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Statement on behalf of the European Union on the review of the methods of work of the Commission on Population and Development

Date of Speech : 06-04-2005

Place : New York

Speaker : Annick Klein

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union, the candidate countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, the countries of the association and stabilization process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia-and-Montenegro, as well as EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves to this statement.

The EU attaches great importance to the improvement of the methods of work of the functional commissions. The reform of the Commission on population and development has to be seen in the larger context of the ECOSOC reform and resolution 57/270 B. 

I would like to thank the Secretary General and the Secretariat for the report on working methods. We support the main thrust of it and its recommendations. However we need to go even further on some of the issues. Our aim is to have a more streamlined and focused CPD while being more transparent on the way the Commission does its work. We would highlight in this respect the enhancement of the methods of work of the Commission on social development, the Commission on the status of women as well as the Commission of sustainable development.

First of all, we underline that the primary responsibility of CPD is to ensure the review and appraisal of the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action. The Commission should identify progress, constraints and lessons learned in the implementation of the ICPD and decide on measures and policies to overcome obstacles. With that aim in view, we should change the way in which we conduct business in the Commission.

The CPD has become an increasingly effective forum to discuss issues pertaining to population and development matters, in the Cairo framework. However there is always room for improvement and I will later come back to these two functions of the Commission.

The EU favours close cooperation between the Population Division and UNFPA, as well as with other relevant international organizations, within their respective mandates in the preparation for the sessions of the CPD. The vital research role played by the Population Division, as well as UNFPA’s programmatic, implementing, advocacy and policy role have to be harnessed together to take advantage of synergies and maximize effectiveness of the UN response and support. It is only through effective collaboration, within the UN and with other relevant partners, that the MDGs can be achieved.

We already stressed this at the 37th session of CPD, through the adoption of resolution 2004/1. We would therefore request a report from the SG to the 39th session on the arrangements aimed at better coordinating the population agenda in the UN. The report should further formalize such arrangements, similar to the Task Force set up in 1995 to coordinate population matters and follow up to ICPD in the UN.

Mr. Chairman,

Regarding the keynote speakers invited to the CPD sessions, we welcome this format of information exchange. However we propose that the Bureau approves those speakers and the themes they address. The EU would strongly favour that the Population Division submits the names of the keynote speakers and their topics to the Bureau after consultation with UNFPA. We consider it very important that all stakeholders of the Cairo agenda are involved in this process.

In the same context, and in order to be more effective in the preparations for the 39th CPD session, the EU attaches much importance to the fact that the written reports of the inter-sessional meetings of the Bureau are made available at the earliest possible opportunity after these meetings, and in any case within four weeks of the end of the meeting. This would also be helpful for our own preparations for the upcoming CPD session.

Mr. Chairman,

As we said earlier, the CPD should deeply revisit its methods of work to allow for a more effective follow-up of ICPD and to be able to make the necessary decisions. The reforms of the CSD, the CsocD and the CSW can be cited as examples in this regard. The reform of CPD should, from our point of view, involve the organization of our work around general themes covering the ICPD. For each general theme, the CPD could for example devote a session to the assessment of the situation, i.e. progress made, constraints and obstacles, and a session to the preparation of decisions and recommendations. Furthermore, time should be allocated to exchanges of lessons learned and best practices, including on the basis of national experiences.

In order to prepare these assessments and decisions, the Secretariat should submit detailed reports covering the issues considered under the general theme.

In addition, the Commission should continue to debate on topical or emerging issues related to the ICPD. In that regard, each annual session of the CPD should have its special theme, possibly based on a two year programme of work.

The segment of the general theme could benefit from having before it a report reflecting national submissions on progress made, as well as constraints experienced and lessons learned. Instead of plenary statements, UN country teams and country officials of two chosen countries reflecting constraints and progress respectively could be given the opportunity to make presentations, to be followed by interactive discussions based on specific experiences of the member states.

Furthermore, the Commission could consider the use of Expert Group Meetings prior to each of its sessions to further enhance its deliberations.

The EU hopes that we will be able to decide this year on the main guidelines of this revision and improvement of the methods of work. We would also wish to revisit the issue of working methods of the CPD during its 39th session.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman

* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

This page was last modified on : 11-04-2005

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