In September 1994, 11,000 representatives of governments, United Nations commissions and NGO's got together in Cairo to discuss new policies on population growth and development. The goals and objectives they agreed upon concerning issues such as education, immigration, health care, family planning, child and maternal mortality, were gathered in the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action.
For the first time in United Nations history, the term ‘sexual and reproductive health’ was coined in an official document. The ICPD Programme of Action is hence considered to be a revolutionary and progressive document, which radically changed the discourse on issues of reproduction and sexuality.
The ICPD Programme of Action officially ends in 2014. The four main goals of the document should then be met:
1) Universal access to education, with special attention for women and girls.
2) Reducing infant and child mortality
By 2014 all countries must achieve a death rate below 35 per 1,000 live births, and a under-five mortality rate of 45 per 1,000 children.
3) Reducing maternal mortality
By 2014 maternal mortality should be reduced by half.
4) Access to sexual and reproductive health care including family planning
This includes pre- and postnatal care and safe delivery; prevention and treatment of infertility and STDs, including HIV and AIDS; access to contraceptives; reducing the recourse to unsafe abortion; and comprehensive sexuality education.
Every year, government delegations and many NGO-representatives get together in New York City to monitor the progress of the ICPD Programme of Action and to reaffirm its goals and objectives. Because population and development is a huge subject, every conference has a specific theme, which will be discussed. The theme is chosen by the member states.