Records in S-1935 document the planning and implementation of the 1974 World Population Conference by Ralph Townley and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) of the United Nations. Mr. Townley served as the Director of the Office of the Secretary-General of the World Population Conference. Antonio Carillo-Flores served as the Secretary-General of the conference.
The 1974 World Population Conference was held in Bucharest, Romania from 19 to 30 August 1974 and was the first world-wide intergovernmental conference to be held on the subject of population. Two population conferences were previously held in 1954 and 1964, but the 1974 conference was the first to include representatives of member states’ governments in addition to experts in the field of population.
Ralph Townley joined the United Nations in 1951 as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs before moving to the Special Fund as a Project Officer in 1959. Mr. Townley held various positions in the Special Fund and its successor, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) from 1959 to 1972. In January 1973, Mr. Townley was appointed as the Acting Director of the Office of the Secretary-General of the World Population Conference. His title changed to Director in January 1974.
Records in S-1935 include Mr. Townley’s chronological files, which contain correspondence and memoranda, reports, and cables documenting the planning and financing of the conference. A small amount of records are Mr. Townley’s personal files, which include correspondence and memoranda from his friends and family and relate to his other positions within the United Nations. S-1935 also contains subject files that are arranged alphabetically by topic and include: conference facilities, cultural activities; population policies of Brazil and the United States of America; public relations; and publications. These records include correspondence and memoranda, reports, cables, agendas and meeting minutes, and drafts of the official conference pamphlet and the World Population Plan of Action (WPPA). The records also document coordination with the United Nations regional economic commissions and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).