WORLD POPULATION DAY – Celebrate July 11, 2011

11 July 2011

World Population Day 2011

 

World Population Day is an annual event, observed on July 11, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues.

In 1968, world leaders proclaimed that individuals have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and timing of their children. Forty years later, modern contraception remains out of reach for hundreds of millions of women, men and young people.

World Population Day 2008 reaffirmed the right of people to plan their families. It encouraged activities, events and information that will help make this right real — especially for those who often have the hardest time getting the information and services they need to plan their families, such as marginalized populations and young people.

When people can plan their families, they can plan their lives. They can plan to beat poverty. They can plan on healthier mothers and children. They can plan to gain equality for women. Plan to support World Population Day this year!

In 1989, in its decision 89/46, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that, in order to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programmes and the need to find solutions for these issues, 11 July should be observed by the international community as World Population Day.
The unprecedented decrease in mortality that began to accelerate in the more developed parts of the world in the nineteenth century and expanded to all the world in the twentieth century is one of the major achievements of humanity. By one estimate, life expectancy at birth increased from 30 to 67 years between 1800 and 2005, leading to a rapid growth of the population: from 1 billion in 1810 to nearly 7 billion in 2010.

The Population Division collaborates closely with the agencies, funds, programmes and bodies of the United Nations system in the implementation of the work programme on population and in the follow-up to the International Conference on Population and Development. United Nations missions, national Government offices, United Nations offices, researchers, media representatives and the public regularly consult the Population Division regarding population estimates and projections, and information and analyses on population and development issues.

At its thirty-eighth session (E/2007/24), the Statistical Commission requested the United Nations Statistics Division and other international agencies to increase their technical assistance to national statistical offices in order to strengthen national capacity for the implementation of the 2010 World Programme on Population and Housing Censuses. In addition, the Commission requested countries to begin implementation of the revised Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses.

UNFPA works with many partners, both within and outside the United Nations system, including Governments, non-governmental organizations, civil society, faith-based organizations, religious leaders and others, to achieve its mission. To better respond to local needs, UNFPA increasingly devotes resources to country-led efforts, placing emphasis on country-focused and country-led implementation to achieve improved results, at the same time addressing mutual accountability and strengthening harmonization and alignment.

What do people do?

World Population Day aims to increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, including gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights. The day is celebrated worldwide by business groups, community organizations and individuals in many ways. Activities include seminar discussions, educational information sessions and essay competitions.

Public life

World Population Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

In 1968 world leaders proclaimed that individuals had a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and timing of their children. About 40 years later modern contraception remains out of reach for millions of women, men and young people. World Population Day was instituted in 1989 as an outgrowth of the Day of Five Billion, marked on July 11, 1987. The UN authorized the event as a vehicle to build an awareness of population issues and the impact they have on development and the environment.

Since then, with the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) encouragement, governments, non-governmental organizations, institutions and individuals organize various educational activities to celebrate the annual event.

Symbols

The UN logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in colors such as blue against a yellow.

 

World Population Day 2011: The World at 7 Billion

World Population Day will kick off the 7 Billion Actions campaign.

 

The tremendous interest generated by the Day of 5 Billion on 11 July 1987 led to the establishment of World Population Day as an annual event. For more than 20 years, 11 July has been an occasion to mark the significance of population trends and related issues.

This year, as the world population is expected to surpass 7 billion, UNFPA and partners are launching a campaign called 7 Billion Actions. It aims to engage people, spur commitment and spark actions related to the opportunities and challenges presented by a world of 7 billion people.

In many ways a world of 7 billion is an achievement: Globally, people are living longer and healthier lives, and couples are choosing to have fewer children. However, meeting the needs of current and future generations presents daunting challenges as our numbers continue to increase.

Whether we can live together equitably on a healthy planet will depend on the choices and decisions we make now. In a world of 7 billion people, and counting, we need to count each other.

 

Challenges, Opportunities and Action in a World of 7 Billion

World Population Day kicks off global 7 Billion Actions Campaign


UNITED NATIONS, New York — As the world population
approaches 7 billion, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, launches a
global initiative on Monday to highlight the challenges, opportunities and
actions that will shape our common future.

World Population Day, 11 July, is the start of a worldwide advocacy effort
that will continue through 31 October, when the United Nations projects world
population will surpass 7 billion, and beyond.

The 7 Billion Actions campaign will promote dialogue on what it means to live
in a world with so many people and encourage action on issues that affect us
all. UNFPA offices and their partners throughout the world will organize a
variety of related activities.

A world of 7 billion is a challenge

Globally, population has doubled since 1968 and grown by almost 40 per cent since
reaching 5 billion in 1987, an event that led to the first World Population Day.
Growth will continue at least until mid-century despite dramatic declines in the
average number of children per woman, according to the UN Population Division.

Nearly all of this population growth — 97 of every 100 people — is occurring
in less developed countries, some of which already struggle to meet their
citizens’ needs. Gaps between rich and poor are growing. Urbanization and
migration continue.

Climate change is of increasing concern and more people than ever are vulnerable
to food insecurity, water shortages and weather-related disasters. Meanwhile, many
rich and middle-income countries are concerned about low fertility and aging.

“Whether we can live together on a healthy planet will depend on the
decisions we make now. The date we reach the next billion–and the ones after
that–depends on policy and funding decisions made now about maternal and child
health care, access to voluntary family planning, girls’ education, and expanded
opportunities for women and young people,” said UNFPA Executive Director, Dr.
Babatunde Osotimehin.

It is also an opportunity

These pressing human concerns are the transnational issues that call for concerted
actions, Dr. Osotimehin added. “As more and more people share our planet, new
challenges will arise. Solving existing challenges while protecting the human rights
of all will become increasingly more urgent.”

Individual decisions determine global population growth. However, some 215
million women in developing countries lack access to effective family planning.
Working to ensure that every child is wanted and every childbirth is safe will
lead to smaller and stronger families and more opportunities for women.

People under 25 make up 43 per cent of the world’s population, but the
percentage reaches 60 per cent in the least developed countries. When young
people can claim their right to health, education and decent working conditions,
they become a powerful force for economic development and positive change.

“We have an opportunity and responsibility to invest in adolescents and
youth,” Dr. Osotimehin said. “With the right policies, investments and social
support, young people can enjoy healthier lives free of poverty and enhance
prospects for peace and stability.”

The 7 Billion Actions campaign is a Call to Action !!!
The 7 Billion Actions campaign — a collaborative effort involving National Geographic, IBM and
SAP, as well as many other private sector and UN partners and civil society
organizations— calls on people to get involved. It uses new partnerships,
technologies and social marketing to spur commitment and action. Individuals,
organizations and communities can participate in a variety of ways, from telling
their unique stories to carrying out specific actions.

“Working together, incremental actions will create exponential results,” Dr.
Osotimehin said. “UNFPA’s slogan is that everyone counts. And now, with nearly 7
billion people sharing our planet, we need to count on each other as never before.”

*****

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund,
is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to
enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using
population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that
every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of
HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
UNFPA
For more information, please contact:

Abubakar Dungus, +1 212 297 5031,
dungus@unfpa.org

Maria Fernandez Ruiz de Larrinaga, +1 212 297 4957,
larrinaga@unfpa.org
or visit www.unfpa.org

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