Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for World Population Day
11 July 2012
2012 Theme: Universal Access to Reproductive Health ServicesAs the world population edged to 7 billion people in 2011 (up from 2.5 billion in 1950), it has had profound implications for development. A world of 7 billion is both a challenge and an opportunity with implications on sustainability, urbanization, access to health services and youth empowerment.
In 1989, in its decision 89/46, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that, in order to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programmes and the need to find solutions for these issues, 11 July should be observed by the international community as World Population Day.
This year's World Population Day, 11 July 2012, focuses on the theme of “Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services.” Reproductive health problems remain the leading cause of ill health and death for women of childbearing age worldwide. Some 222 million women who would like to avoid or delay pregnancy lack access to effective family planning. Nearly 800 women die every day in the process of giving life. About 1.8 billion young people are entering their reproductive years, often without the knowledge, skills and services they need to protect themselves. On the World Population Day, many activities and campaigns will call attention to the essential part that reproductive health plays in creating a just and equitable world.