More from UN DESA

Volume 28 | No.4 | April 2024

Peoples’ lives are improving, but greater efforts still needed to ensure no one is left behind

Human life expectancy has improved across many parts of the world, according to recent data. Great strides have also been made in lowering fertility rates among young people and in reducing poverty globally. Many regions of the world have also seen improved access to, and reduced gender gaps in, education, health services, including sexual and reproductive health services and living conditions. 

These are some examples of how the Cairo Programme of Action, adopted 30 years ago at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), has helped improve lives. 

But we also know that these successes have been very uneven, with millions of people still waiting for the promise of the ICPD to be fulfilled. They expect us to do more to meet women’s demand for family planning, to engage women and girls as agents of change, and to help societies benefit from population ageing. 

The rising number of migrants and refugees globally also requires enhanced collaboration, while the devastating effects of climate change and ongoing conflicts demand renewed commitments and action.  

What are some of the key topics addressed at the upcoming Commission on Population and Development?

This year’s session will focus on actions to advance and realize the ICPD Programme of Action at the global, regional and national levels. Stakeholders will seek to connect the realization of the ICPD Programme of Action, with efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the ambitions of the Summit of the Future. Three reports of the UN Secretary-General, as well as three high-level expert panels convened during the session, will inform these deliberations.  

What special events are being planned to commemorate the ICPD Anniversary?

The opening session of the Commission on Monday, 29 April, is expected to feature the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms. Amina Mohammed, UN DESA Under-Secretary-General Mr. Li Junhua, and Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

To commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of ICPD, the President of the General Assembly will convene an informal plenary meeting of the General Assembly on Monday, 29 April from 3 to 6 p.m. The event will celebrate achievements and acknowledge shortcomings in implementing the ICPD Programme of Action, while also identifying emerging issues and future challenges. The event will also offer an opportunity to highlight promising partnerships.

More information on the 57th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), including all special events and side-events, can be found here:

Photo credit: World Bank/Kelley Lynch