Lahore: As the world will be reaching a new milestone of 7 billion population this year, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, has launched a national campaign to highlight the critical role of young population to play in shaping the destiny of the country.
This year, the World Population Day kicks off the campaign of “The World at 7 Billion” that will run until 31 October 2011, when the United Nations projects world population will surpass 7 billion. To coincide with the global campaign, UNFPA Pakistan has organized a seminar on “World Population Day” on 12 July in Lahore.
The key objective of the seminar is to engage all stakeholders together in raising awareness about seven key themes which are critical to country’s socio-economic development: 1) poverty and inequality; 2) the rights of women and girls; 3) young people; 4) reproductive health and rights; 5) the environment; 6) ageing population; and urbanization. It has now become imperative to engage all stakeholders at the provincial level after the recent devolution of various departments including health and population. The 7 Billion Actions campaign will generate discourse on what it means to live in a world with so many people, and encourage activism on issues that affect everyone”, reiterated Mr. Rabbi Royan, UNFPA Representative in Pakistan.
Energetic and open to the possibilities afforded by new technologies, young people are transforming society, politics and culture and leading the way for human development. The current proportion of youth to the Pakistani total population of above 60% emerges as a powerful force for economic and social development in the country. In particular, investing in the well-being of today’s young people, especially adolescent girls, is one of the smartest investments a country like Pakistan can make. With health, education and other opportunities, they will be equipped to contribute fully to the society.
“We have an opportunity and responsibility to invest in adolescents and youth. With the right policies, investments and social support, young people can enjoy healthier lives free of poverty and enhance prospects for peace and stability”, stated on behalf of UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin.
With fewer children to support compared to people of working age, many Asian countries including Pakistan have a one-time opportunity to reap an economic bonus by investing in education, health care and job creation for young people. This window will close as the proportion of elderly dependents increases, a trend that is already advanced in China and a number of other East Asian countries.
For more information, contact:
Ms. Ishrat Rizvi
National Information Officer
United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)
Tel: +9251 835 5720
Cell: +92300 855 3790