Magazine article UN Chronicle

Commission Gives High Priority to Monitoring Global Trends

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Commission Gives High Priority to Monitoring Global Trends

Article excerpt

The effect of population growth on the environment, the role and status of women, and the demographic implications of development Policies were among major topics discussed by the Population Commission at its twenty-seventh session (28-31 March, New York).

"The most important lesson we have learned is that population growth and other demographic trends can only be affected by investing in people and by promoting equality between women and men", Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and Secretary-General of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, told the 26-member body.

In the single text approved during the session, for adoption by the Economic and Social Council, the Commission asked that high priority be given to monitoring world population trends and policies, and to strengthening multilateral technical cooperation to address population concerns.

Further study was asked on: the role of women and population; mortality; levels and changes in population distribution through migration, including refugees, and urbanization; and family formation, reproductive behaviour and family planning.

Among reports reviewed at the session were those on implementation of recommendations made in the 1974 and 1984 UN population conferences, in preparation for the 1994 Conference to be held in Cairo in September.

Population trends

The Commission considered a 58-page report (E/CN.9/1994/2) on population trends and policies, social and economic implications of the increasing number of refugees, and the impact of population on the environment.

The world population more than doubled between 1950 and 1992, reaching an estimated 5.5 billion, it was reported. By the end of the twentieth century, that number should rise to 6.2 billion.

In 1992, 10 of the world's largest countries were home to 60 per cent of the people worldwide. They are: China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, the Russian Federation, Japan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Bangladesh. Urban areas claimed 43 per cent of world population or 2.28 billion people by mid-1990.

Global life expectancy had risen since 19 50 by an impressive 18 years, the report stated, from 46.4 years to 64. …

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