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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release September 13, 1994

The approval of the Programme of Action in Cairo today marks a tremendous achievement, both for the delegations present but more importantly for the world's future. I want to commend the delegations for their work and their dedication in achieving a consensus which although difficult in some areas has created a new framework for action on population and development issues. For the first time in a UN conference dealing with population issues, all participating nations have joined in agreement on a large portion of the Programme of Action.

I wish to especially commend the Government of Egypt and President Mubarak. Not only a wonderful and gracious host for the conference, Egypt was also a key actor in negotiations surrounding some of the ICPD's most difficult issues.

In addition, I wish to thank the United Nations, and especially the ICPD Secretary General, Dr. Nafis Sadik, for her untiring and successful efforts in building consensus in Cairo.

I also want to specifically thank the United States' delegation, led by Undersecretary of State Tim Wirth. The United States, under his leadership, was able to contribute effectively to bringing the world to this important consensus.

Finally, the NGO community throughout the world, and I would add especially women's groups, have played an historic role in helping to bring their knowledge and expertise into the debate and moving the ICPD from a concept at Rio to a reality at Cairo. The Programme of Action is better informed for it.

This Programme of Action is a watershed in defining a global approach toward stabilizing the world's population --encompassing increased availability of family planning, sustainable economic development, the empowerment of women to include enhance educational opportunities, and a reduction in infant and child mortality. All of these are important goals in their own right that work best when joined together into a comprehensive program. No single solution will be sufficient by itself to produce the patterns of change so badly needed. But together, over a sufficient length of time, a broad-based strategy will help us achieve a stabilized population and thereby improve the quality of life for our children. The Programme of Action just adopted in Cairo offers us a plan that will work and that has the full support of the United States.