Controversy on World Population Growth

On Tuesday, United Nations officials representing 180 countries remained divided on how contraception and sex education might be used to control world population growth. Representatives of the Catholic Church and several third world Muslim countries indicated that they were strongly opposed to instituting policies promoting family planning and sex-ed in schools and other public environments.

At a similar conference in 1993 held in Cairo, national representatives agreed to establish programs to improve women and men’s social status, education and heath. These programs were hoped to encourage individuals to limit the size of their families. Under this plan, which will be presented to a special assembly of the UN General Assembly this week, the world population is expected to rise from 6 billion to approximately 9.8 billion by the year 2050, where it would remain steady.

However, representatives of conservative nations including Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Argentina, and the Vatican indicated their desire to limit family planning, restrict abortion and assert parental control over children’s health and sex education.

This conservative group of dissidents will attempt to vote as a bloc to defeat the proposed plan. Even if approved, the world population will not decrease under the plan if opposing nations fail to implement it.


New York Times - June 30, 1999

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