Back on World Population Day 2008 the goal was to reaffirm the right of people to plan their families by encouraging activities, events and information that helped make this right a reality — especially for those who often have the hardest time getting the information and services they need to plan their families, such as marginalized populations and young people.
When people can plan their families, they can plan their lives. They can plan to beat poverty. They can plan on healthier mothers and children. They can plan to gain equality for women.
This year World Population Day 2010 highlights the importance of data for development. The focus is on the 2010 round of the population and housing census, data analysis for development and UNFPA's lead role in population and development.
Reliable data makes a difference, and the key is to collect, analyze and disseminate data in a way that drives good decision making. The numbers that emerge from data collection can illuminate important trends. What striking situation does research reveal in your country? What do the numbers tell you about progress toward meeting the MDGs? Are certain groups getting left behind?
This makes perfect sense considering the United Nation's focus on the Millennium Development Goals Summit planned for this September. Over-population has a direct impact on all of the Millennium Development Goals. The Video from TED.com featuring Hans Rosling on global population growth connects the idea of empowering the poor, especially women, and taking steps to control world population growth. What he demonstrates is that achieving the Millennium Development Goals, especially Millennium Development Goal 4. Child Health will have a significant impact on population growth.
So the only way of really getting world population to stop is to continue to improve child survival to 90 percent. That's why investments by Gates Foundation, UNICEF and aid organizations, together with national government in the poorest countries, are so good. Because they are actually helping us to reach a sustainable population size of the world. We can stop at nine billion if we do the right things. Child survival is the new dream. It's only children surviving that we will stop population growth.Others have put forward a similar perspective in the past.
The Millennium Development Goals remain the most extensive, far reaching set of programs to address this planet's greatest global concerns. There is not a lack of ideas, there is a lack of will and of awareness.