The World Population Plan of Action

Adopted by consensus of the 137 countries represented at the United Nations World Population Conference at Bucharest, August 1974.


Index to Contents:


August 1976

Adopted by the World Population Conference
Bucharest, 1974

Agency for International Development
Washington, D.C. 20523

     World Population Plan of Action

     The World Population Conference,

Having due regard for human aspirations for 
a better quality of life and for rapid socio-
economic development,

Taking into consideration the interrelationship
between population situations and socio-
economic development,

Decides on the following World Population
Plan of Action as a policy instrument within
the broader context of the internationally
adopted strategies for national and international

     A.  Background to the Plan

  1. The promotion of development and im-
provement of quality of life co-
ordination of action in all major socio-economic
fields including that of population, which is the
inexhaustible source of creativity and a deter-
mining factor of progress.  At the international
level a number of strategies and programmes
whose explicit aim is to affect variables in fields
other than population have already been formu-
lated.  These include the Provisional Indicative 
World Plan for Agricultural Development of the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (FAO), the United Nations/FAO World
Food Programme, the International Labour
Organisation’s World Employment Programme,
the Action Plan for the Human Environment,
the United Nations World Plan of Action for
the Application of Science and Technology to
Development, the Programme of Concerted
Action for the Advancement of Women, and,
more comprehensively, the International De-
velopment Strategy for the Second United
Nations Development Decade.  The Declaration
on the Establishment of a New International
Economic Order and the Programme of Action
to achieve it, adopted by the United Nations
General Assembly at its sixth special session
(resolutions 3201 and 3202 [S-VI] of 1 May
1974), provide the most recent over-all frame-
work for international co-operation.  The explicit
aim of the World Population Plan of Action is
to help co-ordinate population trends and the
trends of economic and social development.  The
basis for an effective solution of population
problems is, above all, socio-economic trans-
formation.  A population policy may have a 
certain success if it constitutes an integral part
of socio-economic development: its contribution
to the solution of world development problems
is hence only partial, as is the case with the
other sectoral strategies.  Consequently, the Plan
of Action must be considered as an importnat
component of the system of international strat-
egies and as an instrument of the international
community for the promotion of economic de-
velopment, quality of life, human rights and
fundamental freedoms.

  2. The formulation of international strategies
is a response to universal recognition of the
existence of important problems in the world
and the need for concerted national and inter-
national action to achieve their solution.  Where
trends of population growth, distribution and
structure are out of balance with social, eco-
nomic and environmental factors, they can, at
certain stages of development, create additional 
difficulties for the achievement of sustainable de-
velopment.  Policies whose aim is to affect popu-
lation trends must not be considered substitutes
for socio-economic development policies but as
being integrated with those policies in order to
facilitate the solution of certain problems facing
both developing and developed countries and
to promote a more balanced and rational

3.  Throughout history the rate of growth of
world population averaged only slightly above
replacement levels. The recent increase in the
growth rate began mainly as a result of the
decline in mortality during the past few cen-
turies, a decline that has accelerated significantly
during recent decades.  The inertia of social 
structures and the insufficiency of economic
progress, especially when these exist in the
absence of profound socio-cultural changes,
partly explain why in the majority of developing
countries the decline in mortality has not been
accompanied by a parallel decline in fertility.
Since about 1950, the world population growth
rate has risen to 2 per cent a year.  If sustained,
this will result in a doubling of the world’s pop-
ulation every 35 years.  However, natinal rates
of natural growth range widely, from a negative
rate to well over 3 per cent a year.

  4. The consideration of population problems
cannot be reduced to the analysis of population
trends only.  It must also be borne in mind that
the present situation of the developing countries
originates in the unequal processes of socio-
economic development which have divided
peoples since the beginning of the modern era.
This inequity still exists and is intensified by
lack of equity in international economic rela-
tions with consequent disparity in levels of 

  5. Although acceleration in the rate of growth
of the world’s population is mainly the result
of very large declines in the mortality f devel-
oping countries, those declines have been un-
evenly distributed.  Thus, at present, average
expectation of life at birth is 63 years in Latin
America, 57 years in Asia and only a little over 
46 years in Africa, compared with more than
71 years in the developed regions.  Furthermore,
although on average less than one in 40 children
dies before reaching the age of 1 year in the
developed regions, one in 15 dies before reach-
ing that age in Latin America, one in 10 in
Asia and one in 7 in Africa.  In fact, in some
developing regions, and particularly in African
countries, average expectation of life at birth
is estimated to be less than 40 years and one
in 4 children dies before the age of 1 year.
Consequently, many developing countries con-
sider reduction of mortality,  and particularly
reduction of infant mortality, to be one of the
most important and urgent goals.

  6. While the right of couples to have the 
number of children they desire is accepted in
a number of international instruments, many
couples in the world are unable to exercise that
right effectively.  In many parts of the world,
poor economic conditions, social norms, inade-
quate knowledge of effective methods of family
regulation and the unavailability of contracep-
tive services result in a situation in which 
couples have more children that they desire
or feel they can properly care for.  In certain
countries, on the other hand, because of eco-
nomic or biologic factors, problems of invol-
untary sterility and of subfecundity exist, with
the result that many couples have fewer chil-
dren than they desire.  Of course, the degree of
urgency attached to dealing with each of these
two situations depends upon the prevailing
conditions within the country in question.

  7. Individual reproductive behaviour and the
needs and aspirations of society should be
reconciled.  In many developing countries, and
particularly in the large countries of Asia, the
desire of couples to achieve large families is
believed to result in excessive national popula-
tion growth rates and Governments are explic-
itly attempting to reduce those rates by imple-
menting specific policy measures.  On the other
hand, some countries are attempting to increase
desired family size, if only slightly.

  8. Throughout the world, urban populations
are growing in size at a considerably faster
rate than rural populations.  As a result, by the
end of this century, and for the first time in
history, the majority of the world’s population
will be living in urban areas.  Urbanization is an
element of the process of modernization.  More-
over, while in certain countries this process is 
efficiently managed and maximum use is made
of the advantages this management presents, in
others urbanization takes place in an uncon-
trolled manner and is accompanied by over-
crowding in certain districts, an increase in
slums, deterioration of the environment, urban 
unemployment and many other social and
economic problems.

  9. In most of the developing countries, al-
though the rate of urban population growth is
higher than the growth rate in rural areas, the
latter is still significant.  The rural population
of developing countries is growing at an average
rate of 1.7 per cent a year, and in some in-
stances at a faster rate than that of the urban
population in developed countries.  Furthermore,
many rural areas of heavy emigration, in both 
developed and developing countries, are being 
depleted of their younger populations and are
being left with populations whose age distribu-
tion is unfavourable to economic development.
Thus, in many countries, the revitalization of
the countryside is a priority goal.

  10. For some countries international migra-
tion may be, in certain circumstances, an instru-
ment of population policy.  At least two types
of international migration are of considerable
concern to many countries in the world: the
movement of migrant workers with limited
skills, and the movement of skilled workers and
professionals.  Movements of the former often
involve large numbers and raise such questions
as the fair and proper treatment in countries of
immigration, the breaking up of families and
other social and economic questions in coun-
tries both of emigration and immigration.  The
migration of skilled workers and professionals
results in a "brain drain", often from less de-
veloped to more developed countries, which is 
at present of considerable concern to many
countries and to the international community
as a whole.  The number of instruments on these
subjects and the increased involvement of
international organizations reflect international
awareness of these problems.

  11. A population’s age structure is greatly
affected by its birth rates.  For example, declin-
ing fertility is the main factor underlying the
declining proportion of children in a population.
Thus, according to the medium projections of
the United Nations, the population of less than
15 years of age in the developing countries is
expected to decline from an average of more
than 41 per cent of total population in 1970 to
an average of about 35 per cent in 2000.  How-
ever, such a decline in the proportion of chil-
dren will be accompanied by an increase in
their numbers at an average of 1.7 per cent a
year.  The demand for educational services is
expected to increase considerably, in view of
both the existing backlog and the continuously
increasing population of children which ought
to enter and remain in schools; therefore the
supply of educational services must be in-
creased.  With regard to the population 15 to
29 years of age, an increase in both their pro-
portion and number is expected in the develop-
ing countries.  Consequently, unless very high
rates of economic development are attained, in
many of these countries, and particularly where
levels of unemployment and underemployment
are already high, the additional difficulties will
not be overcome at least until the end of this 
century.  Furthermore, in both developed and
developing countries, the greatly changing so-
cial and economic conditions faced by youth
require a better understanding of the problems
involved and the formulation and implementa-
tion of policies to resolve them.

  12. Declining birth rates also result in a grad-
ual aging of the population.  Because birth rates
have already declined in developing countries,
the average proportion of the population aged
65 years and over in these countries makes up
10 per cent of the total population, whereas
it makes up only 3 per cent in developing
countries.  However, aging of the population
in developing countries has recently begun, and
is expected to accelerate.  Thus, although the
total population of these countries is projected
to increase by an average of 2.3 per cent a year
between 1970 and 2000, the population 65
years and over is expected to increase by 3.5
per cent a year.  Not only are the numbers and 
proportions of the aged increasing rapidly but
the social and economic conditions which face
them are also rapidly changing.  There is an
urgent need, in those countries where such
programmes are lacking, for the development
of social security and health programmes for 
the elderly.

  13. Because of the relatively high proportions
of children and youth in the populations of
developing countries, declines in fertility levels
in those countries will not be fully reflected in
declines in population growth rates until some
decades later.  To illustrate this demographic
inertia, it may be noted that, for developing
countries, even if replacement levels of fer-
tility- approximately two children per com-
pleted family- had been achieved in 1970 and
maintained thereafter, their total population
would still grow from a 1970 total of 2.5 billion
to about 4.4 billion before it would stabilize
during the second half of the twenty-first cen-
tury.  In these circumstances, the population of
the world as a whole would grow from 3.6 bil-
lion to 5.8 billion.  This example of demographic
inertia, which will lead to a growing population
for many decades to come, demonstrates that
whatever population policies may be formu-
lated, socio-economic development must accel-
erate in order to provide for a significant in-
crease in levels of living.  Efforts made by 
developing countries to speed up economic
growth must be viewed by the entire inter-
national community as a global endeavour to
improve the quality of life for all people of the
world, supported by a just utilization of the
world’s wealth, resources and technology in the
spirit of the new international economic order.
It also demonstrates that countries wishing to
affect their population growth must anticipate
future demographic trends and take appropriate
decisions and actions in their plans for eco-
nomic and social development well in advance.

     B.  Principles and objectives of the Plan

  14. This plan of Action is based on a number
of principles which underlie its objective and 
are observed in its formulation.  The formulation
and implementation of population policies is the
sovereign right of each nation.  This right is to
be exercised in accordance with national objec-
tives and needs and without external inter-
ference, taking into account universal solidarity
in order to imporve the quality of life of the
peoples of the world.  The main responsibility
for national population policies and programmes
lies with national authorities.  However, inter-
natinal co-operation should play an important
role in accordance with the principles of the
United Nations Charter.  The Plan of Action is
based on the following principles:

     (a) The principal aim of social, economic and
cultural development, of which population goals
and policies are integral parts, is to improve
levels of living and the quality of life of the
people.  Of all things in the world, people are
the most precious.  Man’s knowledge and ability
to master himself and his environment will
continue to grow.  Mankind’s future can be made
infinitely bright;

     (b) True development cannot take place in
the absence of national independence and lib-
eration.  Alien and colonial domination, foreign
occupation, wars of aggression, racial discrimi-
nation, apartheid and neocolonialism in all its
forms, continue to be among the greatest obsta-
cles to the full emanicipation and progress of 
the developing countries and all the people in-
volved.  Co-operation among nations on the
basis of national sovereignty is essential for
development.  Development also requires recog-
nition of the dignity of the individual, appre-
ciation for the human person and his self-
determination, as well as the elimination of
discrimination in all its forms;

     (c) Population and development are inter-
related: population variables influence develop-
ment variables and are also influenced by them;
thus the formulation of a World Population
Plan of Action reflects the international com-
munity’s awareness of the importance of popu-
lation trends for socio-economic development, 
and the socio-economic nature of the recom-
mendations contained in this Plan of Action
reflects its awareness of the crucial role that 
development plays in affecting population

     (d) Population policies are constituent ele-
ments of socio-economic development policies,
never substitutes for them: while serving socio-
economic objectives, they should be consistent
with internationally and nationally recognized
human rights of individual freedom, justice and
the survival of national, regional and minority

     (e) Independently of the realization of eco-
nomic and social objectives, respect for human
life is basic to all human societies;

     (f) All couples and individuals have the basic
right to decide freely and responsibly the num-
ber and spacing of their children and to have
the information, education and means to do so;
the responsibility of couples and individuals
in the exercise of this right takes into account
the needs of their living and future children, and
their responsibilities towards the community;

     (g) The family is the basic unit of society and
should be protected by appropriate legislation
and policy;

     (h) Women have the right to complete inte-
gration in the development process particularly
by means of an equal access to education and
equal participation in social, economic, cultural
and political life.  In addition, the necessary
measures should be taken to facilitate this inte-
gration with family responsibilities which 
should be fully shared by both partners;

     (i) Recommendations in this Plan of Action
regarding policies to deal with population prob-
lems must recognize the diversity of conditions
within and among different countries;

     (j) In the democratic formulation of national
population goals and policies, consideration
must be given, together with other economic
and social factors, to the supplies and char-
acteristics of natural resources and to the qual-
ity of the environment and particularly to all
aspects of food supply including productivity
of rural areas.  The demand for vital resources
increases not only with growing population but
also with growing per capita consumption;
attention must be directed to the just distribu-
tion of resources and to the minimization of 
wasteful aspects of their use throughout the 

     (k) The growing interdependence among
nations makes international action increasingly
important to the solution of development and 
population problems.  International strategies
will achieve their objective only if they ensure
that the underprivileged of the world achieve,
urgently, through structural, social and eco-
nomic reforms, a significant improvement in
their living conditions;

     (l) This Plan of Action must be sufficiently
flexible to take into account the consequences
of rapid demographic changes, societal changes
and changes in human behaviour, attitudes and 

     (m) The objectives of this Plan of Action
should be consistent with the purposes and 
principles of the United Nations Charter, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and
with the objectives of the Second United Na-
tions Development Decade; however, changes
in demographic variables during the Decade are
largely the result of past demographic events
and changes in demographic trends sought dur-
ing the Decade have social and economic
repercussions up to and beyond the end of this

  15. Guided by these principles, the primary
aim of this Plan of Action is to expand and
deepen the capacities of countries to deal effec-
tively with their national and subnational popu-
lation problems and to promote an appropriate
international response to their needs by in-
creasing international activity in research, the
exchange of information, and the provision of 
assistance on request.  In pursuit of this primary
aim, the following general objectives are set for
this Plan of Action;

     (a) To advance understanding of population
at global, regional, national and subnational
levels, recognizing the diversity of the problems

     (b) To advance national and international 
understanding of the interrelationship of demo-
graphic and socio-economic factors in develop-
ment: on the one hand, of the nature and scope
of the effect of demographic factors on the
attainment of goals of advancing human wel-
fare, and, on the other hand, the impact of
broader social, economic and cultural factors
on demographic behaviour;

     (c) To promote socio-economic measures and
programmes whose aim is to affect, inter alia, 
population growth, morbidity and mortality, 
reproduction and family formation, population
distribution and internal migration, international
migration and, consequently, demographic

     (d) To advance national and international
understanding of the comlex relations among
the problems of population, resources, environ-
ment and development, and to promote a unified
analytical approach to the study of these inter-
relationships and to relevant policies;

     (e) To promote the status of women and the
expansion of their roles, their full participation
in the formulation and implementation of socio-
economic policy, including population policies,
and the creation of awareness among all women
of their current and potential roles in national

     (f) To recommend guidelines for population
policies consistent with national values and 
goals and with internationally recognized

     (g) To promote the development and imple-
mentation of population policies where neces-
sary, including improvement in the communica-
tion of the purposes and goals of those policies
to the public and the promotion of popular
participation in the formulation and implemen-

     (h) To encourage the development and good
management of appropriate education, training,
statistical research, information and family
health services as well as statistical services in
support of the above principles and objectives.

     C. Recommendations for Action

1. Population goals and policies

(a) Population growth 16. According to the United Nations medium population projects, little change is expected to occur in average rates of population growth either in the developed or in the developing regions by 1985. According to the United Na- tions low variant projections, it is estimated that, as a result of social and economic devel- opment and population policies as reported by countries in the Second United Nations Inquiry on Population and Development, population growth rates in the developing countries as a whole may decline from the present level of 2.4 per cent per annum to about 2 per cent by 1985 and may remain below 0.7 per cent per annum in the developed countries. In this case the world-wide rate of population growth would decline from 2 per cent to about 1.7 per cent. 17. Countries which consider that their pres- ent or expected rates of population growth hamper their goals of promoting human welfare are invited, if they have not yet done so, to consider adopting population policies, within the framework of socio-economic development, which are consistent with basic human rights and national goals and values. 18. Countries which aim at achieving mod- erate or low population growth should try to acheive it through a low level of birth and death rates. Countries wishing to increase their rate of population growth should, when mortality is high, concentrate efforts on the reduction of mortality, and where appropriate, encourage an increase in fertility and encourage immigration. 19. Recognition that per capita use of world resources is much higher in the developed than in the developing countries, the developed countries are urged to adopt appropriate poli- cies in population, consumption and investment, bearing in mind the need for fundamental improvement in international equity.

(b) Morbidity and Mortality 20. The reduction of morbidity and mortality to the maximum feasible extent is a major goal of every human society. It should be achieved in conjunction with massive social and eco- nomic development. Where mortality and mor- bidity rates are very high, concentrated national and international efforts should be applied to reduce them as a matter of highest priority in the context of societal change. 21. The short-term effect of mortality reduc- tion on population growth rates is symptomatic of the early development process and must be viewed as beneficial. Sustained reductions in fertility have generally been preceded by reduc- tions in mortality. Although this relationship is complex, mortality reduction may be a pre- requisite to a decline in fertility. 22. It is a goal of this Plan of Action to re- duce mortality levels. Particularly infant and maternal mortality levels, to the maximum ex- tent possible in all regions of the world and to reduce national and subnational differentials therein. The attainment of an average expecta- tion of life of 62 years by 1985 and 74 years by the year 2000 for the world as a whole would require by the end of the century an increase of 11 years for Latin America, 17 years for Asia and 28 years for Africa. 23. Countries with the highest mortality lev- els should aim by 1985 to have an expectation of life at birth of at least 50 years and an infant mortality rate of less than 120 per thousand live births. 24. It is recommended that national and in- ternational efforts to reduce general morbidity and mortality levels be accompanied by particu- larly vigorous efforts to achieve the following goals: (a) Reduction of foetal, infant and early childhood mortality and related maternal mor- bidity and mortality; (b) Reduction of involuntary sterility, sub- fecundity, defective births and illegal abortions; (c) Reduction or, if possible, elimination of differential morbidity and mortality within countries, particularly with regard to differen- tials between regions, urban and rural areas, social and ethnic groups, and the sexes; (d) Eradication, wherever possible, or control of infectious and parasitic diseases, undernutri- tion and malnutrition; and the provision of a sufficient supply of potable water and adequate sanitation; (e) Improvement of poor health and nutri- tional conditions which adversely affect working-age populations and their productivity and thus undermine development efforts; (f) Adoption of special measures for reducing mortality from social and environmental factors and elimination of aggression as a cause of death and poor health. 25. It is recommended that health and nutri- tion programmes designed to reduce morbidity and mortality be integrated within a compre- hensive development strategy and supplemented by a wide range of mutually supporting social policy measures; special attention should be given to improving the management of existing health, nutrition and related social services and to the formulation of policies to widen their coverage so as to reach, in particular, rural, remote and underprivileged groups. 26. Each country has its own experience in preventing and treating diseases. Promotion of interchange of such experience will help to reduce morbidity and mortality.

(c) Reproduction, family formation and the status of woman 27. This Plan of Action recognizes the variety of national goals with regard to fertility and does not recommend any world family-size norm. 28. This Plan of Action recognizes the neces- sity of ensuring that all couples are able to achieve their desired number and spacing of children and the necessity of pareparing the social and economic conditions to achieve that desire. 29. Consistent with the Proclamation of the International Conference on Human Rights, the Declaration on Social Progress and Develop- ment, the relevant targets of the Second United Nations Development Decade and the other international instruments on the subject, it is recommended that all countries: (a) Respect and ensure, regardless of their over-all demographic goals, the right of persons to determine, in a free, informed and respon- sible manner, the number and spacing of their children; (b) Encourage appropriate education con- cernign responsible parenthood and make avail- able to persons who so desire advice and the means of achieving it; (c) Ensure that family planning, medical and related social services aim not only at the pre- vention of unwanted pregnancies but also at the elimination of involuntary sterility and sub- fecundity in order that all couples may be per- mitted to achieve their desired number of children, and that child adoption may be facilitated; (d) Seek to ensure the continued possibility of variations in family size when a low fertility level has been established or is a policy objective; (e) Make sure, wherever needed and appro- priate, of adequately trained professional and auxiliary health personnel, rural extension, home economics and social workers, and non- governmental channels, to help provide family planning services and to advise users of contraceptives; (f) Increase their health manpower and health facilities to an effective level, redistribute functions among the different levels of profes- sionals and auxiliaries in order to overcome the shortage of qualified personnel and establish an effective system of supervision in their health and family planning services; (g) Ensure that information about, and edu- cation in, family planning and other matters which affect fertility are based on valid and proven scientific knowledge, and include a full account of any risk that may be involved in the use or non-use of contraceptives. 30. Governments which have family planning programmes are invited to consider integrating and co-ordinating those services with health and other services designed to raise the quality of family life, including family allowances and maternity benefits, and to consider including family planning services in their official health and social insurance systems. As concerns couples themselves, family planning policy should also be directed towards the promotion of the psycho-social harmony and mental and physical well-being of couples. 31. It is recommended that countries wishing to affect fertility levels give priority to imple- menting development programmes and educa- tional and health strategies which, while con- tributing to economic growth and higher stand- ards of living, have a decisive impact upon demographic trends, including fertility. Inter- national co-operation is called for to give pri- ority to assisting such national efforts in order that these programmes and strategies be carried into effect. 32. While recognizing the diversity of social, cultural, political and economic conditions among countries and regions, it is nevertheless agreed that the following development goals generally have an effect on the socio-economic context of reproductive decisions that tends to moderate fertility levels; (a) The reduction of infant and child mor- tality, particularly by means of improved nutri- tion, sanitation, maternal and child health care, and maternal education; (b) The full integration of women into the development process, particularly by means of their greater participation in educational, social, economic and political opportunities, and espe- cially by means of the removal of obstacles to their employment in the nonagricultural sector wherever possible. In this context, national laws and policies, as well as relevant international recommendations, should be reviewed in order to eliminate discrimination in, and remove ob- stacles to, the education, training, employment and career advancement opportunities for women; (c) The promotion of social justice, social mobility and social development, particularly by means of a wide participation of the popula- tion in development and a more equitable dis- tribution of income, land, social services and amenities; (d) The promotion of wide educational op- portunities for the young of both sexes, and the extension of public forms of pre-school education for the rising generation; (e) The elimination of child labour and child abuse and the establishment of social security and old-age benefits; (f) The establishment of an appropriate lower limit for age at marriage. 33. It is recommended that Governments con- sider making provision, in both their formal and non-formal educational programmes, for informing their people of the consequences of existing or alternative fertility behaviour for the well-being of the family, for educational and psychological development of children and for the general welfare of society, so that an in- formed and responsible attitude to marriage and reporduction will be promoted. 34. Family size may also be affected by in- centive and disincentive schemes. However, if such schemes are adopted or modified it is essential that they should not violate human rights. 35. Some social welfare programmes, such as family allowances and maternity benefits, may have a positive effect on fertility and may hence be strengthened when such as effect is desired. However, such programmes should not, in principle, be curtailed if the opposite effect on fertility is desired. 36. The projections is paragraph 16 of future declines in rates of population growth, and those in paragraph 22 concerning increased ex- pectation of life, are consistent with declines in the birth rate of the developing countries as a whole from the present level of 38 per thou- sand to 30 per thousand by 1985; in these pro- jections, birth rates in the developed countries remain in the region of 15 per thousand. To achieve by 1985 these levels of fertility would require substantial national efforts, by those countries concerned, in the field of socio- economic development and population policies, supported, upon request, by adequate inter- national assistance. Such efforts would also be required to achieve the increase in expectation of life. 37. In the light of the principles of this Plan of Action, countries which consider their birth rates detrimental to their national purposes are invited to consider setting quantitative goals and implementing policies that may lead to the attainment of such goals by 1985. Nothing herein should interfere with the sovereignty of any Government to adopt or not to adopt such quantitative goals. 38. Countries which desire to reduce their birth rates are invited to give particular con- sideration to the reduction of fertility at the extremes of female reproductive ages because of the salutary effects this may have on infant and maternal welfare. 39. The family is recognized as the basic unit of society. Governments should assist families as far as possible to enable them to fulfil their role in society. It is therefore recommended that: (a) The family be protected by appropriate legislation and policy without discrimination as to other members of society; (b) Family ties be strengthened by giving recognition to the importance of love and mutual respect within the family unit; (c) National legislation having direct bearing on the welfare of the family and its members, including laws concerning age at marriage, in- heritance, property rights, divorce, education, employment and the rights of the child, be peri- odically reviewed, as feasible, and adapted to the changing social and economic conditions and with regard to the cultural setting; (d) Marriages be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses; (e) Measures be taken to protect the social and legal rights of spouses and children in the case of dissolution or termination of marriage by death or other reason. 40. It is also recommended that: (a) Governments should equalize the legal and social status of children born in and out of wedlock as well as children adopted; (b) The legal responsibilities of each parent towards the care and support all of their chil- dren should be established. 41. Governments should ensure full partici- pation of women in the educational, social, eco- nomic and political life of their countries on an equal basis with men. It is recommended that: (a) Education for girls as well as boys should be extended and diversified to enable them to contribute more effectively in rural and urban sectors, as well as in the management of food and other househould functions; (b) Women should be actively involved both as individuals and through political and non- governmental organizations, at every stage and every level in the planning and implementation of development programmes, including popu- lation policies; (c) The economic contribution of women in households and farming should be recognized in national economies; (d) Governments should make a sustained effort to ensure that legislation regarding the status of women complies with the principles spelled out in the Declaration on the Elimina- tion of Discrimination against Women and other United Nations declarations, conventions and international instruments, to reduce the gap be- tween law and practice through effective imple- mentation, and to inform women at all socio- economic levels of their rights and responsibilities. 42. Equal status of men and women in the family and in society improves the over-all quality of life. This principle of equality should be fully realized in family planning where each spouse should consider the welfare of the other members of the family. 43. Improvement of the status of women in the family and in society can contribute, where desired, to smaller family size, and the oppor- tunity for women to plan births also improves their individual status.

(d) Population distribution and internal migration 44. Urbanization in most countries is char- acterized by a number of adverse factors: drain from rural area through migration of individ- uals who cannot be absorbed by productive employment in urban areas, serious disequilib- rium in the growth of urban centres, contami- nation of the environment, inadequate housing and services and social and psychological stress. In many developing countries, adverse conse- quences are due in large part to the economic structures resulting from the dependent situa- tion of those countries in the international eco- nomic system; the correction of these short- comings requires as a matter of priority the establishment of equitable economic relations among peoples. 45. Policies aimed at influencing population flows into urban areas should be co-ordinated with policies relating to the absorptive capacity of urban centres as well as policies aimed at eliminating the undesirable consequences of excessive migration. In so far as possible, those policies should be integrated into plans and programmes dealing with over-all social and economic development. 46. In formulating and implementing internal migration policies, Governments are urged to consider the following guidelines, without preju- dice to their own socio-economic policies: (a) Measures should be avoided which in- fringe the right of freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State as enunciated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments; (b) A major approach to a more rational dis- tribution of the population is that of planned and more equitable regional development, par- ticularly in the advancement of regions which are less favoured or developed by comparison with the rest of the country; (c) In planning development, and particularly in planning the location of industry and busi- ness and the distribution of social services and amenities, Governments should take into ac- count not only short-term economic returns or alternative patterns but also the social and en- vironmental costs and benefits involved as well as equity and social justice in the distribution of the benefits of development among all groups and regions; (d) Population distribution patterns should not be restricted to a choice between metropoli- tan and rural life: efforts should be made to establish and strengthen networks of small and medium-size cities to relieve the pressure on the large towns, while still offering an alterna- tive to rural living; (e) Intensive programmes of economic and social improvement should be carried out in the rural areas through balanced agricultural development which will provide increased in- come to the agricultural population, permit an effective expansion of social services and in- clude measures to protect the environment and conserve and increase agricultural resources; (f) Programmes should be promoted to make accessible to scattered populations the basic social services and the support necessary for increased productivity, for example by con- solidating them in rural centres. 47. Internal migration policies should include the provision of information to the rural popu- lation concerning economic and social condi- tions in the urban areas, including information on the availability of employment opportunities. 48. In rural areas and areas accessible to rural populations, new employment opportu- nities, including industries and public works programmes, should be created, systems of land tenure should be improved and social services and amenities provided. It is not sufficient to consider how to bring the people to existing economic and social activities; it is also impor- tant to bring those activities to the people. 49. Considerable experience is now being gained by some countries which have imple- mented programmes for relieving urban pres- sures, revitalizing the countryside, inhabiting sparsely populated areas and settling newly re- claimed agricultural land. Countries having such experience are invited to share it with other countries. It is recommended that international organizations make available upon request co- ordinated technical and financial assistance to facilitate the settlement of people. 50. The problems of urban environment are a consequence not only of the concentration of inhabitants but also of their way of life, which can produce harmful effects, such as wasteful and excessive consumption and activities which produce pollution. In order to avoid such effects in those countries experiencing this problem, a development pattern favouring balanced and rational consumption is recommended.

(e) International migration 51. It is recommended that Governments and international organizations generally facilitate voluntary international movement. However, such movements should not be based on racial considerations which are to the detriment of indigenous populations. The significance of in- ternational migration varies widely among countries, depending upon their area, population size and growth rate, social and economic structure and environmental conditions. 52. Governments which consider interna- tional migration to be important to their coun- tries, either in the short or the long run, are urged to conduct, when appropriate, bilateral or multilateral consultations, taking into account the principles of the Charter of the United Na- tions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the relevant resolutions of the United Nations system and other international instru- ments, with a view to harmonizing those of their policies which affect these movements. It is recommended that international organizations make available upon request co-ordinated tech- nical and financial assistance to facilitate the settlement of people in countries of immigration. 53. Problems of refugees and displaced per- sons arising from forced migration, including their right of return to homes and properties, should also be settled in accordance with the relevant Principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments. 54. Countries that are concerned with the outflow of migrant workers and wish to en- courage and assist those remaining workers or returning workers should make particular efforts to create favourable employment opportunities at the national level. More developed countries should co-operate, bilaterally or through re- gional organizations and the international com- munity, with less developed countries, to achieve these goals through the increased avail- ability of capital, technical assistance, export markets and more favourable terms of trade and choice of production technology. 55. Countries receiving migrant workers should provide proper treatment and adequate social welfare services for them and their fam- ilies, and should ensure their physical safety and security, in conformity with the provisions of the relevant conventions and recommenda- tions of the International Labour Organisation and other international instruments. 56. Specifically, in the treatment of migrant workers, Governments should work to prevent discrimination in the labour market and in society through lower salaries or other unequal conditions, to preserve their human rights, to combat prejudice against them and to eliminate obstacles to the reunion of their families. Gov- ernments should enable permanent immigrants to preserve their cultural heritage inter alia through the use of their mother tongue. Laws to limit illegal immigration should relate not only to the illegal migrants themselves but also to those inducing or facilitating their illegal action and should be promulgated in conformity with international law and basic human rights. Governments should bear in mind humanitarian considerations in the treatment of aliens who remain in a country illegally. 57. Since the outflow of qualified personnel from developing to developed countries seri- ously hampers the development of the former, there is an urgent need to formulate national and international policies to avoid the "brain drain" and to obviate its adverse effects, includ- ing the possibility of devising programmes for large-scale communication of appropriate tech- nological knowledge mainly from developed countries to the extent that it can be properly adjusted and appropriately absorbed. 58. Developing countries suffering from heavy emigration of skilled workers and professionals should undertake extensive educational pro- grammes, manpower planning, and investment in scientific and technical programmes. They should also undertake other programmes and measures to better their skills with employ- ment opportunities and to increase the motiva- tion of such personnel to contribute to the progress of their own country. Measures should be taken to encourage the return of scientists and skilled personnel to specific job vacancies. 59. Foreign investors should employ and train local personnel and use local research facilities to the greatest possible extent in con- formity with the policies of the host country. Subject to their consent, the location of research facilities in host countries may aid them to a certain extent in retaining the services of highly skilled and professional research workers. Such investment should, of course, in no circum- stances inhibit national economic development. International co-operation is needed to improve programmes to induce skilled personnel to return to, or remain in, their own countries. 60. Where immigration has proved to be of a long-term nature, countries are invited to explore the possibilities of extending national civil rights to immigrants. 61. The flow of skilled workers, technicians and professionals from more developed to less developed countries may be considered a form of international co-operation. Countries in a position to do so should continue and increase this flow with full respect for the sovereignty and equality of recipient countries. 62. Countries affected by significant numbers of migrant workers are urged, if they have not yet done so, to conclude bilateral or multilateral agreements which would regulate migration, protect and assist migrant workers, and protect the interests of the countries concerned. The International Labour Organisation should pro- mote concerted action in the field of protection of migrant workers, and the United Nations Commission of Human Rights should help, as appropriate, to ensure that the fundamental rights of migrants are safeguarded.

(f) Population structure 63. All Governments are urged, when formu- lating their development policies and pro- grammes, to take fully into account the impli- cations of changing numbers and proportions of youth, working-age groups and the aged, particularly where such changes are rapid. Countries should study their population struc- tures to determine the most desirable balance among age groups. 64. Specifically, developing countries are urged to consider the implications which the combination of the characteristically young age structure and moderate to high fertility has on their development. The increasing number and proportion of young persons in the populations of developing countries requires appropriate de- velopment strategies, priority being accorded to their subsistence, health, education, training and incorporation in the labour force through full employment as well as their active partici- pation in political, cultural, social and economic life. 65. Developing countries are invited to con- sider the possible economic, social and demo- graphic effects of population shifts from agricul- ture to non-agricultural industries. In addition to fuller utilization of labour and improvements in productivity and the levels of living, promo- tion of non-agricultural employment should aim at such changes in the socio-economic structure of manpower and population as would affect demographically relevant behaviour of indi- viduals. All countries are invited to consider fully giving appropriate support and assistance to the World Employment Programme and re- lated national employment promotion schemes. 66. Similarly, the other countries are urged to consider the contrary implications of the combination of their aging structure with mod- erate to low or very low fertility. All countries should carry out. as part of their development programmes, comprehensive, humanitarian and just programmes of social security for the elderly. 67. In undertaking settlement and resettle- ment schemes and urban planning, Governments are urged to give adequate attention to ques- tions of age and sex balance and, particularly, to the welfare of the family.

2. Socio-economic policies 68.

This Plan of Action recognizes that eco- nomic and social development is a central factor in the solution of population problems. National efforts of developing countries to accelerate eco- nomic growth should be assisted by the entire international community. The implementation of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Dec- ade, and the Declaration and the Programme of Action on the New International Economic Order as adopted at the sixth special session of the General Assembly should lead to a re- duction in the widening gap in levels of living between developed and developing countries and would be conducive to a reduction in pop- ulation growth rates particularly in countries where such rates are high. 69. In planning measures to harmonize popu- lation trends and socio-economic change, human beings must be regarded not only as consumers but also as producers. The investment by na- tions in the health and education of their citizens contributes substantially to productivity. Consequently, plans for economic and social development and for international assistance for this purpose should emphasize the health and education sectors. Likewise, patterns of production and technology should be adapted to each country’s endowment in human re- sources. Decisions on the introduction of tech- nologies affording significant savings in employ- ment of manpower should take into account the relative abundance of human resources. To this end it is recommended that efforts should be intensified to determine for each country the technologies and production methods best suited to its working population situation and to study the relationship between population factors and employment. 70. It is imperative that all countries, and within them all social sectors, should adapt themselves to more rational utilization of natu- ral resources, without excess, so that some are not deprived of what others waste. In order to increase the production and distribution of food for the growing world population it is recom- mended that Governments give high priority to improving methods of food production, the in- vestigation and development of new sources of food and more effective utilization of existing sources. International co-operation is recom- mended with the aim of ensuring the provision of fertilizers and energy and a timely supply of food-stuffs to all countries.

3. Promotion of knowledge and policies

In order to achieve the population ob- jectives of this Plan of Action and to put its policy recommendations adequately into effect, measures need to be undertaken to promote knowledge of the relationships and problems involved, to assist in the development of popu- lation policies and to elicit the co-operation and participation of all concerned in the formulation and implementation of these policies.

(a) Data collection and analysis 72. Statistical data on the population col- lected by means of censuses, surveys or vital statistics registers are essential for the planning of investigations and the provision of a basis for the formulation, evaluation and application of population and development policies. Coun- tries that have not yet done so are urged to tabulate and analyze their census and other data and make them available to national policy- making bodies in order to fulfill these objectives. 73. It is up to each country to take a popula- tion census in accordance with its own needs and capabilities. However, it is recommended that a population census be taken by each coun- try between 1975 and 1985. It is also recom- mended that those censuses give particular at- tention to data relevant to development planning and the formulation of population policies. In order to be of greatest value, it is recommended that the data be tabulated and made available as quickly as possible, together with an evalua- tion of the quality of the information and the degree of coverage of the census. 74. All countries that have not yet done so are encouraged to establish a continuing capa- bility for taking household sample surveys and to establish a long-term plan for regular col- lection of statistics on various demographic and interrelated socio-economic variables, particu- larly those relating to the improvement of levels of living, well-being and level of education of individuals, factors which relate closely to prob- lems affecting population. All countries are invited to co-operate with the World Fertility Survey. 75. In line with the objectives of the World Programme for the Improvement of Vital Sta- tistics, countries are encouraged to establish or improve their vital registration system, as a long-term objective, and to enact laws relevant to the improvement of vital registration. Until this improvement is completed, the use of alter- native methods is recommended, such as sample surveys, to provide up-to-date information on vital events. 76. Developing countries should be provided with technical co-operation, equipment and financial support to develop or improve the population and related statistical programmes mentioned above. Provision for data-gathering assistance should cover fully the need for eval- uating, analyzing and presenting the data in a form most appropriate to the needs of users. 77. Governments that have not yet done so are urged to establish appropriate services for the collection analysis and dissemination of demographic and related statistical information.

(b) Research 78. This Plan of Action gives high priority to research activities in population problems (including unemployment, starvation and pov- erty) and to related fields, particularly to re- search activities that are important for the formulation, evaluation and implementation of the population policies consistent with full re- spect for human rights and fundamental free- doms as recognized in international instruments of the United Nations. Although research de- signed to fill gaps in knowledge is very urgent and important, high priority should be given to research oriented to the specific problems of countries and regions, including methodological studies. Such research is best carried out in the countries and regions themselves and by competent persons especially acquainted with national and regional conditions. The following areas are considered to require research in order to fill existing gaps in knowledge: (a) The social, cultural and economic deter- minants of population variables in different de- velopmental and political situations, particularly at the family and micro levels; (b) The demographic and social processes occurring in the family cycle through time and, particularly, in relating to alternative modes of development; (c) The development of effective means for the improvement of health, and especially for the reduction of maternal, foetal, infant and early childhood mortality; (d) The study of experiences of countries which have major programmes of internal mi- gration with a view to developing guidelines that are helpful to policy-makers of those coun- tries and of countries that are interested in undertaking similar programmes; (e) Projections of demographic and related variables including the development of empiri- cal and hypothetical models for simulating possible future trends; (f) The formulation, implementation and eval- uation of population policies including: methods for integrating population inputs and goals in development plans and programmes; means for understanding and improving the motivations of people to participate in the formulation and implementation of population programmes; study of education and communication aspects of population policy; analysis of population policies in their relationship to other socio- economic development policies, laws and insti- tutions, including the possible influences of the economic system on the social, cultural and economic aspects of population policies; trans- lation into action programmes of policies deal- ing with the socio-economic determinants of fertility, mortality, internal migration and distribution and international migration; (g) The collection, analysis and dissemination of information concerning human rights in rela- tion to population matters and the preparation of studies designed to clarify, systematize and more effectively implement those human right; (h) The review and analysis of national and international laws which bear directly or indirectly on population factors; (i) The assessment and improvement of ex- isting and new methods of fertility regulation by means of research, including basic biological and applied research; the evaluation of the im- pact, both in short-term and long-term effects, of different methods of fertility regulation on ethical and cultural values and on mental and physical health; and the assessment and study of policies for creating social and economic conditions so that couples can freely decide on the size of their families; (j) The evaluation of the impact of different methods of family planning on the health con- ditions of women and members of their families; (k) The interrelationships among patterns of family formation, nutrition and health, repro- ductive biology, and the incidence, causes and treatment of sterility; (l) Methods of improving the management, delivery and utilization of all social services associated with population, including family welfare and, when appropriate, family planning; (m) Methods for the development of systems of social, demographic and related economic statistics in which various sets of data are inter- linked, with a view to improving insight into the interrelationship of variables in these fields; (n) The interrelations of population trends and conditions and other social and economic variables, in particular the availability of human resources, food and natural resources, the qual- ity of the environment, the need for health, edu- cation, employment, welfare, housing and other social services and amenities, promotion of human rights, the enhancement of the status of women, the need for social security, political stability, discrimination and political freedom; (o) The impact of a shift from one family size pattern to another on biological and demo- graphic characteristics of the population; (p) The changing structure, functions and dynamics of the family as an institution, includ- ing the changing roles of men and women, atti- tudes towards and opportunities for women’s education and employment; the implications of current and future population trends for the status of women; biomedical research on male and female fertility, and the economic, social and demographic benefits to be derived from the integration of women in the development process; (q) Development of social indicators, reflect- ing the quality of life as well as the interrela- tions between socio-economic and demographic phenomena, should be encouraged. Emphasis should also be given to the development of socio-economic and demographic models. 79. National research requirements and needs must be determined by Governments and na- tional institutions. However, high priority should be given, wherever possible, to research that has wide relevance and international applicability. 80. National and regional research institutions dealing with population and related questions should be assisted and expanded as appropriate. Special efforts should be made to co-ordinate the research of those institutions by facilitating the exchange of information on their planned and ongoing research projects.

(c) Management, training, education and information 81. There is a particular need for the develop- ment of management in all fields related to pop- ulation, with national and international attention and appropriate support given to programmes dealing with its promotion. 82. A dual approach to training in recom- mended: an international programme for train- ing in population matters concomitant with na- tional and regional training programmes adapted and made particularly relevant to conditions in the countries and regions of the trainees. While recognizing the complementarity of these two approaches, national and regional training should be given the higher priority. 83. Training in population dynamics and poli- cies, whether national, regional or international, should, in so far as possible, be interdisciplinary in nature. The training of population specialists should always be accompanied by relevant ca- reer development for the trainees in their fields of specialization. Training should deal not only with population variables but also with inter- relationships of these variables with economic, social and political variables. 84. Training in the various aspects of popu- lation activities, including the management of population programmes should not be restricted to the higher levels of specialization but should also be extended to personnel at other levels, and, where needed, to medical, paramedical and traditional health personnel, and population programme administrators. Such training should impart an adequate knowledge of human rights in accordance with international standards and an awareness of the human rights aspect of population problems. 85. Training in population matters should be extended to labour, community and other social leaders, and to senior government officials, with a view to enabling them better to identify the population problems of their countries and com- munities and to help in the formulation of policies relating to them. 86. Owing to the role of education in the progress of individuals and society and the im- pact of education on demographic behaviour, all countries are urged to further develop their formal and informal educational programmes; efforts should be made to eradicate illiteracy, to promote education among the youth and abolish factors discriminating against women. 87. Educational institutions in all countries should be encouraged to expand their curricula to include a study of population dynamics and policies, including, where appropriate, family life, responsible parenthood and the relation of population dynamics to socio-economic devel- opment and to international relations. Govern- ments are urged to co-operate in developing a world-wide system of international, regional and national institutions to meet the need for trained manpower. Assistance to the less devel- oped countries should include, as appropriate, the improvement of the educational infrastruc- ture such as library facilities and computer services. 88. Governments are invited to use all avail- able means for disseminating population information. 89. Governments are invited to consider the distribution of population information to en- lighten both rural and urban populations, through the assistance of governmental agencies. 90. Voluntary organizations should be en- couraged, within the framework of national laws, policies and regulations, to play an im- portant role in disseminating population infor- mation and ensuring wider participation in pop- ulation programmes, and to share experiences regarding the implementation of population measures and programmes. 91. International organizations, both govern- mental and non-governmental, should strengthen their efforts to distribute information on popu- lation and related matters, particularly through periodic publications on the world population situation, prospects and policies, the utilization of audio-visual and other aids to communica- tion, the publication of non-technical digests and reports, and the production and wide dis- tribution of newsletters on population activities. Consideration should also be given to strength- ening the publication of international profes- sional journals and reviews in the field of population. 92. In order to achieve the widest possible dissemination of research results, translation activities should be encouraged at both the na- tional and international levels. In this respect, the revision of the Multilingual Demographic Dictionary1 and its publication in additional languages are strongly recommended. 93. The information and experience resulting from the World Population Conference and the World Population Year relating to the scientific study of population and the elaboration of pop- ulation policies should be synthesized and disseminated by the United Nations.

(d) Development and evaluation of population policies 94. Where population policies or programmes have been adopted, systematic and periodic evaluations of their effectiveness should be made with a view to their improvement. 95. Population measures and programmes should be integrated into comprehensive social and economic plans and programmes and this integration should be reflected in the goals, in- strumentalities and organizations for planning within the countries. In general, it is suggested that a unit dealing with population aspects be created and placed at a high level of the na- tional administrative structure and that such a unit be staffed with qualified persons from the relevant disciplines.

     D. Recommendations for Implementation

[1.] Role of National Governments 96. The success of this Plan of Action will largely depend on the actions undertaken by national Governments. To take action, Govern- ments are urged to utilize fully the support of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. 97. This Plan of Action recognizes the re- sponsibility of each Government to decide on its own policies and devise its own programmes of action for dealing with the problems of pop- ulation and economic and social progress. Rec- ommendations, in so far as they relate to national Governments, are made with due re- gard to the need for variety and flexibility in the hope that they may be responsive to major needs in the population field as perceived and interpreted by national Governments. However, national policies should be formulated and im- plemented without violating, and with due pro- motion of, universally accepted standards of human rights. 98. An important role of Governments with regard to this Plan of Action is to determine and assess the population problems and needs of their countries in the light of their political, social, cultural, religious and economic condi- tions; such an undertaking should be carried out systematically and periodically so as to promote informed, rational and dynamic decision-making in matters of population and development. 99. The effect of national action or inaction in the fields of population may, in certain cir- cumstances, extend beyond national boundaries; such international implications are particularly evident with regard to aspects of morbidity, population concentration and international mi- gration, but may also apply to other aspects of population concern.

2. Role of international co-operation 100. International co-operation, based on the peaceful coexistence of States having different social systems, should play a supportive role in achieving the goals of the Plan of Action. This supportive role could take the form of direct assistance, technical or financial, in response to national and regional requests and be additional to economic development assistance, or the form of other activities, such as monitoring progress, undertaking comparative research in the area of population, resources and consump- tion, and furthering the exchange among coun- tries of information and policy experiences in the field of population and consumption. Assis- tance should be provided on the basis of respect for sovereignty of the recipient country and its national policy. 101. The General Assembly of the United Na- tions, the Economic and Social Council, the Governing Council of the United Nations Devel- opment Programme/United Nations Fund for Population Activities and other competent leg- islative and policy-making bodies of the spe- cialized agencies and the various intergovern- mental organizations are urged to give careful consideration to this Plan of Action and to ensure an appropriate response to it. 102. Countries sharing similar population conditions and problems are invited to consider jointly this Plan of Action, exchange experience in relevant fields and elaborate those aspects of the Plan that are of particular relevance to them. The United Nations regional economic commissions and the regional bodies of the United Nations system should play an important role towards this end. 103. There is a special need for training in the field of population. The United Nations sys- tem, Governments and, as appropriate, non- governmental organizations are urged to give recognition to that need and priority to the measures necessary to meet it, including infor- mation, education and services for family planning. 104. Developed countries, and other countries able to assist, are urged to increase their assis- tance to developing countries in accordance with the goals of the Second United Nations Development Decade and, together with inter- national organizations, make that assistance available in accordance with the national pri- orities of receiving countries. In this respect, it is recognized, in view of the magnitude of the problems and the consequent national re- quirements for funds, that considerable expan- sion of international assistance in the population field is required for the proper implementation of this Plan of Action. 105. It is suggested that the expanding, but still insufficient, international assistance in pop- ulation and development matters requires in- creased co-operation; the United Nations Fund for Population Activities is urged, in co- operation with all organizations responsible for international population assistance, to pro- duce a guide for international assistance in population matters which would be made avail- able to recipient countries and institutions and be revised periodically. 106. International non-governmental organi- zations are urged to respond to the goals and policies of this Plan of Action by co-ordinating their activities with those of other non- governmental organizations, and with those of relevant bilateral and multilateral organizations, by expanding their support for national institu- tions and organizations dealing with population questions, and by co-operating in the promotion of widespread knowledge of the goals and pol- icies of the Plan of Action, and, when requested, and supporting national and private institutions and organizations dealing with population questions.

3. Monitoring, review and appraisal 107. It is recommended that monitoring of population trends and policies discussed in this Plan of Action should be undertaken continuously as a specialized activity of the United Nations and reviewed biennially by the appropriate bodies of the United Nations systems, beginning in 1977. Because of the shortness of the intervals, such monitoring would necessarily have to be selective with regard to its informational content and should focus mainly on new and emerging population trends and policies. 108. A comprehensive and thorough review and appraisal of progress made towards achieving the goals and recommendations of this Plan of Action should be undertaken every five years by the United Nations system. For this purpose the Secretary-General is invited to make appropriate arrangements taking account of the existing structure and resources of the United Nations system, and in co-operation with Governments. It is suggested that the first such re- view be made in 1979 and be repeated each five years thereafter. The findings of such systematic evaluations should be considered by the Economic and Social Council with the object of making, whenever necessary, appropriate modifications of the goals and recommendations of this plan. 109. It is urged that both the monitoring and the review and appraisal activities of this Plan of Action be closely coordinated with those of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade and any new international development strategy that might be formulated.


(1) United Nations publication, Sales No. 58.XIII.4.