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Parliamentarians discuss issues of reproduction and development

Parliamentarians from 100 countries met in The Hague, Netherlands, last week ahead of a meeting on population and development which opens there today comprsising representatives of 180 governments. According to a news release from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the parliamentarians’ findings will be presented to today’s Hague Forum meeting. One parliamentarian stressed that rapid population growth was closely linked to poverty and environmental problems. Mrs J. Van Nieuwenhoven, speaker of the Netherlands parliament, said national parliaments could initiate population policy and adopt legislative measures “that contribute to a sound population policy and better opportunities for women”. Another speaker said “misconceptions about religious proscriptions” must be addressed. “A key area is the need to change male behaviour and to teach men to be responsible for their own reproductive health and that of their partners,” the speaker, Dr Nafis Sadik of UNPFA, noted. She hailed certain initiatives such as South Africa’s incorporation of reproductive rights into its constitution, and the Senegalese parliament’s decision to outlaw female genital mutilation. A third speaker said it was important to address sub-Saharan Africa’s high rates of maternal mortality and sexually transmitted diseases.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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