NEW YORK: United Nation Organization (UNO) Secretary General, Antonio Gutterres, has issued message on World Population day, on Thursday.

UN Secretary General’s Message

He said the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the world’s blueprint for a better future for all on a healthy planet. 

On World Population Day, UN Chief said, “we recognize that this mission is closely interrelated with demographic trends including population growth, ageing, migration and urbanization.” 

“While the world’s population overall continues to increase, this growth is uneven”, he added.

“For many of the world’s least developed countries, the challenges to sustainable development are compounded by rapid population growth as well as vulnerability to climate change”, said UN Chief.

He said that other countries are facing the challenge of ageing populations, including the need to promote healthy active ageing and to provide adequate social protection.

Urbanization in the World

“As the world continues to urbanize, with 68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, sustainable development and climate change will increasingly depend on the successful management of urban growth”, Antonio said.   

“While managing these population trends, we must also recognize the relationship between population, development and individual well-being.  Twenty-five years ago, at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), world leaders first spelt out the links between population, development and human rights, including reproductive rights”, said Antonio Gutterres.

On this day, he expressed that they also recognized that promoting gender equality is both the right thing to do and one of the most reliable pathways to sustainable development and improved well-being for all. 

Global Attention to the Cairo ICPD Conference

UN Chief said this year’s World Population Day calls for global attention to the unfinished business of the Cairo ICPD Conference.

“Despite progress in lowering maternal mortality and unintended pregnancies, many challenges remain. Around the world, we are seeing pushback on women’s rights, including on essential health services.  Issues related to pregnancy are still the leading cause of death among girls aged 15 to 19. Gender-based violence, which is rooted in inequality, continues to take a horrific toll”, said UN Secretary General. 

In November, a summit marking the 25th anniversary of the Cairo Conference will take place in Nairobi, he added.  

UN Chief also encouraged Member States to participate at the highest levels and to make firm political and financial commitments to realize the Programme of Action of the ICPD.  

Carrying forward the vision of the ICPD will unlock opportunities for those left behind and also help pave the way for sustainable, equitable and inclusive development for all, said UN Chief.

Background

World Population Day, which seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, was established by the then-Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987.

By resolution 45/216 of December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly decided to continue observing World Population Day to enhance awareness of population issues, including their relations to the environment and development.

The Day was first marked on 11 July 1990 in more than 90 countries. Since then, a number of a number of UNFPA country offices and other organizations and institutions commemorate World Population Day, in partnership with governments and civil society.

World Population Trends

Current estimates indicate that roughly 83 million people are being added to the world’s population every year. Even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline, the global population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, according to the medium-variant projection.

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