Programme of action of the Internatíonal conference on population and development - Chapter XV:* Partnership with the non-governmental sector - B. The private sector

Basis for action

15.13. The private, profit-oriented sector plays an important role in social and economic development, including production and delivery of reproductive health-care services and commodities, appropriate education and information relevant to population and development programmes. In a growing number of countries, theprivate sector has or is developing the financial, managerial and technological capacity to carry out an array of population and development activities in a cost-efficient and effective manner. This experience has laid the groundwork for useful partnershipswhich the private sector can further develop and expand. Private-sector involvement may assist or supplement but must not mitigate the responsibility of Governments to provide full, safe and accessible reproductive health services to all people. The private sector must also ensure that all population and development programmes, with full respect for the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of each country's people, adhere to basic rights recognized by the international community and recalled in the present Programme of Action.

15.14. Another aspect of the private sector's role is its importance as a partner for economic growth and sustainable development. Through its actions and attitudes, the private sectorcan make a decisive impact on the quality of life of its employees and often on large segments of society and their attitudes. Experience gained from these programmes is useful to Governmentsand non-governmental organizations alike in their ongoing effortsto find innovative ways of effectively involving the private sector in population and development programmes. A growing consciousness of corporate responsibilities increasingly is leading private-sector decision makers to search for new ways in which for-profit entities can constructively work with Governments and non-governmental organizations on population and sustainable development issues. By acknowledging the contribution of the private sector, and by seeking more programme areas for mutually beneficial cooperation, Governments and non-governmental organizations alike may strengthen the efficiency of their population and development activities.


15.15. The objectives are:

  1. To strengthen the partnership between Governments, international organizations and the private sector in identifying new areas of cooperation;
  2. To promote the role of the private sector in service delivery and in the production and distribution, within each region of the world, of high- quality reproductive health and family-planning commodities and contraceptives, which are accessible and affordable to low-income sectors of the population.


15.16. Governments and non-governmental and international organizations should intensify their cooperation with the private, for-profit sector in matters pertaining to population and sustainable development in order to strengthen the contribution ofthat sector in the implementation of population and development programmes, including the production and delivery of quality contraceptive commodities and services with appropriate information and education, in a socially responsible, culturally sensitive, acceptable and cost-effective manner.

15.17. Non-profit and profit-oriented organizations and their networks should develop mechanisms whereby they can exchange ideasand experiences in the population and development fields with aview to sharing innovative approaches and research and developmentinitiatives. The dissemination of information and research shouldbe a priority.

15.18. Governments are strongly encouraged to set standards forservice delivery and review legal, regulatory and import policies to identify and eliminate those policies that unnecessarily prevent or restrict the greater involvement of the private sector inefficient production of commodities for reproductive health, including family planning, and in service delivery. Governments, taking into account cultural and social differences, should strongly encourage the private sector to meet its responsibilities regarding consumer information dissemination.

15.19. The profit-oriented sector should consider how it might better assist non-profit non-governmental organizations to play a wider role in society through the enhancement or creation of suitable mechanisms to channel financial and other appropriate support to non-governmental organizations and their associations.

15.20. Private-sector employers should continue to devise and implement special programmes that help meet their employees' needs for information, education and reproductive health services, and accommodate their employees' needs to combine work and family responsibilities. Organized health-care providers and health insurers should also continue to include family planning and reproductive health services in the package of health benefits they provide.

* The Holy See expressed a general reservation on this chapter. The reservation is to be interpreted in terms of the statement made by the representative of the Holy See at the 14th plenary meeting, on 13 September 1994.

© 2001 by Ulrich Schmitthenner • Bildschirm-Version