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 Program in 1989, an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987.
This year's World Population Day calls for global attention to the unfinished business of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. Twenty-five years have passed since that landmark conference, where 179 governments recognized that reproductive health and gender equality are essential for achieving sustainable development.
In November, UNFPA, together with the governments of Kenya and Denmark, will be convening a high-level conference in Nairobi to accelerate efforts to achieve these unmet goals.
On World Population Day, advocates from around the world are calling on leaders, policymakers, grassroots organizers, institutions and others to help make reproductive health and rights a reality for all. International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.
The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. The most recent world population studies conducted by the United States Census Bureau (USCB) estimates the world population at a staggering 7.014 billion as on March 2012. The reports at the United Nations Population Fund suggest that world population crossed a milestone on 31st October, 2011.
Growing population is a cause of major concerns because a world which is getting continuously crowded will have great repercussion on natural resources which sustain all living organisms. Unrestrained growth in population has already started exhibiting telling effects on the world natural resources which are gradually receding at a fast depletion rate. To make the general masses aware to the hazard of such a situation the Council of the United Nations Development Program recommended in 1989 following its decision 89/46 to observe 11th July as.
World Population Day. The primary concern with observing a day entirely as World Population Day was to center attention on the immediacy and consequence of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programs and the need to find solutions for these issues of the effects of growing population.
The greatest identifiable threat caused due to over population is the alarmingly fast depletion of natural resources and threat to sustainability. But albeit being a threat to life itself, the World Population is also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of brotherhood and to realize the responsibility we have towards another in this great big world we call our family.
The sentiment is echoed in the following excerpt from the world message delivered by Ban-Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations at the World Population Day celebration on the 11th of July, 2011... "This year's World Population Day falls during a milestone year, when we anticipate the birth of the Earth's seven billionth inhabitant. This is an opportunity to celebrate our common humanity and our diversity. It is also a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for each other and our planet.
The writer is a banking professional and columnist. He can be reached: firstname.lastname@example.org
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