New Picture (8)

December 11, 2013

Population and Development, A message from the Cairo Conference, 1995

Authors: Robert Cliquet and Kristiaan Thienpont

Since the onset of modernisation the world population doubled several times and will soon reach six billion of people. The annual rate of increase in the world population is approximately 90 million people. This is the largest absolute level of population growth ever recorded. According to the most recent population projections of the United Nations, the world population will probably double again before stabilising at a stationary level. Ninety percent of the present and future population growth is accounted for by developing countris.

The ICPD dealt with the key issues concerning the interrelations between population, development and environment, and their causes, and was not limited to marginal issues such as abortion, promiscuity and homosexuality as was the impression given in the media as a result of the way these questions were distorted by the actions of religious fundamentalists. The ICPD Action Programme forms an impressive charter with a broad range of relevant policy recommendations. Nevertheless, compared to most of the current scientific literature, the ICPD seems to underestimate the seriousness and urgency of the issues at stake.