Washington DC, 16 August 2001/P/RE/17266c-is

The Population Institute in Washington DC is appealing to world leaders to sign a revised statement on Population Stabilization. As co-sponsor of World Population Awareness Week 2001, the International Progress Organization supports this initiative. The text for the revised Statement has been taken from the September 2000 United Nations Leaders Millennium Declaration, and the policies and strategies agreed upon at the ICPD Conference, among others. The Population Institute was instrumental in arranging presentations to the Mexico City 1984 and Cairo 1994 conferences, as well as the presentation by former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on behalf of the 40 signatories to the United Nations Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar on October 24th, 1985, at the 40th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, and President Soeharto's presentation of the Statement to Boutros-Boutros Ghali at the 50th anniversary in 1995.  There were 18 signatory countries at Mexico City and 75 by 1995.

Text of the proposed statement

             "Humankind has many challenges: to obtain a lasting peace between nations; to preserve the quality of the environment; to conserve natural resources at a sustainable level; to advance the economic and social progress of the less developed nations; to assure basic human rights and at the same time accept responsibility for the planet Earth and future generations of children; and to stabilize population growth.

 We believe in the principles of solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility.  We believe in an indispensable foundation of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world.

 We wish to reaffirm the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 1994: to reduce infant mortality; to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases; to halve the proportion of people living in poverty and to ensure equal access to all levels of education for girls and boys.

We want to preserve the world so that future generations of children will have adequate food, housing, health services, education, earth resources, and employment opportunities.

 We believe that the time has come now to recognize the worldwide necessity to achieve population stabilization.  To enhance the integrity of the individual and the quality of life for all, we believe that all nations should participate in setting goals and programs for population stabilization.  Measures for this purpose should be voluntary and maintain individual human rights and beliefs.

 We urge national leaders to take an active personal role in promoting effective policies and programs. Emphasis should be given to improving the status of women, respecting human rights and beliefs, and achieving the active participation of women in formulating policies and programs.  Attention should be given to improving women’s reproductive health.

 Recognizing that early population stabilization is in the interest of all nations, we earnestly hope that leaders around the world will share our views and join with us in this great undertaking for the well-being and happiness of people everywhere."