Top United Nations Official Wants More World Population Control Programs

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 18, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Top United Nations Official Wants More World Population Control Programs

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 18
, 2008

New York, NY ( — Despite the fact that underpopulation plagues much of Europe, Russia, Japan and elsewhere, a leading United Nations official is clamoring for more population control programs. At United Nations headquarters last week, the director of the UNFPA made the announcement.

UN Population Fund executive director Thoraya Obaid called for more funding for population programs, including reducing fertility, by promoting “reproductive health services."

Susan Yoshihara, of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a pro-life group that monitors international issues, noted the announcement in the group’s Friday Fax.

Obaid began her remarks by commemorating the 40th anniversary of Paul Erlich’s book, The Population Bomb, which alarmed readers about the supposed threat of “overpopulation” and justified the establishment of UNFPA.

According to Yoshihara, "While she admitted the book’s prediction of ‘massive starvation on a large scale has not come to pass,’ she nonetheless called for renewed commitment to boilerplate population control policies.

Obaid called for new programs promoting smaller families, warning nations that world population had grown from 3.5 billion to 6.7 billion since 1968.

Obaid said there is a causal relationship between fertility decline and economic development, but this claim has been seriously challenged by the emerging evidence.

"A landmark study published earlier this year by the Center for Strategic and International Studies ), for example, found that contrary to conventional wisdom, the ‘Asian miracle,’ in which economic development followed a drop in fertility, was the exception to the rule," Yoshihara said.

"It also showed why the world will become more violent and less secure in the next thirty years due in part to rapid changes in fertility rates," she explained.

The executive director called for more funding of “education and reproductive health” in line with UNFPA’s mandate from the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) outcome document “which,” Obaid told member states, “your governments have adopted.”

But Yoshihara says, "Left unmentioned was the fact that ICPD explicitly safeguards each nation’s right to protect the unborn in their laws, and that it explicitly rules out abortion as a method of family planning."

The omission was especially notable since Obaid then said that “we need increased political will and teamwork to scale up quality reproductive health services,” a term interpreted by various UN agencies and human rights experts as including abortion, the analyst added.

Obaid asserted that “we will not achieve MDG 5 [Millennium Development Goal for reducing maternal mortality] unless women have universal access to reproductive health.”

Nations have repeatedly rejected the inclusion of reproductive health in the MDGs, Yoshihara noted and Obaid notably dropped any reference to a new “target” for reproductive health, something that drew sharp rebukes from the US delegation in her last annual report.

Obaid lauded the fact that UNFPA’s funding increased in 2008 by $50 million to a total of $470 million, and announced that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon decided to extend her term in office by an additional two years.

Related web sites:
Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute –

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