State of World Population 1999

6 Billion - A Time for Choices

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Women are having fewer children than ever before, and population growth has slowed from 2.0 to 1.3 percent in 30 years; but large families in the recent past mean that there are many more women of childbearing age. Global population is still rising by about 78 million people a year. Half the world is under 25 and there are over a billion young people between 15 and 24, the parents of the next generation. The State of World Population 1999 highlights the critical decisions facing the international community as the world population passed the 6 billion mark in October 1999. How fast the next billion people are added, the effect on natural resources and the environment, and the quality of life will depend on policy and funding decisions taken in the next 5 to 10 years, according to this 1999 report.

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Partnership and empowerment

The ICPD Programme of Action represents a consensus among governments, but it recognizes that giving practical effect to a concept of development centred on human aspirations and values will require collaboration among governments, civil society and the international community. Many of the issues were first brought to national and international attention by organizations outside government, and implementing its recommendations calls for action, advocacy, stewardship and feedback by many different participants.

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