At AMUN Black Lives Matter

Return To: Issues at AMUN 2018

ECOSOC COMMISSION: Commission on Population and Development (CPD)

Members Members

Burkina Faso
Dominican Republic
Iran, Islamic Republic of
Republic of Moldova
Russian Federation
Sierra Leone
South Africa
United Kingdom
United States of America

Top ↑

Purview Purview

A functional commission of ECOSOC, CPD monitors and studies population trends and the interrelationship of those trends with development issues. Established in 1946 as the Population Commission and renamed in 1994, the CPD’s primary mandate from ECOSOC is the monitoring, analysis and follow-up of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). CPD is composed of 47 Member States elected every four years by ECOSOC.

In its review of the Programme of Action of the ICPD, the CPD directly reviews policies and implementation of the Programme at local, national and international levels. CPD is also tasked with arranging studies about and advising ECOSOC concerning the following: integrating populations with development policies, strategies and other programs; providing population assistance to developing countries and those economies in transitions upon their request; or addressing other population or development questions that arise from UN organs.


Top ↑

International migration and development International migration and development

International migration and its relationship to development touches all countries of the world, yet the connection between the two is often misunderstood by the international community. The commonly-held perception that migrants leave their home countries to escape development failure comes from the trend that international migration has led to a net increase of population in developed countries and a net decrease in less developed countries since the 1950s. While development failures are a factor, the positive correlation between development and overall emigration levels is driven by many variables, such as differences in employment opportunities in different countries and likelihood that rising education levels affect both the ability and desire to emigrate and can cause “brain drain.” The prevalence and inevitability of migration as an outcome of economic development gives rise to the central question of how countries should regulate migration flows, including the implementation of policies that adapt to both the positive and negative economic effects of migration.

Many of today’s goals for international migration and development started in the framework created by the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). In 1994, the ICPD convened in Cairo to establish a framework for a 20-year Programme of Action. The ICPD Programme of Action, which was ultimately adopted by 179 Member States, was a comprehensive 20-year action plan intended to focus global thinking and United Nations action on population and development toward a people-centric approach. While previous population conferences had mostly focused narrowly on family planning, the ambitious ICPD Programme of Action, which the General Assembly extended indefinitely in 2011, contained wide-ranging recommendations on health, development, and social welfare, with reproductive health playing a central role. The Conference recommended the creation of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) as a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council. The CPD plays a key role in maintaining databases on migration, development and population trends, as well as monitoring and reviewing progress toward the ICPD Programme of Action.

The ICPD Programme of Action recognized the positive and negative economic impact of international migration, including the role of remittances, or the transfer of funds, by migrants to relatives in their home country. However, the Programme of Action did not set actionable objectives for United Nations Member States to better manage the challenges and benefits of migration and development. With the rise of international migration, experts as well as United Nations agencies and Member States have begun to shift their attention toward the migration-development nexus, where migration can act as a vehicle to foster development. Notably, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the General Assembly in 2015, contains several targets for protecting the labor rights of migrant workers and implementing well-planned and well-managed migration policies. The High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development was the first United Nations dialogue focused solely on the linkages between migration and development. In 2006, this dialogue created the Global Forum on Migration and Development as a consultative forum for both civil society and governments to better grasp the development-migration nexus. These initiatives have begun to accelerate progress toward the migration and development-focused Sustainable Development Goals, but inter-agency cooperation remains at a nascent stage and recommendations are numerous, broad and sparsely implemented. To this end, the Global Migration Group (GMG), comprising 18 agencies, was formed to promote inter-agency cooperation and the wider application of international practices, legal instruments and norms on migration.

Since the implementation of the Program of Action by the ICPD, there has been a need for a technical forum to reach the goals laid out in the framework. During the 49th session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2016, the CPD was recognized as an organization that could fulfill this role. In resolution 2016/25, the Economic and Social Council highlighted the need for the CPD to act as a technical forum for Member States to discuss the challenges that come with international migration and solutions that can meet these challenges. Additionally, the resolution calls upon the CPD to streamline its agenda by using the the Programme of Action and Sustainable Development Goals. By doing so, the CPD can act as a forum for Member States to discuss specific strategies to meet these goals for migration and development.

It was noted that in order to continue to implement strategies to meet the challenges of migration while meeting development goals, UN agencies and partner organizations will need to make better use of data. Data allows a better understanding of trends and how strategies can affect those trends. During its 50th session, the CPD produced the International Migration Report 2017 for ECOSOC. This report referenced United Nations Migration Data and the International Labor Organization (ILO). The report covers four main themes: levels and trends in international migration, net international migration, legal instruments on international migration, and the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants. The accomplishments of this body lay in terms of United Nations Global Migration Database (UNGMD), which tracks the inflow and outflow of international migrants, studies trends in international migration, and tracks statistics on foreign populations. This work has shown how important data is for tackling global issues such as international migration. While this data has already helped influence policies, challenges remain. In order to help Member States and partner agencies make use of this data, the CPD and the United Nations will need to consider how to make this data accessible and how to provide the expertise, where needed, to interpret trends found in the data.

The CPD continues to provide a forum for Member States to discuss technical strategies to address the challenges that come with international migration and development. By using frameworks such as the ICPD Programme of Action and the Sustainable Development Goals, CPD can continue to focus on bridging the gap between migration and development. In addition to being a technical forum, the CPD can bring data to the forefront of this discussion. The CPD has the opportunity to affect real change by bringing Member States opinions forward and creating solutions to bridge the gap between international migration and development.

Questions to Consider Questions to Consider

  • What unique challenges do Member States face when addressing international migration and development? How can the United Nations and the international community support Member States in addressing these issues?
  • How can the CPD continue to use data to bridge the gap between international migration and development? How can the CPD make this data more accessible to Member States and partner agencies?
  • In what ways can the CPD continue to build upon the ICPD Programme of Action, Sustainable Development Goals, and other past work to bridge the gap between international migration and development?

Bibliography Bibliography

UN Documents

Top ↑

Adolescents and youth Adolescents and youth

The UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD) is part of the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations.The Economic and Social Council created the Population Commission in October 1946, and renamed it to its present title in December 1994. ECOSOC mandated that the Commission aid in implementing the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population Development. Adolescent and youth issues are a main part of CPD’s mandate because as these populations change within Member States, new challenges need to be met. These changes in populations also create new opportunities for development strategies. Meeting the demands of population change with development strategies is called population development. The CPD is tasked with meeting these challenges and opportunities by providing Member States assistance with population development.

The Commission on Population and Development has conducted several studies to better understand the changing populations of different regions around the globe. Some countries have aging populations, with larger older generations, whereas other countries have larger populations of adolescents and youth. There are some countries that exhibit a “youth bulge” where adolescents and youth make up the majority of the population, but the country is also experiencing declining fertility rates. These trends all present different challenges for development.

One of these challenges is how poverty affects adolescents’ and youth’s access to necessities such as healthcare. In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly raised concerns about the growing problem of overpopulation in developing countries. Within these discussions, Member States raised concerns about poor access to education and health services and high rates of poverty in adolescents and youth in developing countries. In Resolution 2012/1, the General Assembly called upon governments to recognize the issues that arise with a younger population and recommended they implement programs to address these issues. The focus was particularly on crafting social and economic policies to eradicate poverty within the youth population, promote equal opportunity by eradicating discrimination among men and women and improve access to education and healthcare for youth in poverty.

CPD faces the challenge of first getting Member States to recognize the issues confronting adolescents and youth in their populations and then implementing strategies to address them. The main goal of CPD is to ensure that all states are providing equal opportunities for and access to education and jobs. Furthermore, CPD has been working to ensure the fair access to healthcare by adolescent women in developing countries. Both CPD and ECOSOC have made it a priority to convey to Member States the significance of providing accessible contraceptive healthcare and other family planning services to adolescent women and families. In general, the aim is to reduce maternal and infant mortality, as well as to improve reproductive and sexual health through educational means or healthcare services. Improving health and mortality are important goals for CPD in developing countries as it addresses the issues of increasing mortality rates and increasing population or overcrowding in Member States. These goals have been on the agenda for CPD since the early 1990s and they are yet to be accomplished due to Member States lacking the ability and resources to implement the initiatives.

Much of the current work of CPD recognizes that, in order to best address the needs of adolescents and youth, they need to be involved in implementing solutions. In April 2018, CPD met for its fifty-first session, focusing on the development of sustainable cities, human mobility and international migration. The Secretary-General’s report to the Commission noted that immigration can lead to the transfer of skills and challenge traditional roles and societal barriers, in particular for women and youth. This can enhance innovation with the sharing of ideas across borders. To these ends, the Secretary-General recommended that investment should be made in capital development and policies that target youth mobility. By doing so, interventions and opportunities can be designed to meet the needs of adolescents and youth where they are. This will better integrate them into implementing strategies, as they can have a direct affect on how their needs are met. These recommendations have driven the next wave of work for CPD.

CPD is seeking to further strategize on implementation plans to achieve the goals that they have been seeking for decades. For CPD quality education, accessible healthcare services, and equal opportunity in the workforce for adolescents and youth are significant and important. Most of the challenges and setbacks that they have experienced in attempting to implement and formulate programs and policies have been due to a lack of resources for Members States to participate or a lack of cooperation. ECOSOC and CPD are aware and respectful of national sovereignty; they are also very much aware of the implications of attempting to sanction its Member States to achieve their goals. Therefore, CPD aims for all its Member States to recognize these issues and cooperate in finding solutions to them. It is important that CPD continue to integrate empirical research into its recommendations to ECOSOC; if implemented, the recommended strategies will help developing regions with the integration of youth and adolescents into their population and development policies. It may also be imperative for the developed regions of the world to help the developing world with the issue of a growing youth population.

Questions to Consider Questions to Consider

  • How can the United Nations encourage cooperation of all Member States in addressing the issues affecting adolescents and youth?
  • In what ways can Member States prepare for changes in their workforce? How can they meet the challenge of a growing demand for jobs?
  • What recommendations can CPD make to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals are considered when addressing issues affecting adolescents and youth? In what ways can CPD and ECOSOC support States in meeting these goals?

Bibliography Bibliography

UN Documents

Support AMUN to accelerate the development of future leaders

AMUN is a non-profit that continues to grow with the help from people like you!