Dáil Éireann - Volume 445 - 18 October, 1994
Written Answers. - Programme of Action Implementation.
Ms McManus Ms McManus
70. Ms McManus asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps, if any, that are being taken by the Government to ensure the implementation of the programme of action  developed at the International Conference of Population and Development in Cairo in September 1994; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1422/94]
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring) Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring)
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring): Responsibility for the implementation of the programme of action adopted by the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo is shared between the Department of Foreign Affairs, which has responsibility in the international context and the Departmennt of Health which has responsibility for its implementation domestically. Accordingly, I shall focus my reply on the international context.
The programme of action agreed at the conference, which was attended by my colleagues, Deputy Brendan Howlin, Minister for Health, as head of delegation, and Deputy Tom Kitt, Minister of State with special responsibility for development co-operation, is aimed primarily at securing improvements over a 20 year period in developing countries in the various areas under its remit. These include the empowerment of women, the rights of the family, reproductive health and the increased availability of family planning. The programme of action estimates that the full implementation of the proposals which it contains will require US$17 billion in 2000, $5.7 billion of which needs to be provided by the international donor community.
For our part, we are prepared to examine the question of increasing our financial contributions to support the goals outlined in the programme of action. Ireland made voluntary contributions in 1993 and 1994 to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which runs extensive campaigns and assistance programmes in the field of population in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, which request its advice and assistance. In 1993 our contribution to UNFPA was $50,000, and in 1994 this was increased to £150,000. We would envisage that  this amount will be increased in coming years.
The question of Ireland becoming more directly involved in providing assistance on population issues in individual developing countries is being actively considered in the context of the current expansion of our Bilateral Aid Programme.
Ireland will be actively participating in international discussions on the implementation of the programme of action in a number of international fora; in particular the General Assembly of the United Nations which will review the outcome of the Cairo conference during its current session, and also at a later stage in the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), of which we are currently members. In this connection the programme of action requests the General Assembly of the UN to organise a regular review of its implementation as well as to consider the administrative structure for population activities in the United Nations.
A priority for Ireland in discussing implementation of the programme of action in international fora will be to support the principles and implementation guidelines adopted by the Development Council of the European Community in 1992. These principles are: non-coercion and non-discrimination; observence of the rights of individuals and couples to choose the number and spacing of their children; the need to integrate population policies and development policies; attention must be paid to the needs of individuals, families and the wider community.
Dáil Éireann 445 Written Answers. Programme of Action Implementation.