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Two mutually reinforcing development blueprints - the Programme of Action agreed to at the International Conference on Population and Development, along with the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (derived from Sustainable Development Summit) - guide UNFPA in its efforts to improve lives, support reproductive health and rights, and advance gender equality.



ICPD — International Conference on Population and Development 


The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo was a milestone in the historyof population and development, as well as in the history of women's rights. At the conference the world agreed that population is not just about counting people, but about making sure that every person counts.

ICPD delegates reached a consensus that the equality and empowerment of women is a global priority. It approached this not only from the perspective of universal human rights, but also as an essential step towards eradicating poverty and stabilizing population growth. A woman’s ability to access reproductive health and rights is cornerstone of her empowerment. It is also the key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

A total of 179 governments signed up to the ICPD Programme of Action which set out to:

  • Provide universal access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health services and reproductive rights;
  • Deliver gender equality, empowerment of women and equal access to education for girls;
  • Address the individual, social and economic impact of urbanization and migration;
  • Support sustainable development and address environmental issues associated with population changes

In 2019, thousands gathered at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25: Accelerating the Promise, recommitting to the vision of the Programme of Action set forth at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 – a vision of full equality for women and girls, and of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. The world convened in Nairobi around a central belief that good progress is not good enough, and that we must accelerate the promises made in Cairo to girls and women, boys and men, to everyone.  

At the Summit, Turkmenistan also reinforced its political will by highlighting the progress made since 1994 and making financial and policy commitments.  

Read the Report on the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25.


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

On 25 September, the 193 member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 goals aiming to transform the world over the next 15 years. These goals are designed to eliminate poverty, discrimination, abuse and preventable deaths, address environmental destruction, and usher in an era of development for all people, everywhere.

The Sustainable Development Goals are ambitious, and they will require enormous efforts across countries, continents, industries and disciplines – but they are achievable.

UNFPA is working with governments, partners and other UN agencies to directly tackle many of these goals – in particular Goal 3 on health, Goal 4 on education and Goal 5 on gender equality – and contributes in a variety of ways to achieving many of the rest.

For more information please visit UNFPA Sustainable Development Goals