Friday, July 2, 1999 Published at 22:39 GMT 23:39 UK
Action agreed on world population
More than 170 nations have reached agreement on a number of controversial measures to control the world's rapidly-expanding population.
"Every girl, every boy, every man and every woman must have their basic rights to education, to health and have options and choices."
"We have to stabilize the population of this planet," UN Secretary General Kofi Annan told the special assembly.
Despite bitter opposition from the Vatican and some Roman Catholic and Islamic states, the conference:
In spite of religious objections the majority of countries expressed a determination to lower the number of deaths caused by botched illegal abortions.
The final document also called for the elimination of practices that discriminated against women.
Correspondents say the focus on sex education is likely to antagonise American anti-abortion and anti-contraception groups whose lobbying has led the US government to restrict funding for many UN health initiatives.
The two-day meeting in New York was called to urge member states to redouble efforts towards fulfilling the goals of the 1994 Cairo conference on population.
Barbara Klugman, a member of the South African delegation and manager of the country's Women's Health Project, noted a signifant shift in the outlook of delegates since the previous meeting.
Since 1960 the world's population has doubled to six billion, and there are fears that it could rise to 10 billion by 2050.
So far the UN's population programs have received only half the amount of cash agreed upon in Cairo.
After the document was completed, Argentina entered formal reservations to nearly every major issue - on family planning, on new contraceptive options, on abortion "in any form", and to the word "gender."
Nicaragua followed suit.
However Sudan and Libya, which had earlier voiced religious concerns about the document, in the end raised no objections.
Paying the bill
BBC Environment Correspondent Robert Pigott says that money will continue to be a vital part of making practical population control measures work.
He points out that the substantial sums promised in Cairo have not been delivered, and the fact that the richer countries have done worse than developing countries on payments added to the ill-tempered nature of some of the debate in New York.
Providing universal contraception, and perhaps more significantly the medical backup for it, will not be cheap.