Population Dynamics - Countries
February 11, 2013
Winners and Losers in World of Huge Population Change 9 Billion PeopleFebruary 26, 2005 The Scotsman
The world's population is expected to rise from the current 6.5 billion to 9.1 billion by 2050. India's population will overtake China before 2030, while Britain will be bigger than France by 2025 but Scotland faces a decline. China has been exercising a birth control policy, although there are considering relaxing it because of the ageing population. India's higher fertility will overtake China as the world's most populated country. Britain's population will overtake France by having higher immigration. The population of the developed world will remain stable while Scotland faces population decline, with 5.05 million falling to 4.84 million by 2009. The rise of global population is a serious concern but has slowed in recent years. There will be 1,395 million people in India by 2025, and 1,593 million by 2050. China's population will grow to 1,441 million by 2025, before slipping back to 1,392 million in 2050. The UK's population will overtake France by 2025, rising from almost 60 million to more than 67 million by 2050 while France's population will have risen from 60.5 million to 63.1 million. France and Britain have similar birth and death rates, but the UN assumes that Britain will have a higher rate of immigration. The big concern is Africa. The UN's revision said the population in less-developed countries was expected to swell from 5.3 billion today to 7.8 billion in 2050. By contrast, the population of richer, developed countries will remain unchanged, at 1.2 billion. In 1950, the world's population stood at 2.5 billion, which rose to just over 4 billion by 1975. In 1999 it was just over 6 billion and by the start of 2004 had reached 6.3 billion. The expected growth has serious implications because it will be concentrated in countries that have problems providing adequate health and shelter. India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, the United States, Ethiopia and China are likely to contribute half of the world's population increase. The population is projected to at triple in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Congo, the Republic of Congo, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger and Uganda. In southern Africa, with the highest AIDS prevalence, life expectancy has fallen from 62 years in 1995 to 48 years and is projected to decrease to 43 over the next decade. China's changing population was due to uprooting people from rural lifestyles into an urban economy. China has an ageing population but the picture is much rosier for India which has a younger populationto power its economy and fertility rates are slowing down. Europe's population is on a downward trend and will drop from 728 million to 653 million in 2050. That figure includes population falls in Italy and Germany. By 2050, there will be 101 million Turks up from 73 million.
India World's Largest Nation by 2030, UN SaysFebruary 25, 2005 Agence France Presse
The UN's latest global population report predicted that India would reach 1.593 billion by 2050, while China will reach 1.392 billion. India will surpass China by 2030. India's fertility rate is over three children per woman while China's is about 1.7. The report also forecast that world population will hit 9.1 billion by 2050, with India and Pakistan seeing the biggest increases. But almost all of the growth will come in developing nations, and the overall increase is "inevitable" even though fertility rates in the developed world continue to plummet. In 15 nations mostly in Europe the birth rate has fallen below 1.3 children per woman. The U.S. increase is due to the continuing arrival of immigrants, who tend to have more children. Population is expected to triple in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Congo, the DRC, East Timor, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger and Uganda. The projections assume a decline in fertility from 2.6 children per woman to slightly more than 2 by 2050. The trend toward lower birth rates combined with longer life expectancy means that the world population will be getting older. Those more than 80 years old are believed to number around 86 million now and will soar to 394 million by mid-century.
The world's population is expected to rise from 6.5 billion to 9.1 billion by 2050 with the growth in the developing world. The population of developed countries will remain at 1.2 billion. India will be the world's most populous country by 2030. The population in the world's 50 poorest countries will more than double by 2050. Afghanistan, Chad and East Timor will see their numbers going up three-fold. They are unable to provide shelter and food for all their people, but if fertility dropped, they would buy time to face the problems. Africa has seen life expectancy at birth decline from 62 in 1995 to 48 years in 2000-2005 due to the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases, as well as armed conflicts and economic stagnation. The overall trend shows a lower rate of growth in the past 20 to 50 years. The population continues to grow but at a lower pace. By July 2005, the world will have 6.5 billion inhabitants, 380 million more than in 2000 or a gain of 76 million annually. Eight countries will account for half the population increase: India, Pakistan, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, the United States of America, Ethiopia and China, listed according to the size of their contribution to population growth.
The latest Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) ranks Norway, Uruguay, Sweden and Iceland two to five respectively, their success attributed to natural resources, low population density, and management of environment. The ESI ranks countries on environmental sustainability, pollution levels, environmental management, protection of the global commons, and capacity to improve its environmental performance. The U.S., which is placed 45th behind the Netherlands and ahead of the U.K., reflects top performance on water quality and environmental protection. But the U.S. was ranked bottom on waste and greenhouse gas. The lowest ranked countries are North Korea, Iraq, Taiwan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - all face challenges, and have poorly managed policies. Belgium is as wealthy as Sweden, but it lags with regard to pollution control and natural resource management. Political debate, a free press, lack of corruption, rule of law are correlated with environmental success. Finland is the equal of the U.S. in competitiveness but scores higher on sustainability and outperforms the U.S. from air pollution to global-scale environmental efforts. Developed countries face pollution stresses and consumption-related issues. Developing countries face resource depletion and a lack pollution control. The ESI hones in on human vulnerability to environmental stress, the functioning of ecosystems, and global stewardship and will promote a deeper international understanding of environmental management.
The UNFPA and Population Reference Bureau have jointly published the Country Profiles for Population and Reproductive Health, which contains national and subnational indicators on the demographic and social situation in 163 countries and subregions. The publication organizes by the following categories: population, socioeconomic and health conditions, adolescent reproductive health, gender equality, and reproductive health commodity security needs. It also provides data on internal disparities, highlighting differences within countries, between urban and rural areas, between the best and worst performing administrative regions, by education, and among different income groups.
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From the Executive Summary: Since the 1970s the world has experienced profound changes in fertility, union formation and contraceptive demand. Fertility has declined throughout the world, early childbearing and marriage are less common and the percentage of women and men using contraception, especially modern methods, has risen.
The World Fertility Report 2009 presents a compilation of key indicators of fertility, nuptiality, contraceptive use and relevant population policies for 196 countries over the past 40 years.
1. Fertility declined worldwide to unprecedented levels between the 1970s and the first decade of the twenty-first century. Total fertility fell in all but three of the 185 countries or areas for which data are available. In the most recent period covered, 75 countries or areas had a total fertility below 2.1 children per woman, the level required to ensure the replacement of generations in low mortality populations.
2. The median level of total fertility among developing countries fell by more than half, from 5.7 children per woman in the 1970s to 2.5 children per woman in the most recent period. More than a third of all developing countries experienced fertility declines of at least 1.0 child per woman per decade during that period. Yet total fertility is below replacement level (2.1 children per woman) in 32 of 102 developing countries or areas with data available and remains above 4.0 children per woman in 10 countries or areas.
3. Fertility levels among the least developed countries remain high and have undergone only moderate decline since 1970s. Among the 39 least developed countries with data, the median total fertility declined from 6.5 children per woman in the 1970s to 5.4 children per woman in the first decade of the twenty-first century. In 2000-2007, more than two- thirds of the least developed countries still had total fertility higher than 5.0 children per woman.
4. By the first decade of the twenty-first century, none of the developed countries had total fertility above 2.1 children per woman. Total fertility was below 1.4 children per woman in about half of developed countries.
(not all points are covered. Go to the link in the headline for the complete report)
7. Increasing numbers of Governments have become dissatisfied with the fertility levels of their populations. In 1976, 53% of Governments at the world level viewed their fertility levels as being satisfactory, and by 2009 only 38% held this view. Among developed countries, an increasing proportion of Governments viewed their fertility levels as being too low: 21% in 1976 compared to 61% in 2009.
8. Age at marriage has been rising around the world.
10. Marriage is becoming less relevant for childbearing. In 62 countries with data on extramarital births the median percentage of all births that occurred out of formal (legal) marriage rose substantially, from 7.1% in the 1970s to 33.8%in the first decade of the twenty-first century.
11.The use of contraception among women aged 15 to 49 who are married or in a union increased in 90% of the 68 countries or areas with data. Among developing countries, contraceptive use increased sharply, where the median of the distribution rose from 44.6% in 1970-1979 to 64.1% in 2000-2009.
12. Despite increases in contraceptive use over time, levels of unmet need for family planning in 2000-2009 were moderate to high in developing and least developed countries. Among the 37 developing countries with data for 2000-2009, half had levels of unmet need for family planning between 7.5% and 20.2%.
Population Reference Bureau senior demographer Carl Haub has summarized data on reproductive health and maternal and child health from recently released Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) for a number of developing countries.
Large declines in womens total fertility rate (TFR) have been seen in Ethiopia and Rwanda. Rwanda's progress is the sharpest TFR decline in sub-Saharan Africa that Haub has seen. infant and child mortality are also declining dramatically in both countries, however, Ethiopia is challenged in getting health care delivery to its large rural population.
Slower fertility declines are seen in Burkina Faso, Malawi, and Senegal, but these countries are showing considerable progress in maternal and child health.
Zimbabwe has seen an increase in fertility, a rise in childhood mortality and its progress on health seems to have stagnated in recent years.
Nepal's TFR has been steadily declining and the country is on track to reaching replacement level of 2.1 children per woman. Nepal's progress in childhood mortality is lagging.
India has experienced lack of success in slowing down the birth rate. The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry in Delhi proposed new incentives for lowering birth rates. Progress in childhood mortality is also lagging.
Vietnam's "one-to-two" children policy has resulted in a below replacement level TFR, even in rural areas.
Informative interactive graphs showing population curves over time. You can choose the country or countries to show on the graph.
'Population Bomb' Forecast Proves WrongAugust 30, 2004 New York Times*
Predictions that the globe's population would soar to catastrophic levels are proving inaccurate, the New York Times reported. Paul Ehrlich created a scare with his book "The Population Bomb," warning of the consequences of too many people. But ever since the U.N. Population Division has regularly revised its estimates downward and now expects population to level off at 9 billion. This is attributed to declining birth rates and improved public health measures. Nearly half the world's people live in cities, and when in a city, children are not as helpful as on the farm. Barring disaster, a country needs a birthrate of 2.1 children per woman to hold steady. In 1970, the world's fertility level was 5.4, but in 2000, it was 2.9.
Philippines: More Economic Activity Needed to Temper Population RiseApril 06, 2006 Business World
The economy needs to grow 7%-9% annually, equitably distributed among all classes to slow down the Philippines' population growth. The more low-income groups, the more people will be added to the Philippine population.
A 5%-6% growth will benefit only the upper classes. It needs to grow 7%-9% and be felt by all levels, including the low-income groups.
The Philippine population is growing at 2.36% annually, one of the highest in Asia, and is estimated at 87 million.
With the Catholic Church opposed to family planning methods, President Arroyo is endorsing the use of natural family planning and ordered the release of P30 million for this program.
The economy expanded by 6% in 2004 and 5.1% last year. But growth was not equitably felt. The Philippine economy needs to grow 7%-8% annually to cut poverty.
The government will work with local government units and financial institutions in stimulating growth in the countryside. The Philippines needs to attract investments, but economic provisions in the Constitution need to be changed. The ideal population growth for the Philippines is 1.8%-1.9%.
High population growth is straining resources. For example, there are more students than the educational system can handle.
Yet the Philippine population, is "more stable" compared to those of countries such as Japan where people over 60 years old are expected to outnumber those younger by 2015.
Filipino mothers tend to have one more child than they want and there is a demand for family planning services.
The age-specific fertility pattern has a shape common in all human populations. Recently however, the fertility pattern in developed countries exhibits a deviation from the classical one. Data sets of United Kingdom, Ireland and US show a bulge in fertility rates of younger women. In countries with distorted fertility, the pattern of first births exhibits a hump in younger ages, stronger than that of the total pattern. This heterogeneity indicated by the recent fertility distributions of European countries and the US might be related to marital status, religion, educational level and differences in social and economic conditions. In the US this might be related to ethnic difference. In this paper, a new flexible model for describing both the old and the new patterns of fertility is proposed. Follow the link above for more detail.
Demography is the study of human populations: Populations grow or decline through the interplay of three demographic processes: birth, death, and migration. The newest edition of "Population: A Lively Introduction," introduces the basics of population studies and explains how to calculate the total fertility rate (TFR) and also reviews the social and biological factors that affect when women have children and how many they will have. The study of mortality is less certain than it would seem. More and more people are living past 100, but we don't know what the upper limit to human life might be. No one has lived beyond 122 years and five months, as far as we know. Just as HIV devastated certain population groups and some entire countries, we might see unexpected medical breakthroughs that protect against HIV and slow aging.
Migration is the third demographic variable with key variables such as age structure that determine population size and change. The relationship between slow population growth and aging, between immigration and ethnic composition, are added to the basic theories of population growth and change.
Mara Hvistendahl is the author of Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men. She puts the number of missing girls in Asia at 163 million, more than the entire female population in the U.S. The imbalance was made possible by gender-selection abortion practices not only in China, but in India and other developing countries -- and in ethnic Asian communities in the U.S.
As a result, tens of millions of men in Asia, 'surplus males,' who, without female counterparts, may purchase women from poorer countries.
Sex selection has taken hold thanks to technology, lower birth rates, and deep-seated cultural biases that require a boy to carry on a family's lineage.
Abortion is accessible and widely used in most cultures, easier to obtain than in the U.S. There are nearly three abortions for every birth in some countries. "The availability of relatively inexpensive screening with unconditional abortion is a game changer," says Nicholas Eberstadt, a demographer at American Enterprise Institute.
Falling birth rates in developing countries, which improve the health and education of mothers and children, have the unintended consequence of encouraging sex-selection abortion. When a woman gave birth to six children, the odds were 99% that one would be a boy. With two children, it's only a 24% chance. "It's not that women want more boys, they have less chance of getting them," says Hvistendahl. Eberstadt says that women will take whatever sex with the first child, but after that, it's "very apparent there?s a massive parental intervention going on."
Sex selection happens more frequently with the urban, educated middle-class, says Hvistendahl, adding that it seems paradoxical that educated women are more likely to abort a fetus. Women in China are doing better than ever before, with more women in Ph.D. programs than men. "Yet this is happening at the same time,? she says. "If you don?t have a boy, you lose status."
U.S.: Urgent House Vote on Eliminating US Contribution to UN Population FundMay 27, 2011 Population Institute
Within the next week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill that would eliminate the entire U.S. contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Currently, the U.S. gives UNFPA $40 million a year to support a wide range of programs benefiting women in the developing world, including family planning, obstetric care, and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
This would have a catastrophic effect on the health and survival of women in the developing world and would only increase the number of unsafe abortions. Call your U.S. Representative and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and urge them to defeat any effort to cut funding for UNFPA. The House switchboard number is (202)225-3121.
Around the world, 215 million women want to prevent or delay pregnancy but are not using a modern method of contraception. UNFPA helps fulfill this unmet need by increasing access to modern contraceptives.
UNFPA's core programs expand access to reproductive health care for the poor and other hard to reach groups, including refugees and displaced persons, help mothers survive pregnancy and childbirth, deliver healthy newborns, enable couples to determine the number and spacing of their children and reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS. UNFPA also supports data collection and research to encourage appropriate population and development policies, activities to improve the status of women, and advocacy to galvanize political and financial backing for reproductive health care and development. UNFPA also plays an important leadership role in global efforts to prevent and repair obstetric fistula, to eradicate female genital mutilation, and to improve access to reproductive health supplies, including contraceptives and condoms.
Editor's note: For a look at some of the lies being propagated on this issue, look at http://www.pop.org/content/urgent-action-item-letter-to-congress-oppose-forced-abortion-defend-kemp-kasten-565 ... while a counterargument is provided at http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/fact-v-fiction/fiction-unfpa-supports-coerced-abortion-and-forced-sterilization-china
Historical TFR's by RegionAugust 2003 Patrick Burns
Are we making progress in reducing fertility rates? The short answer is "yes," as the numbers below make clear. Unfortunately, even after a region has reached replacement level fertility, population growth typically continues for 40 years or so due to demographic momentum. The good news is that fertility rates in some parts of the world have not stopped at replacement levels, and have dived below replacement -- Canada, Japan, and most of the countries of Europe and the former Soviet Union are good examples. The table below details the past 50 years of fertility decline, by region of the world, and gives the U.N. median variant for the next 50 years. No one knows whether the U.N. median variant will, in fact track, with what actually happens, but in recent years the U.N. medium variant for the world has been high, not low. As the table below suggests, the big outlier in terms of fertility decline is Africa. On the slightly hopeful side, 4 of the top 10 countries with the fastest fertility declines from 1990-2000 were in Africa (Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Malawi) and two of the countries that are expected to have the fastest fertility declines from 2000 to 2010 are in Africa (Malawi and Mozambique) while 4 others are in the Middle East (Syria, Gaza Strip, Iran, Yemen). UN Medium Variant from U.N. World Population Prospects: 2002 Revision Database
BioregionalismJanuary 06, 2012 WOA!! website - Karen Gaia Pitts
Any region whose biodiversity or sustainability is threatened by population pressures is neglectful if it does not find a way to stop growth. Any country whose increased population results in exploiting other countries for materials or impacts other countries with its waste, its pollution, or its contribution to Climate Change is neglectful if it does not find a way to stop growth. If a region does not protect its environment, no one else will.
World Carryover Grain Stocks Fall to 72 Days of Consumption - Uncomfortably Close to Level Prior to 2007-08 Food Price SpikeAugust 12, 2010 Earth Policy Institute
Estimates for this year's global grain carryover stocks have fallen to 444 million tons, according to the USDA's August 12th World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. This amount of grain remaining in the world's silos and stockpiles when the next harvest begins is enough to meet 72 days of consumption.
"This drop in world carryover stocks of grain to 72 days of consumption is moving us uncomfortably close to the 64 days of carryover stocks in 2007 that fueled the 2007-08 spike in world food prices," according to Lester R. Brown, of Earth Policy Institute.
A searing record heat wave, severe drought, and relentless wildfires in Russia and Central Europe have decimated the region's harvests. Russia's wheat production is now estimated at 45 million tons, a 27% drop from last year. In Kazakhstan, the wheat harvest is down 32% to 12 million tons, and in Ukraine it is 17 million tons, 19% smaller than in 2009. On August 5, Russia announced that it was banning grain exports at least through the end of the year and requested that neighboring countries do the same. Since these three countries typically supply a fourth of world wheat exports, wheat prices have risen along with the region's temperature.
Russia runs the risk of drought spillover into the next year if there is not enough soil moisture to plant the new winter wheat crop. With soils parched, planting time only days away, and not much rain in prospect, this is a growing concern in Moscow, and indeed in the world.
Rising temperatures and food security do not mix, notes Brown. "The situation in Russia gives us a preview of what could be in store if we continue to overheat our planet. This should be a wake-up call for the world: to protect our food security we need to dramatically cut carbon dioxide emissions. We cannot continue to burn coal and oil with abandon and expect to have bumper harvests that can keep up with the record demand generated by population growth and the increasing use of grain to feed livestock and to fuel cars."
U.S.: America's Rivers at RiskOctober 23, 2005 Hartford Courant
In October 2001, the Rio Grande petered out before it reached the sea. A river that once disgorged fresh water into the Gulf of Mexico was transformed into little more than a brook that disappeared in the dry, flat country on the Texas and Mexico border. From Colorado the Rio Grande is tapped for agriculture and drinking water; so much so that the river's flow is but a fraction of what it once was, and demand for its water continues to grow. There are too many people using too much water. In northern New Mexico, the Rio Grande flows through canyon walls but even here, virtually every drop spoken for. Sit by a bridge and you're likely to see a farmer pull up in a pickup truck, glance to see that no one is watching, fill a tank with water and drive off. There is an over-allocation problem, and it's about to become obvious to everybody. In the arid Southwest, it is impossible to overstate how precious river water has become, and how contested. The Gila, which flows through Phoenix, is sucked dry before it reaches the Colorado River, into which it once flowed. The Colorado is tapped by so many interests that it, too, no longer reaches the sea. But the Rio Grande, the Gila and the Colorado are a glimpse of what the rest of the country is beginning to experience. We're going to butt up against the limits of clean, fresh water. The National Research Council - that advises Congress - concluded in a book-length report that in years ahead the United States will be challenged to provide sufficient quantities of high-quality water to its growing population. In northern California and Oregon, farmers along the Klamath River were outraged when they were denied irrigation water. The river had become so low that a threatened fish species, coho salmon, did not have sufficient water to migrate upstream to spawn. Georgia, Alabama and Florida have argued for years over rights to various river flows. Years of controversy over a diversion in a scenic river in Connecticut, the Shepaug, led to a state Supreme Court decision between Waterbury, which diverts the water, and environmental interests. During a dry spell last month, a half-mile-long stretch of the Fenton River next to a University of Connecticut wellfield dried up, killing thousands of trout. In New York state, anglers complain that New York City, which diverts drinking water from the Delaware River, isn't allowing sufficient flow to keep trout alive. Nine scientists prominent in river ecology research concluded that population growth and climate change would put great stress on water supplies in the next few years, putting human water needs in conflict with the needs of aquatic life and the overall health of river ecosystems. Water is going to be the issue in the 21st century. In the future, water will be what oil is today. On the Rio Grande, Albuquerque plans for the first time to take water for drinking. Until now, it relied upon groundwater, only to discover it was rapidly depleting that resource. The new plan will tap water diverted from the Colorado River into the Rio Grande, through 26 miles of tunnels under the Continental Divide. But critics are worried about the impact downriver and challenged the city's plan, which is now before a court-ordered mediator. The city argues that it is doing nothing more than using water it owns. Albuquerque's water resources manager said the city has reduced water use by 33% over the past 10 years, even as the city added more than 40,000 new water customers. The city began a 10-year conservation program intended to reduce use by 1% each year. The silvery minnow, an endangered species now found only in the Rio Grande, in a 174-mile stretch that includes Albuquerque, is down to 5% of the river miles it once occupied. In a drought, Albuquerque will be required to reduce its withdrawals from the Rio Grande to protect the minnow. Water is so precious that scientists here are trying to determine which tree species along the river guzzle the most water. Since flows were impounded by dams and the river channel stabilized, two non-native shrubs, saltcedar and Russian olive, have taken over vast sections of riverbank. The dams were meant to conserve water, but research suggests that saltcedar takes up large amounts of water. The section of the Rio Grande below the Elephant Butte Reservoir, south of Albuquerque, "operates largely as a ditch for water delivery for agriculture and rapidly growing municipalities." Water is so intensively used and reused that when it returns to the river through groundwater or wastewater discharges, it can aggravate river problems. Water quality has started to deteriorate because water being used so intensely.
Twelve of the 20 fastest growing metropolitan areas are in the West. The fastest is Greeley, Colo. and its surrounding communities, that grew by 16.8% to 211,000 people, between 2000 and 2003. Greeley ranked just ahead of St. George, Utah, and Las Vegas. The area has grown because it's a reasonable commute to Denver and has inexpensive homes. The New York-northern New Jersey-Long Island area has a population of 18.6 million, up 1.7% from three years earlier. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana population hit 12.8 million. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet was 9.33 million. A metropolitan area is a region containing at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more people. The report focused on growth estimates from 2000 to 2003. Americans have been moving south and west for decades, with a big jump in population in the South, starting in the 1970s. The West continues to outpace other regions. Population in the western United States grew by 19.7% in the 1990s, followed by the South with 17.3% more people. The Midwest and the Northeast posted single-digit increases.
Countries, Demographics News
The traditional diet of Inuits of Greenland includes polar bears, seals, and whales. It is a healthy diet and no toxins are produced by their lifestyle. Unfortunately persistent organic pollutants, lead, cadmium, mercury, and other hazardous chemicals are being carried from industrialised nations by wind and ocean currents to Inuit Greenland region and accumulating in the same animals the Inuit eat - which could result in birth defects, reduced fertility, and genetic damage for the humans. In fact, in some areas toxic levels were high enough to cause concern for in 100% of the population, and above the "level of action" for 30%. The report from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) concludes Greenlanders should consider changing their eating habits. The Greenlander diet that has kept Greenland's population protected from ailments typically associated with industrialised societies, like heart disease, diabetes and obesity; so until now people were told to avoid abandoning their traditional diet for a Western one. Diabetes, for example, has increased from almost no cases twenty-five years ago to three times the level in Denmark. "To discover that the food which for generations has nourished them and kept them whole physically and spiritually is now poisoning them is profoundly disturbing and threatens Indigenous Peoples' cultural survival," the report says.
U.N. Official Says Bangladesh Must Control Rising Population to Reduce PovertyDecember 04, 2002 Associated Press
Bangladesh, one of the world's most densely populated and poorest countries, needs to control its population to reduce poverty. Most of its 130 million people live on less than a dollar day yet the population is increasing by 2.1 percent each year. Despite an increase in the use of contraceptives to an estimated 54%, the average number of children per woman has remained at 3.3 since 1994. The rate has not decreased partly because contraceptives are not consistently used. Social traditions in the Muslim-majority country make it difficult to talk about contraception among young people. Many believe that reproductive services and information will encourage promiscuity, but the reverse is true and information can bring down unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
In 1859 French writer Edmond About described a pope who presided over a territory where the educational system was poor; the force of law practically dysfunctional; the tax system in disarray; and whose inhabitants were "all crying out loudly against him." About said this was an odd social structure where "the legislative, executive, and judicial powers are united, confounded and jumbled together in one and agreement established the Holy See within the area of Vatican City, the size of which has been described as "about the size of an 18-hole golf course".
The Holy See began participating in international organizations such as the World Health Organization and in 1964 joined the UN as a Nonmember State Permanent Observer, a designation it once shared only with Switzerland, which became a full member in 2002. This elevated status grants the Holy See much more direct access to UN proceedings than other religions participating as nongovernmental organizations. Since 2004, the Holy See has had some of the privileges of a member state at the UN, such as being able to speak, reply and circulate documents in the General Assembly.
The 108.7-acre Vatican City has a small population where many residents never obtain citizenship, and those that do have their citizenship revoked upon termination of their employment. All member states have a definite population, but when the Holy See decides to speak as a religion, its numbers jump from 1,000 Vatican City residents to 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide.
In 1964 UN Secretary-General U Thant based his decision to allow the Holy See's entrance as a permanent observer on the fact that it enjoyed diplomatic recognition by most UN member states. As powerful as it is, diplomatic recognition can be revoked in certain situations: many countries withdrew recognition from South Africa towards the end of the apartheid era.
One of the United Nations' foundational principles, the Rule of Law, which is embedded in the UN Charter, demands that all states are accountable to the same laws and human rights norms. In other words, states around the world should all follow the same rules when dealing with each other and at the UN, because they are all basically the same.
At the United Nations, however, the Holy See signs treaties as a state, but does not bind itself to those treaties. The Holy See signed on to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but did not submit a mandatory progress report due on the Rights of the Child in 1997, and although it was supposed to be released last year, the document is now 15 years late.
The Holy See has a ready exit if it is called to account: it can face its critics as a religion which lets the Holy See claim almost anything to be true.
Where the 1995 Beijing Declaration pledged to ensure the rights of women and girls as "inalienable," the Holy See rejected this very premise, saying, "Surely this international gathering could have done more for women and girls than to leave them alone with their rights!"
In 1994 the Vatican sent special envoys to Tehran and Tripoli to drum up support for the Holy See's planned anti-reproductive rights stance at the forthcoming International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. Pope John Paul II also sent letters to every head of state worldwide warning that the wrong policy decisions at the conference could bring about an impending “moral decline resulting in a serious setback for humanity."
The Holy See's many objections at Cairo delayed the conference for a full week in order to exclude abortion from the definition of "reproductive health." Instead of a commitment to safe abortion access for all women, the resulting Programme of Action merely stated, “In circumstances in which abortion is not against the law, such abortion should be safe."
The Holy See declared in 1989 that it "interprets the phrase ‘Family planning education and services' … to mean only those methods of family planning which it considers morally acceptable, that is, the natural methods of family planning."
When the Holy See objected in 1999 to the UN's provision of emergency contraception to rape victims in Kosovo, there was an international outcry. Reflecting in 2008 on the early years of the UN aids response, Adrienne Germain, former president of the International Women's Health Coalition, said, "I remember when people literally gasped when the Holy See said no condoms for AIDS."
Holy See has made claims that a rights-based reproductive health model turns women into victims, or that abortion has been documented to harm a woman's mental health. Faced with allegations like these, other UN actors must choose between refuting each and every claim or moving forward. As a result, falsehoods like "as a matter of scientific fact, a new human life begins at conception," were entered in the minutes of a 2011 General Assembly session.
Many people think the Catholic faith can be defended even better at the UN as an NGO. it would be a powerful gesture for the Holy See to voluntarily join the ranks of the other religions as an NGO, and concentrate on partnering with other religious leaders to bring solace to a troubled world. Such a move would probably do wonders for the Holy See's public image, so badly in need of repair after the sexual abuse crisis and the recent clampdown on dissent.
Germany Funds Safe Motherhood Project in AfghanistanDecember 2002
Germany has contributed 500,000 euros to the U.N. Children's Fund in Afghanistan. It will procure obstetric supplies, equipment, medicine and the rehabilitation of the Malalai maternity hospital which is a teaching institute for doctors and midwives and the main facility for Kabul and nearby provinces. The funding will also support the translation of a reference manual for training doctors and midwives in Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Nangarhar provinces. The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in the province of Badakhshan, was 6,500 per 100,000 - the highest in the world. By comparison, the MMR in Germany is 12 per 100,000 live births.
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