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Japan Meeting on Population 20 Jan 1994

THE EARTH TIMES

JANUARY 20, 1994

Population experts gathering in Tokyo

Japan’s Prime Minister expected to discuss Cairo Conference

By Ashali Varma

TOKYO-A meeting of experts on population and development will be held on Jan.

26-27 at the United Nations University (UNU) here. Sponsored by UNU, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Tokyo meeting is a result of a  commitment made by Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa of Japan at the 48th session of the .General Assembly at the United National last year.

The meeting is expected to highlight issues that will figure at the International  Conference on Population and Development, scheduled to be held this September in Cairo.

“Population problems are often a cause of poverty and famine,” the Japanese prime minister said during his General Assembly appearance last September. “Solving these problems is therefore crucial to the goal of sustainable development,  and will require a

broad-based approach including education and public information efforts.”

And he added: “With these thoughts in mind, Japan will sponsor a meeting of eminent

persons on population and development.”

Among the speakers at the Tokyo meeting will be Hosokawa; Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway; Fred Sai, president of the International Planned Parenthood  Federation; Gertrude Mongella, Secretary General of the 1995 World Conference of Women, and Robert S. McNamara, former president of the World Bank.

Jyoti Shankar Singh, executive coordinator of the International Conference on Population and Development, said that the presence of Prime Minister Brundtland, who has been a

leader in emphasizing the linkage between population and development issues, will be significant.  Brundtland has already indicated that she will attend the Cairo Conference.

Singh also noted that Japan has already contributed $500,000 toward the ICPD and is  expected to give $500,000 more.

“I hope this meeting will achieve three things,” said Singh, “First, it should focus worldwide attention on population as a global issue and its relationship to environment and development.

“Secondly, it should strengthen family planning and population programs in developing countries, and finally it should emphasize the need for increased resources for such programs. Developing countries are already providing more than half of the resources

needed for this purpose.” Dr. Nafis Sadik, Secretary General of the ICPD, will address

global population issues and the agenda for the Cairo Conference.

Specialists are scheduled to speak on population, food and security; family planning in developing countries; population and the status of women, and population, distribution and migration.