Chapter XVI: Follow-up to the conference - A. Activities at the national level
Basis for action
16.1. The significance of the International Conference on Population and Development
will depend on the willingness of Governments, local communities, the non-governmental
sector, the international community and all other concerned organizations and individuals
to turn the recommendations of the Conference into action. This commitment will
be of particular importance at the national and individual levels. Such a willingness
to truly integrate population concerns into all aspects of economic and social
activity and their interrelationships will greatly assist in the achievement
of an improved quality of life for all individuals as well as for future generations.
All efforts must be pursued towards sustained economic growth within the context
of sustainable development.
16.2. The extensive and varied preparatory processes at the international,
regional, subregional, national and local levels have constituted an important
contribution to the formulation of the present Programme of Action. Considerable
institutional development has taken place in many countries in order to steer
thenational preparatory process; greater awareness of population issues has been
fostered through public information and education campaigns, and national reports
have been prepared for the Conference. The great majority of countries participating
in the Conference responded to an invitation to prepare comprehensive national
population reports. The complementarity of those reports to others commissioned
by recent international conferences and initiatives relating to environmental,
economic and social development is noteworthy and encouraging. The importance
of building on these activities in the follow-up to the Conference is fully acknowledged.
16.3. The main functions related to Conference follow-up include policy guidance,
including building strong political support at all levels for population and
development; resource mobilization; coordination and mutual accountability of
efforts to implement the Programme of Action; problem solving and sharing of
experience within and between countries; and monitoring and reporting of progress
in the implementation of the Programme of Action. Each of these functions requires
concerted and coordinated follow-up at the national and international levels,
and must fully involve all relevant individuals and organizations, including
non-governmental and community-based organizations. Implementation, monitoring
and evaluation of the Programme of Action at all levels should be conducted in
a manner consistent with its principles and objectives.
16.4. The implementation of the present Programme of Action at all levels must
be viewed as part of an integrated follow-up effort to major international conferences,
including the present Conference, the World Conference on Health for All, the
World Conference on Education for All, the World Summit for Children, the United Nations
Conference on the Least Developed Countries, the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development, the International Conference on Nutrition, the World
Conference on Human Rights, the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of
Small Island Developing States, the World Summit for Social Development, the
Fourth World Conference on Women and the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements
16.5. The implementation of the goals, objectives and actions of the present
Programme of Action will in many instances require additional resources.
16.6. The objective is to encourage and enable countries to fullyand effectively
implement the Programme of Action, through appropriate and relevant policies
and programmes at the national level.
16.7. Governments should: (a) commit themselves at the highest political level
to achieving the goals and objectives contained in the present Programme of Action
and (b) take a lead role in coordinating the implementation, monitoring and evaluation
16.8. Governments, organizations of the United Nations system andmajor groups,
in particular non-governmental organizations, should give the widest possible
dissemination to the Programme of Action and should seek public support for the
goals, objectives and actions of the Programme of Action. This may involve follow-upmeetings,
publications and audio-visual aids and both print and electronic media.
16.9. All countries should consider their current spending priorities with
a view to making additional contributions for the implementation of the Programme
of Action, taking into account the provisions of chapters XIII and XIV and the
economic constraints faced by developing countries.
16.10. All countries should establish appropriate national follow-up, accountability
and monitoring mechanisms in partnership with non-governmental organizations,
community groups and representatives of the media and the academic community,
as well as with the support of parliamentarians.
16.11. The international community should assist interested Governments in
organizing appropriate national-level follow-up, including national capacity-building
for project formulation and programme management, as well as strengthening of
coordination and evaluation mechanisms to assess the implementation of the presentProgramme
16.12. Governments, with the assistance of the international community, where
necessary, should as soon as possible set up or enhance national databases to
provide baseline data and information that can be used to measure or assess progress
towards the achievement of the goals and objectives of the present Programme
ofAction and other related international documents, commitments andagreements.
For the purpose of assessing progress, all countries should regularly assess
their progress towards achieving the objectives and goals of the Programme of
Action and other related commitments and agreements and report, on a periodic
basis, in collaboration with non-governmental organizations and communitygroups.
16.13. In the preparation of those assessments and reports,Governments should
outline successes achieved, as well as problems and obstacles encountered. Where
possible, such national reports should be compatible with the national sustainable
development plans that countries will prepare in the context of theimplementation
of Agenda 21. Efforts should also be made to devise an appropriate consolidated
reporting system, taking into account all relevant United Nations conferences
having national reporting requirements in related fields.