The United Nations General Assembly is holding a special session to draw up a strategy for limiting the world population, keeping in view the sharp divisions that exist on issues such as abortion, family planning and sex education in schools. The session is being held to review the decisions and recommendations taken at the Cairo Population conference being held to draw up priorities for the next century. The aim of the Cairo conference is to stabilise the world population at nine and a half million by 2050. Experts attending the conference called for urgent and stringent steps towards the direction. They warned that though the fertility rate of women has decreased in recent years, much still needs to be done.
United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan has urged the business community to join the UN in the fight against AIDS. Annan was delivering the first Princess of Wales Memorial lecture in London. He called on business establishments to contribute money and to participate in other ways towards efforts to prevent and treat the spread of HIV in the developing world. Drawing attention to the epidemic's impact in Africa, Annan said that the disease had not only taken a terrible human toll, but had also devastated many African economies.
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