This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Quiet End to World Population Conferences

Quietly and under the radar screen just before Christmas in 2010, the United Nations General Assembly seemed to pull the plug on any vestige of hope that there would be another world population conference any time soon. I was first aware of this in an email sent out a few days ago by the UN Population Division, which noted that:

The United Nations General Assembly debated last month the follow-up to the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994) beyond 2014. 
A resolution was adopted, acknowledging that many Governments may not meet all the goals and objectives of the Programme of Action by 2014, and extending the Programme of Action and the key actions for its further implementation beyond 2014. 
The General Assembly also decided to convene a special session in 2014 to assess the status of implementation of the Programme of Action and to renew political support for actions required for the full achievement of its goals and objectives; it also called for the Commission on Population and Development to convene an interactive discussion in 2014 on the assessment of the status of implementation of the Programme of Action.

The full resolution is available at the UN website and it is clear from the language that the Commission on Population and Development is charged with all responsibility for oversight of the programme of action. Of course, some of those items were incorporated into the Millennium Development Goals, so monitoring the MDGs also monitors progress on some of the population issues. Monitoring is important, though, because the population projections made by the UN Population Division and used by all of us depend upon a particular trajectory of events that have been set into motion at least in part by world action on population issues.

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