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Research Report

Population Trends:: Humanity in Transition

Joseph Chamie
Copyright Date: Jun. 1, 2007
Pages: 22

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. None)
  3. (pp. i-ii)
    Terje Rød-Larsen

    The International Peace Academy (IPA) is pleased to introduce a new series of Working Papers within the program Coping with Crisis, Conflict, and Change: The United Nations and Evolving Capacities for Managing Global Crises, a four-year research and policy-facilitation program designed to generate fresh thinking about global crises and capacities for effective prevention and response.

    In this series of Working Papers, IPA has asked leading experts to undertake a mapping exercise, presenting an assessment of critical challenges to human and international security. A first group of papers provides a horizontal perspective, examining the intersection of multiple challenges in specific regions...

  4. (pp. 1-2)

    During the twenty-first century billions of people are expected to join the world’s current population of 6.7 billion. Virtually all of these newcomers will be born in the less developed countries of the world, and many in the least-developed.

    In addition to this enormous growth of humanity, major global population trends and significant demographic differentials are interacting with powerful forces of globalization, resulting in mounting critical challenges to human well-being, social and economic development, international relations, and security. In particular, these challenges are impacting (1) social, economic, and environmental conditions and human well-being; (2) political participation and representation; and (3)...

  5. (pp. 2-10)

    The rapid growth of population is perhaps the major demographic force challenging human well-being, development, the environment, and international relations and security. It is widely acknowledged that slower population growth provides countries with more time to adjust to future population increases. This in turn increases the ability and prospects of those countries to improve the quality of life of their citizens and foster economic growth and development, while at the same time safeguarding the environment and natural resources. In other words, slowing down rapid population growth would make it considerably easier for countries to build the foundations for future sustainable...

  6. (pp. 10-12)

    The population trends and impending challenges presented above are by and large well known to policy makers, development experts, and concerned citizens. Moreover, there are no secrets about what needs to be done to address these mounting challenges. The needed policies and recommended actions have already been identified and adopted by the international community of nations at the various UN international conferences and summits convened during the past fifteen years on, for example, children (New York, 1990), the environment (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), human rights (Vienna, 1993), population (Cairo, 1994), women (Beijing, 1995), social development (Copenhagen, 1995), human settlements (Istanbul,...

  7. (pp. 12-13)

    A number of likely future population scenarios can be imagined. Three are presented below, ranging from the worst case “catastrophic” scenario to the best case “golden” scenario, with the middle “muddling through” scenario falling somewhere in between the two extremes.

    Rapid world population growth continues unabated, largely the result of fertility rates remaining high, particularly in South Asia and Africa. The world population grows at least for another 100 years and exceeds 11 billion by mid-century. Diseases and death rates remain at miserably high levels, with increases in HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases contributing to premature deaths and human misery...

  8. (pp. 14-14)
  9. (pp. 15-16)
  10. (pp. 17-17)