reducing greenhouse gas 
emissions, and supporting biological diversity, among other areas. 
 
Multilateral institutions remain essential to efforts to promote 
economic reforms and development in a rapidly changing world; they also 
are important instruments to promote sustainable development and 
environmental protection.  The U.S. works to ensure that the 
multilateral development banks take environmental considerations into 
account in all their lending programs.  It also strongly supported 
creation of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), which helps fund 
projects that provide global environmental benefits, such as those 
related to climate change, ozone-layer depletion, biodiversity 
conservation, and protection of international waters. 
 
Marine Conservation and Pollution 
 
The world's oceans face a number of threats as a result of human 
activities such as unsustainable resource use and pollution.  The U.S. 
has played an active role in ocean conservation, from efforts in the 
early 1980s to protect whales to a UN-sponsored moratorium in 1992 on 
the destructive practice of driftnet fishing.  Work also is underway to 
ensure that fishing practices by tuna and shrimp fleets minimize impacts 
on dolphin and sea turtle populations. 
 
The U.S. has been a major proponent of two major international 
agreements to address marine pollution:  the Convention for the 
Prevention of Pollution from Ships, which regulates discharges of 
harmful substances during the normal operation of ships at sea;  and the 
London Convention, which bans the ocean disposal of a number of wastes 
and lists others that may be disposed of only with special care. 
 
Because pollution from land-based sources presents the most serious 
threat to the marine environment, the U.S promotes efforts to address 
this concern.  Delegates to UNCED adopted a U.S. proposal calling for an 
intergovernmental conference to consider effective ways for dealing with 
these land-based sources.  This important conference will be hosted by 
the United States in Washington, DC, in 1995. 
(###). 
 
 
[END OF DISPATCH SUPPLEMENT VOL 5, N0 8]

To the top of this page


Index of Dispatch Magazine Archives 1994 Issues|| Index of Dispatch Magazine Archives|| Index of "Briefings and Statements"
Index of Electronic Research Collections ERC Reference Desk || Alphabetic Index || Sitemap || ERC Homepage
Last modified: Jun. 8, 1999