Arab Non-Violence Society Marked World Population Day
Honorary Member of Arab Non-Violence Society and Arab Youth Media Forum, Dr. Naseer Homoud’s message on World Population Day. He maintained that the key challenge is to generate increased awareness of the negative impact of population growth, and it’s potential to derail progress towards achieving the MDGs.
Dr. Homoud asserted that the rapid population increase has had and will continue to have an effect on land and water needs worldwide, food supply security, the global security situation, biodiversity and effective poverty reduction. He maintained that impact of population growth on food supplies and environment can be clearly seen. He warned that as the world population continues to grow geometrically, great pressure is being placed on arable land, water, energy, and biological resources to provide an adequate supply of food while maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem. He stated that according to the World Bank and the United Nations, nearly 1 billion humans are now hunger ridden indicating a combination of insufficient food, low incomes, and inadequate distribution of food. “The accelerating human transformation of the Earth's environment is not sustainable. Therefore the business-as-usual option of dealing with the Earth is not an option," he said.
“We must ensure that women and children are given priority in understanding their needs. Women are often the primary caretakers of their environment, as well as their families. If the world is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and implement the programme of action adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, the most effective interventions will involve young people themselves. It is they who can best identify their needs, and who must help and design the programmes that address them,” urged Dr. Homoud in his appeal. He maintained that the prevailing situation is not a treatise on the glory of women, but a hard reality of the vicious cycle of repercussions befalling the world due to one single cause - gender inequality. “On careful thought and analysis, realization dawns that the reason behind the alarming maternal deaths, unplanned pregnancies, lack of education, poverty and hunger boils down to women disempowerment. So, the crux of the issue on world population day lies in improving the status of women. Women are at the heart of communities. They are at the heart of a community’s culture, its economy, and its future. And in their role as mothers they shape their communities more than anyone else,” said Dr. Homoud.
“Achievement of the MDGs will fall short in certain respects, especially if the international community does not renew its determination to meet them. Population growth trends will create much greater problems on a longer timescale, but population action over the next coming years could still help the achievement of the MDGs,” said Dr. Homoud. He asserted that population stabilization could bring advantages across a much wider area than the eight MDG categories, including energy use, water resources, climate change, governance and security issues. “It is time for donor countries around the world to step up their commitments on providing universal access for voluntary family planning, or population growth may prevent many countries from meeting the other MDGs,” said Dr. Homoud.