12 September 2011

Reflections on a World of 7 Billion

Leaders, including heads of UN and UNFPA, discuss the challenges and opportunities

UNITED NATIONS, New York — This Wednesday, UNFPA will sponsor a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities of a world of 7 billion people -- a milestone that the world will reach on 31 October.

Moderated by international television host Riz Khan, the panel will feature United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin and representatives of the UN Member States, the private sector and civil society, including Carsten Staur, permanent representative of Denmark to the United Nations; Imane Khachani, a youth leader from Morocco; Naveen Salvadurai, a new media innovator and co-founder of Foursquare, and Sheri S. McCoy, vice chairman of Johnson & Johnson.

"Reaching a global population of seven billion is a numerical landmark, but our focus should always be on people," Ban Ki-moon said in his statement on World Population Day. "More than ever, individuals can make a difference by uniting together through social networks and working for change. We have seen many examples this year of the immense power of people to embrace hope over despair, to seek fair treatment where they are suffering discrimination, and to demand justice over tyranny."

Wednesday's panel is one of many activities planned in the run-up to 31 October. A special event in Washington, D.C. will highlight the importance of investing in women and girls as a cost-effective way to address the challenges posed by a world of 7 billion people.

A huge banner composed of faces of individuals from all over the world was erected last week in front of the United Nations to give visibility to both the milestone and the 7 Billion Actions website that has been created to engage people in the opportunities and challenges of a world of 7 billion.

All events of these events will be live-streamed on www.7billionactions.org. 

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