Statement on Agenda Item 5, Programme implementation and progress of work in the field of population in 2008: Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Peter O. Way, Ph.D., Chief, International Programs Center, Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce
New York, NY
April 1, 2009


 Madam Chair,
I would like to express the appreciation of our delegation for the report, Programme implementation and progress of work in the field of population in 2008: Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (E/CN.9/2009/7), prepared by the Population Division. My delegation would like to commend the Director of the Population Division, Dr. Hania Zlotnik, and her fine staff for their continued excellent work relating to the analysis of population trends, monitoring the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, and in preparing population projections for all of the world’s countries.

The Population Division continues to play an absolutely essential role as a source of policy-neutral population expertise—producing analytical reports, compendia of data and policies, and other informational products that are widely used by policy makers, program planners, technical experts in government and academia, and the general public. The products of the Population Division represent definitive international references on a wide range of population-related topics. In our opinion the Population Division has done an excellent job of delivering on their stated mission, namely:

a) Ensuring that population issues remain high on the international agenda; and
b) Enhancing awareness in the international community and among Member States of progress made in implementing the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.

Madam Chair, in the context of the theme of this meeting of the Commission, on progress made toward the internationally agreed development goals, I would like to highlight the essential work of the Population Division.

The first of these is in the area of fertility and family planning. The Population Division produces three indicators under the target of universal access to reproductive health of the revised framework for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals: the contraceptive prevalence rate, adolescent birth rate, and the unmet need for family planning.

In the area of mortality and health, the division collaborated in the organization and servicing of the high level event on the Millennium Development Goals held in September 2008. They played a critical role in supporting this reaffirmation of the goals, particularly those related to health and education.

The Division has participated actively in the coordination of efforts to monitor progress made toward the achievement of the Millennium Goal relating to the reduction of infant and under-5 mortality. This work has included an emphasis on the gender dimensions of child mortality.

It is clear to our delegation that the collective understanding of the progress made toward these international goals would be severely limited without the essential contribution of the Population Division.

We would also like to commend the Population Division for their outstanding work in anticipation of this session of the Commission. Through a series of expert group meetings, preparation of reports, and other activities, the Population Division has ensured that the Commission has before it a comprehensive look at this issue. In addition, I would like to commend the Population Division for their work in identifying the Keynote speakers, whose presentations have greatly benefited our deliberations. This session’s speakers have each provided a unique perspective and have enhanced our understanding of the issues under consideration.

Finally, Madam Chair, we would like to comment briefly on the draft programme of work for the upcoming biennium, presented as a Note by the Secretariat. We are impressed with the comprehensive programme of work proposed by the Division, as well as the volume of material expected to be produced. We also note the conformity between the expected accomplishments of the Secretariat and the indicators of performance on the one hand and the list of expected outputs on the other. We look forward to reviewing these materials as they are produced.

Thank you Madam Chair.


PRN: 2009/067