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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 (Habitat II).

16.5. The implementation of the goals, objectives and actions of the present Programme of Action will in many instances require additional resources.

Objective

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.

Actions

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 offollow-up actions.

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 of Action.

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.

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