In five days, world population is projected to reach 7 billion. How we respond now will determine whether we have a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future or one that is marked by inequalities, environmental decline and economic setbacks, according to The State of World Population 2011 report, published today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.
“With planning and the right investments in people now—to empower them to make choices that are not only good for themselves, but also for our global commons—our world of 7 billion can have thriving sustainable cities, productive labour forces that fuel economies, and youth populations that contribute to the well-being of their societies,” says UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin in the foreword of the report, entitled People and Possibilities in a World of 7 Billion.
Of the world’s 7 billion, 1.8 billion are young people between the ages of 10 and 24, Dr. Osotimehin noted. “Young people hold the key to the future, with the potential to transform the global political landscape and to propel economies through their creativity and capacities for innovation. But the opportunity to realize youth’s great potential must be seized now,” Dr. Osotimehin said. “We should be investing in the health and education of our youth. This would yield enormous returns in economic growth and development for generations to come.”
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