Yesterday afternoon I had the distinct honor of opening a reception hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to commemorate the 15th anniversary of United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). In her remarks at the event, Secretary Clinton gave an eloquent declaration of the U.S. Government’s renewed support for and dedication to reaching the goals of the ICPD Program of Action and other related UN agreements, including the Millennium Development Goals – and in particular, MDG 5 relating to improvements in maternal health.
During the 1994 ICPD conference in Cairo, 179 nations reached consensus on the integral and mutually reinforcing linkages between population and development. The ICPD’s Program of Action recognized that to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development, we must address children’s health, women’s health and women’s rights, including their reproductive rights, as well as gender equity and equality. Five years remain to meet the goals outlined in the ICPD agenda by 2015, and I am committed to working with colleagues in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) – and elsewhere in the Administration and the NGO sector – to do all that we can to address these and other pressing development and humanitarian challenges. As Secretary Clinton said in her address, “the U.S. commitment to meeting the Cairo goals is robust, renewed, reinvigorated.” I’m proud to be a part of that effort. You can find the Secretary’s speech at http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/01/135001.htm – I hope you’ll have an opportunity to read it.
I’m also delighted to announce that Margaret Pollack has agreed to accept a new PRM position of Senior Advisor on Population Issues. We’ve established this position to signal our deep commitment to progress and to sharpen the focus of our work on these critical issues, and we cannot think of a better person for the role than Margaret – who has decades of experience and relationships with Department Principals engaged in population issues. As many of you know, Margaret has until recently served with distinction as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, supervising both the Office of Multilateral Coordination and External Relations (MCE) and the Office of Population and International Migration (PIM). In addition to her new role as Senior Advisor on Population Issues, Margaret will now resume her position as Office Director at MCE.
Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration