Unreasonable common objectives? : examining national behavior after Cairo 1994
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AbstractThe International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), also known as the Cairo-conference, was held in September 1994, and is considered to be a turning point in the international debate on population issues. This is not only because one for the first time clearly related population to sustainable development and made actual recommendations in this field, but more important, because of the priority given to a more rights-based strategy which focuses on individual reproductive choice at the expense of achieving demographic targets. The Programme of Action from Cairo covers more than 115 pages of recommendations as to the actions that the 180 signatory countries should take, as well as the results to be achieved before 2015. The Programme of Action is focused on the areas of education; population; the environment and consumption patterns; the family; internal and international migration; prevention and control of the HIV/AIDS pandemic; information, communication, technology, and research. The aim of this dissertation is to discuss whether or not it could be expected that all signatory countries could achieve the progress foreseen by the PoA, regardless of their point of departure and amount of domestic resources allocated for the purpose. This is done by firstly looking into how a selection of developing countries have understood and acted upon the endorsement of the Cairo Programme of Action through policies, programs and financing, and the outcome of the initiatives taken. Particular emphasis is put on examining five major possible constraints that could generally limit the achievement of ICPD-goals, and thereby try to explain the lack of progress in some countries, and the success in others. Throughout the analysis, I use a comparative research design based on multiple-case studies of four different countries. Case studies on Bangladesh, Brazil, India, and Nigeria form the basis for discussion. The selection of these countries has been made to ensure a broad regional representation, and to cover variations in demographic, social and economic conditions as well as national population policies chosen. Conclusions: The evaluations of national behavior after the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo 1994, show that there are several important limitations affecting the implementation of the recommendations and goals stated in the Programme of Action. The dissertation also shows that it is vital that the necessary amount of financial resources is being provided, if the intended outcome is to be achieved. For most countries, this is not the case today. The dissertation also shows that it is important that the recommendations given in the PoA and within national population policies are clear and consistent, and that national population policies and programs are conducted in such a way that both target groups, NGOs, and implementation officials, understand and support these. The political stability seems also to affect implementation processes worldwide. Only when these limitations are considered and addressed, can objectives like those foreseen by the Programme of Action, be reasonable and achievable for all.
Vik, Vedis. Unreasonable common objectives?. Hovedoppgave, University of Oslo, 1999
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