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BRICS countries realize that a focus on reducing poverty and inequality, and addressing vulnerable groups, is imperative. The Action Plan of the New Delhi Declaration of the 2012 BRICS Summit identified “cooperation on population related issues” as a new area of cooperation to explore, and the eThekwini Action Plan of the 2013 BRICS Summit mandated meetings on population matters.

The purpose of this publication is to form and maintain a strong relationship among BRICS countries to encourage them to integrate population factors into their national development plans by exchanging ideas and expertise, as well as the challenges and experiences facing their countries. We envisage that countries will discuss and share their knowledge on topics such as:

• gender and women’s rights

• sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights

• demographic transition and post-transition challenges, including population structure change and population ageing

• mortality reduction and increasing life expectancy

• social integration of migrant farmers during rapid urbanization

• information on population and health, including data collection and utilization • sharing information and experience on improving the equity and quality of the health of women and children

• discussing and comparing policy responses and interventions by the countries

This publication draws on the presentations and thematic papers covering the above topics by BRICS’s population and development experts and members responsible for their population and development departments which were presented during the BRICS inaugural seminar in Hazyview, South Africa, in March 2014.