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UN Says New Measures Needed to Address Asia Population Issues


The chief of the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) is calling for Asia governments to give higher priority to women’s development programs. Babatunde Osotimehin says countries should  address increasing population concerns with what he called “foresight and justice”.

Greater empowerment for women

U.N. Population Fund Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin is calling for greater empowerment of women and young girls to address issues of social inequality and to boost economies as women take up greater roles in development.

Before this week’s Asian Population conference in Bangkok, Osotimehin says empowering women would reduce violence against women and help boost economic and social development.  “Violence against women would reduce considerably, it would reduce the issues of teenage and early marriages, and it would reduce those things, which at this point in time are present in many parts of the world, particularly in this part of the world,” he said.

Asian Population Association Conference

The Asian Population Association Conference includes discussions on internal migration and urbanization, trends in household and marriages, childbearing, domestic violence, and trends in aging populations.

Osotimehin says Asia is “generally doing well” in providing health services, but issues access need to be addressed. “What we need to drill down and do better is to ensure that there is equitable access – I think that is probably something which we would need to ensure that it is all inclusive,” he stated. “And that it is equitable for everybody.  That in itself is a global problem, in this region it is just as obvious as in other parts of the world.”

The former Nigerian Minister of Health says attention needs to be focused in Asia on the issue of couple’s using technology, such as ultrasound, to select male babies.  The UNFPA forecasts that by 2030 China and India may have  50 percent more men than women among those seeking marriage.

Equitable access

Osotimehin says South Korea has largely solved the problem, but in “other counties” it remains a “serious” issue. “The imbalance is actually getting very serious.  The inappropriate use of technologies in other parts we should discourage and we should ensure that we restore the natural balance between boys and girls in these countries.  We are working very hard with groups on the ground in those other countries – with government and with civil society in order to address these issues,” he explained.

He says other regions can learn a lot from Asia, especially how to benefit from from the “demographic advantage” of reduced population growth to boost their economies, as well as Asia’s “good practices” in reproductive health services, especially family planning.

Following this conference, Osotimehin visits Burma to hold talks with senior government officials on steps how the UNFP can take to boost Burma’s human development after decades of neglect under military rule.

Voice of America

4 Comments on "UN Says New Measures Needed to Address Asia Population Issues"

  1. dsula on Sun, 26th Aug 2012 9:46 pm 

    Let me guess. The high performance breeders are muslim?

  2. Arthur on Mon, 27th Aug 2012 10:06 am

    Population growth between 1950-2050:

    Africa: 8x
    Asia: 4x
    South-America: 4x
    North-America: 3x
    Europe: 1x

    Mind you, the only reason why North-America will grow by 3x is because of the mass immigration policies engineered by the 1%. The white people are dying out first, mainly because of the destruction of the white family as a consequence of feminism and driving the women into the workplace as well, again all engineered by the 1%. The decline of the white people + the coming resource depletion will create total devastation among the coloured people in the rest of the world, who are now in large numbers dependent on the harvests of the North-American planes. On top of that, 2% of the Americans are farmer with an average age of over 60%. There is something brewing here and it ain’t pretty.

  3. Arthur on Mon, 27th Aug 2012 10:10 am 

    Should be:
    – ‘North American plains’
    – Average age over 60.

  4. Kenz300 on Mon, 27th Aug 2012 12:14 pm 

    Over 2 billion people live on less than $2 a day. The world population added a billion more people in the last 12 years and continues to grow. Around the world there are food crisis, water crisis, energy crisis, financial crisis, fish stocks crisis and jobs crisis. All these problems are made harder to solve with the worlds ever growing population. Endless population growth is not sustainable and will lead to more poverty, suffering and despair.

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