Population Summit; June 1994; Scientific American Magazine; by Holloway; 2 Page(s)
This fall in Cairo the United Nations will hold its once-a-decade conference on population. And if the third and final preparatory meeting held in April at U.N. headquarters is any indication, the plan the conferees will consider could differ radically from its predecessors. Women in the hundreds--and in the cloth and color of every culture--took over the halls of the U.N., shaping, with unprecedented force, the so-called plan of action that will emerge from the Cairo meeting in September. This document will provide a framework for the next 10 years of U.N. population programs. The Cairo meeting will presumably ratify it, and governments will pledge funding.
The Cairo text covers many of the same issues as did the 1974 Bucharest and 1984 Mexico City plans. The targets include stabilizing the world's population, currently 5.7 billion people, at 7.8 billion by 2050, instead of the projected 12. 5 billion. Providing family-planning services to the 350 million couples who want but cannot obtain them continues to be a crucial goal as well.