World Population Day will be held on 11th of July. The World Population on the 20th anniversary of Five Billion Day, July 11, 2007, was estimated to have been 6,727,551,263. Worldwide, the largest group of young women ever is entering their childbearing years, requiring an expansion of family planning services to meet their needs and enable more couples to have the smaller families they desire. In the long term, smaller families will contribute to individual and family well-being, to a slowdown in population growth rates, and to sustainable economic development1. But the number of people on earth is not the real story. The real story is improving the quality of life of every one. A number of interconnected issues play a critical role in today's world: sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and youth, gender and human rights, family planning and safe motherhood, environmental protection, employment and economic development etc.
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. World Population Day is annually observed on July 11 to reaffirm the human right to plan for a family. It encourages activities, events and information to help make this right a reality throughout the world.
The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was a milestone in the history of population and development. 179 governments committed to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The ICPD prescribes the steps that will not only save millions of women's lives but empower societies to achieve a better future. Concrete goals include providing universal education; reducing infant, child and maternal mortality; and ensuring universal access by 2015 to reproductive health care, including family planning, assisted childbirth and prevention of sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Thus 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.
Alternate Name - The United Nations' (UN) World Population Day
World Population Day 2013 - Message from the Secretary-General
As a staunch advocate of the education, health and rights of girls and an enduring believer in the power of young women to transform our world, I welcome the focus of this year's World Population Day on adolescent pregnancy. This sensitive topic demands global attention.
Far too many of the estimated 16 million teenage girls who give birth each year never had the opportunity to plan their pregnancy. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth can cause grave disabilities, such as obstetric fistula, and are the leading cause of death for these vulnerable young women. Adolescent girls also face high levels of illness, injury and death due to unsafe abortion.
To address these problems, we must get girls into primary school and enable them to receive a good education through their adolescence. When a young girl is educated, she is more likely to marry later, delay childbearing until she is ready, have healthier children, and earn a higher income.
We must also provide all adolescents with age-appropriate, comprehensive education on sexuality. This is especially important to empowering young women to decide when and if they wish to become mothers. In addition, we must provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services that cover family planning and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. And we must guarantee the maternal health services that women need.
When we devote attention and resources to the education, health and wellbeing of adolescent girls, they will become an even greater force for positive change in society that will have an impact for generations to come. On this World Population Day, let us pledge to support adolescent girls to realize their potential and contribute to our shared future.
World Population Day 2013 Message from the Executive Director of UNFPA
World Population Day 2013 Focuses on Adolescent Pregnancy
UNFPA Executive Director: adolescent pregnancy is not just a health issue, it's a development issue
There are over 600 million girls in the world today, more than 500 million of them in developing countries. They are shaping humanity's present and future. The opportunities and choices girls have during adolescence will enable them to begin adulthood as empowered, active citizens.
With the right skills and opportunities, they can invest in themselves, in their families and their communities. However, pregnancy jeopardizes the rights, health, education and potential of far too many adolescent girls, robbing them of a better future.
About 16 million girls aged 15-19 give birth each year, and complications from pregnancy and child birth are the leading cause of death among girls in this age group, especially in developing countries.
Adolescent pregnancy is not just a health issue, it is a development issue. It is deeply rooted in poverty, gender inequality, violence, child and forced marriage, power imbalances between adolescent girls and their male partners, lack of education, and the failure of systems and institutions to protect their rights. To bring these issues to global attention, this year's World Population Day is focusing on adolescent pregnancy.
Breaking the cycle of adolescent pregnancy requires commitment from nations, communities and individuals in both developed and developing countries to invest in adolescent girls. Governments should enact and enforce national laws that raise the age of marriage to 18 and should promote community-based efforts that support girls' rights and prevent child marriage and its consequences.
Adolescents and youth must be provided with age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education to develop the knowledge and skills they need to protect their health throughout their lives. However, education and information are not enough. Good quality reproductive health services must also be readily available in order for adolescents to make informed choices and be healthy.
At the local level, communities should provide the infrastructure to deliver reproductive health care in a youth-friendly and sensitive way.
Underlying all these efforts is the understanding that the dignity and human rights of adolescent girls must be respected, protected and fulfilled. Today, we call on governments, the international community and all stakeholders involved to take measures that enable adolescent girls to make responsible life choices and to provide the necessary support for them in cases when their rights are threatened. Every young girl, regardless of where she lives, or her economic circumstances, has the right to fulfil her human potential. Today, too many girls are denied that right. We can change that, and we must.
Thanks to http://www.unfpa.org
For more please visit http://www.unfpa.org/public/world-population-day/