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Forum calls for legal effort
The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development is calling on all parliaments to step up legislative efforts to ensure sustainable development.
And they urged lawmakers in the region to honour commitments to the international community to guarantee a better tomorrow. The calls were enshrined in the Beijing Declaration, which was endorsed yesterday by participants before the seventh general assembly of the forum closed.
All parliaments in the Asia-Pacific region were urged to continuously formulate and improve laws and regulations on the control of population growth, environmental protection, resource management and disaster prevention and reduction.
The two-day conference focused on sustainable development and population, prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, gender partnership and good governance of population and development.
The declaration called on more parliamentarians in the region to take part in activities for the co-ordination of population growth and development.
It reaffirmed the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and the Cairo and Hague declarations on population and development.
The population of the Asia-Pacific region stood at 3.52 billion in 1995. It will continue to increase though the population growth is slowing down in some countries in the region.
It is projected to increase to 4.58 billion by the year 2020, according to the declaration.
"With the acceleration of urbanization, ageing and the spread of the AIDS epidemic, population growth has brought about numerous new challenges to the region in addition to its pressure on resources and ecological environment," the declaration stated.
The declaration also called on all countries to take measures to carry out follow-up activities of the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development and give full consideration to the population factor in the implementation of international agreements and conventions.
Parliamentarians pledged to act more effectively to ensure their governments give due attention to the population and development programmes and emphasize the inter-relations of population and development with food, water, environment and poverty.
Noting the insufficient resources available for population and reproductive health, the declaration called on all donor governments to increase official development assistance to population-related programmes and urges users of the donation to ensure available resources are used effectively and efficiently. Founded in 1981, the forum has focused on meeting the population and development challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region.
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