Chapter II: Principles
The implementation of the recommendations contained in the Programme of Action
is the sovereign right of each country, consistent with national laws and development
priorities, with fullrespect for the various religious and ethical values and
cultural backgrounds of its people, and in conformity with universally recognized
international human rights.
International cooperation and universal solidarity, guided by the principles
of the Charter of the United Nations, and in a spirit of partnership, are crucial
in order to improve the qualityof life of the peoples of the world.
In addressing the mandate of the International Conference on Population and
Development and its overall theme, the interrelationships between population,
sustained economic growth and sustainable development, and in their deliberations,
the participants were and will continue to be guided by the following set of principles:
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Everyone is
entitled to all the rights and freedoms setforth in the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex,
language,religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin,property,
birth or other status. Everyone has the right to life,liberty and security of
Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They
are entitled to a healthy and productive life inharmony with nature. People
are the most important and valuable resource of any nation. Countries should
ensure that all individuals are given the opportunity to make the most of their potential.
They have the right to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their
families, including adequate food,clothing, housing, water and sanitation.
The right to development is a universal and inalienable right and an integral
part of fundamental human rights, and the human person is the central subject
of development. While development facilitates the enjoyment of all human rights,
the lack of development may not be invoked to justify the abridgement of internationally
recognized human rights. The right to development must be fulfilled so as to
equitably meet the population,development and environment needs of present and
Advancing gender equality and equity and the empowerment of women, and the
elimination of all kinds of violence against women,and ensuring women's ability
to control their own fertility, are cornerstones of population and development-
related programmes. The human rights of women and the girl child are an inalienable,integral
and indivisible part of universal human rights. The full and equal participation
of women in civil, cultural, economic,political and social life, at the national,
regional and international levels, and the eradication of all forms of discrimination
on grounds of sex, are priority objectives of the international community.
Population-related goals and policies are integral parts of cultural, economic
and social development, the principal aim of which is to improve the quality
of life of all people.
Sustainable development as a means to ensure human well-being,equitably shared
by all people today and in the future, requires that the interrelationships between
population, resources, the environment and development should be fully recognized,
properly managed and brought into harmonious, dynamic balance. To achieve sustainable
development and a higher quality of life for all people, States should reduce
and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and promote
appropriate policies,including population-related policies, in order to meet
the needsof current generations without compromising the ability of future generations
to meet their own needs.
All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of eradicating
poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, in order
to decrease the disparities instandards of living and better meet the needs
of the majority of the people of the world. The special situation and needs of developing
countries, particularly the least developed, shall begiven special priority.
Countries with economies in transition, as well as all other countries, need
to be fully integrated into the world economy.
Everyone has the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard
of physical and mental health. States should take all appropriate measures to
ensure, on a basis of equality ofmen and women, universal access to health-care
services, including those related to reproductive health care, which includes
familyplanning and sexual health. Reproductive health-care programmes should
provide the widest range of services without any form of coercion. All couples
and individuals have the basic right to decide freely and responsibly the number
and spacing of theirchildren and to have the information, education and means
to do so.
The family is the basic unit of society and as such should bestrengthened.
It is entitled to receive comprehensive protection and support. In different
cultural, political and social systems,various forms of the family exist. Marriage
must be entered intowith the free consent of the intending spouses, and husband
andwife should be equal partners.
Everyone has the right to education, which shall be directed to the full development
of human resources, and human dignity and potential, with particular attention
to women and the girl child. Education should be designed to strengthen respect
for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including those relating to population and
development. The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of
those responsible for his or her education and guidance; that responsibility
lies in the first place with the parents.
All States and families should give the highest possible priority to children.
The child has the right to standards of living adequate for its well-being and
the right to the highest attainable standards of health, and the right to education.
The child has the right to be cared for, guided and supported by parents, families
and society and to be protected by appropriate legislative, administrative, social
and educational measures from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury
or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sale,
trafficking, sexual abuse, and trafficking in its organs.
Countries receiving documented migrants should provide proper treatment and
adequate social welfare services for them and their families, and should ensure
their physical safety and security,bearing in mind the special circumstances
and needs of countries,in particular developing countries, attempting to meet
these objectives or requirements with regard to undocumented migrants, inconformity
with the provisions of relevant conventions and international instruments and
documents. Countries should guarantee to all migrants all basic human rights
as included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from
persecution. States have responsibilities with respect to refugees as set forth
in the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.
In considering the population and development needs of indigenous people, States
should recognize and support their identity, culture and interests, and enable
them to participate fully in the economic, political and social life of the country,particularly
where their health, education and well-being are affected.
Sustained economic growth, in the context of sustainable development, and social
progress require that growth be broadly based, offering equal opportunities to
all people. All countries should recognize their common but differentiated responsibilities.
The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the
international pursuit of sustainable development, and should continue to improve
their efforts to promote sustained economic growth and to narrow imbalances in
a manner that can benefit all countries, particularly the developing countries.