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Parliamentarians have come a long way in tackling population issues. Since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994, they have passed laws and policies and approved budgets to implement the ICPD Programme of Action.

This report is a first-ever attempt to chronicle the activities of parliamentarians worldwide to advance ICPD issues. It summarizes the results of a Global Survey that UNFPA and the four regional parliamentary groups jointly conducted in 2006, in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health. The report documents the enormous progress parliamentarians have made since 1994, as well as their priorities, aspirations and challenges.

The Survey showed that respondents were personally involved in the adoption of 250 laws and 67 policies and the introduction of 157 bills on population-related issues. A number of parliamentarians, mainly in donor countries, were successful in increasing budget allocations for ICPD implementation.

Along with these outstanding achievements, the Survey painted a compelling picture of the challenges legislators faced in fulfilling their role as advocates of population, reproductive health and rights and gender equality. Even when appropriate laws and policies were in place, lack of implementation and lack of resources has continued to hamper progress. The report makes several recommendations to address these obstacles.