11 April 2011
Statement by Mr. Mohammad Hassani-Nejad
Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
at the Forty Fourth Session of the Commission on Population and Development
item3: Report of the Secretary General on “Fertility, Reproductive Health and Development”
(New York, 11 April 2011)
In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate
In the beginning, Mr. Chairman, please accept my felicitations on your election as the Chairman of the 44th session of the Commission on Population and Development. I also congratulate other members of the Bureau for their election. I should also commend the Population Division as the secretariat of the Commission, led by Ms. Hania Zlotnik, for preparation of documents and reports of the session.
Indeed, population of the world is undergoing a historic demographic transition from high to low levels of fertility and mortality with significant implications for the age structure of populations and the overall social and economic development of countries. Meanwhile, not all countries are at the same stages of this transition.
While many are experiencing first stage of the demographic transition, in which mortality is falling with the proportion of children increases, some in the second stage witnessing a fall in both fertility and mortality and an increase in the proportion of adults of working age. At the same time, some countries mainly developed ones – are in the third stage, when fertility and mortality reach low levels and the proportion of senior citizens increases.
Such a diverse situation warrants a tiered approach to the issue of fertility. Reports of the secretariat and our work here should also reflect this diverse situation by not suggesting general conclusions or straight jacket formulas on fertility. It is also a global issue and a matter of concern for all members of the world community; this is not an issue faced by developing countries only.
It has been recognized that the second stage of the demographic transition presents a window of opportunity for development. Translation of this window of opportunity into reaping the benefits for development requires proper national policies and an international economic environment conducive to investment, employment, sustained economic development and further integration and full participation of developing countries in the global economy.
Development is a central goal in itself which constitutes the key element of the overarching framework of all activities at national and international levels pertaining to sexual and reproductive health. Therefore, many developing countries, including mine, share the understanding that a cultural-sensitive and development-based approach to the issue of sexual and reproductive health has proven to be more effective and sustained. Proper education of men and women combined with availability of right information and best practices and engagement in a convincing process should yield favorable results. Meanwhile, in outlining long term development strategies the policy space should be observed for developing countries to take into account all different aspects and repercussions associated with the issue of fertility.
One of the issues that deserved to receive attention by the reports of the secretariat is the problem of infertility and its consequences. Millions of couples around the world are suffering by infertility with economic, social and psychological implications on both them and their societies as a whole. Available methods, technologies, know-how and financial resources required for treatment of infertility merit further attention and considerations.
Thank you very much.