Twenty years after the groundbreaking ‘Earth Summit’ in Rio de Janeiro, Rio + 20 aims to renew commitment for sustainable development at the highest levels. The conference will assess progress on past global commitments and address daunting new challenges – from climate change to urbanization.
Rio+20 will focus on the green economy and establishing a framework to follow up on the agreed-upon outcomes for sustainable development. UNFPA is working hard to ensure that population dynamics and related human rights-based policies are part of the discussion and outcome.
Sustainable development is about people
Seven billion people are now counting on a sustainable world -- one which works for both present and future generations.
World population passed the 7 billion mark in 2011 and will continue to grow rapidly. Population dynamics -- which include not only changes in population size and age structures, but also trends in migration and urbanization -- cannot be ignored in any realistic plans to address the well-being of current and future generations. This was already agreed upon in the 1994 ICPD Programme of Action.
Demographic trends are a powerful force. But population dynamics are not written in stone: The policies we pursue today will determine whether we live in a world of 8 or 9 or 10 billion by 2050. Population dynamics can be addressed through effective human rights-based policies that ensure:
- Universal access to reproductive health, including family planning
- Empowerment of women an young people
- Investments in education, especially for adolescent girls
- Development strategies are informed by population data and projections.