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Integrating population issues into sustainable development, including in the post-2015 development agenda

image of Integrating population issues into sustainable development, including in the post-2015 development agenda
In its decision 2013/101, the Commission on Population and Development decided that the special theme for its forty-eighth session would be “Realizing the future we want: integrating population issues into sustainable development, including in the post-2015 development agenda”. The present report is one of three reports that have been produced to guide the Commission’s deliberations. The central challenge in designing the post-2015 development agenda is to ensure that efforts to improve the quality of life of the present generation are far-reaching, broad and inclusive but do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Accomplishing this goal hinges on the ability of the international community to ensure access to resources for growing numbers of people, eradicate poverty, move away from unsustainable patterns of consumption and production and safeguard the environment. In designing and implementing the new development agenda it is important to understand and account for the demographic changes that are likely to unfold over the next 15 years. While much remains unknown about the rate of transformation of the global economy or the speed at which technological advancements will be needed to improve efficiency and reduce humanity’s environmental footprint, the speed and direction of population change, at least in the near future, is far more predictable. The report focuses on the demographic changes that are projected to occur over the next 15 years and discusses what they imply for efforts to achieve sustainable development.

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Preparing for the next 2 billion newborns

Between 2015 and 2030, the time frame for the post-2015 development agenda, projections indicate that 2.1 billion babies will be born worldwide, an increase of 2 per cent over the total number of births over the previous 15-year period (see table 2). Approximately half of these babies will be born in Asia and one third will be born in Africa. Whereas relatively fewer births are projected for Europe, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean over the next 15 year period, compared with the past 15 years, relatively more births are projected in Africa, Oceania and North America. An increasing number of births poses particularly significant challenges for low-income countries, where the rates of poverty and malnutrition are already high, levels of education are low, health-care systems are weak and the rates of infant and child mortality are high. Increased coverage, utilization and quality of sexual and reproductive health-care services for women and adolescents, particularly for those who do not want to become pregnant, combined with effective antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal interventions could, by 2025, avert 71 per cent of neonatal deaths (1.9 million), 33 per cent of stillbirths (0.82 million) and 54 per cent of maternal deaths (0.16 million) per annum.

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