Carrying on from Cairo
In 1994, the International Conference on Population and Development demanded “reproductive health for all by 2015” in its programme of action. Padmasayee Papineni finds out if the programme is on course to achieve its aim
Over the last seventy years the global population has tripled, from 2 billion to 6.1 billion, and it continues to grow by about 77 million people a year.1 The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo marked an era of increasing sensitivity to the issues surrounding population growth--it extended national and international population policies beyond their demographic focus to encompass the broader issues of reproductive health and rights. The ICPD programme of action that was signed by 179 countries proclaimed “reproductive health for all by 2015.” But 10 years after Cairo, has the enthusiasm generated by the ICPD translated into any real change in terms of access to services and protection of rights?
In the 1960s international debates about population and health were dominated by birth control. In a speech to the United Nations, US president Lyndon Baines Johnson declared: “Let us act on the fact that