WMLiS Model United Nations 2014 – Population Control Chair Report

INTRODUCTION In this modern age, we must prepare our world for the next generation and ensure our descendants have adequate resources to thrive on our Blue Planet. With the pres- sures of an expanding population ahead, it is the direct responsibility of the General Assembly to take initiative in foreseeing an end to this multigener- ational stressor. TOPIC BACKGROUND The world’s population started to ac- celerate in the middle of the 18th cen- tury with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, associated with the devel- opments in agriculture. In fact, popula- tion growth is now concentrated in the developing regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, which accounted for “85 percent of the increase of global population since 1950”.

However, in the devel- oped world (North America, Europe, Russia, and Oceania), birth rates have declined and gradually stabilized. Each year the number of human beings increases, but the amount of natural resources with which to sustain this population remains fi- nite. The gap between the population and resources is immense be- cause much of the population is highly concentrated in developing and low-income countries, which many governments do not have the abil-ity to provide basic living conditions for their citizens.

Due to the lim- ited resources on earth and in various countries, it is vital for all the nations unite together to control the population growth Population growth is the rate of increase in the size of a given area, such as a city, country or continent. It is also closely connected to fertility, which is the rate at which women produce offspring. High fertility is concentrated in few coun- tries and is prevalent “among the 49 least developed countries, 31 of which had fertility levels above 5 children per woman around 2005. “

Low fertility is seen in several exam-ples of the world’s most developed countries; in many cases such nations fail to produce even one child per family unit. The factor of fertility plays an overwhelming role in the © WMLiS MUN 2014 WMLiS MUN 2014 GA2 Total fertility, contraceptive prevalence and selected indicators of reproductive health in the less developed regions, 1970-2005 (http://www. un. org/esa/population/publications/UNPD_policybriefs/UNPD_policy_bri ef1. pdf) PAST ACTIONS Population control is firstly and mostly based on personal will while government and authoritative forces in certain regions may implement birth control.

However, due to the human rights, native laws and religious restrictions, unwanted pregnancies caused by irresponsible sexual acts are not allowed to be aborted. Uncontrollable high birth rates in certain areas endanger the worldwide in- creasing population. China One Child Policy is a nationwide mandatory im- plementation in use by the Chinese government since 1979. Chinese authorities have claimed the policy is effective and workable. For example, the Chinese government states that 400 million births were prevented by the one-child policy as of 2011.

However, this policy is controversial both within and outside China because of the manners of im-plementation and subsequent negative social in- fluence. As only one child is allowed per family, abortion which extensively hurt the health of fe- male is enforced onto pregnant women who have unwanted or unexpected child. Ac- cording to a 1968 proclamation of the International Conference on Human Rights, “Par- ents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children. ” The One Child Policy itself has challenged the basic human rights and opposed the individual intentions of parents.

China, a traditional Asian agricultural country, has a palpable son preference which leads to female infanticide and sexual imbalance which commits social chaos. It is be- lieved that sons are more helpful to farm work and they are preferred as they provide the primary financial support for the parents in their retirement as daughters tend to be more infinite to the groom’s family after marriage. These reasons result in female infants being treated unequally and cruelly, a violation of human rights. Potential social problems lead another concern of the One Child Policy. Some par- ents may over-indulge their only child who is referred as “little emperor” or “little princess” by media.

It is predicted that these singletons are of higher tendency towards poor communication and cooperation skills and capacity as they have no siblings around them. However, there is no social studies on the ratio of these over-indulged children and to what extent they are indulged. Potential personality defects may not emerge in this generation. © WMLiS MUN 2014 WMLiS MUN 2014 GA2 India India, with the second largest population in the world, has introduced family planning with vast sup- port by the Indian government. Currently, Indian gov- ernment has encouraged the usage of contraceptive

devices such as condoms for married women. From 1965-2009, “contraceptive usage has more than tripled (from 13% of married women in 1970 to 48% in 2009) and the fertility rate has more than halved (from 5. 7 in 1966 to 2. 6 in 2009)”. Increased aware- ness among women about using contraceptive devices to prevent over-fertility is quite crucial because it is reported that extensive number of married women has trouble choosing contraceptive methods. Actions taken seem moderate as the population growth is un- controllable and a prediction has stated India may overcome China to be the most populous nation in the world.

Age and Sex Structure of China (2010) and India (2011). Russia Russia, the largest country of mainland is facing the problem of high death rate, low birth rate and low fertility rate, all regarded as Russia’s most serious problem nowadays. The Russian government has adopted policies to encourage women to have more chil- dren via bonus. In 1920, abortion was firstly granted in Russia among all the countries in the world. Due to the decline of population, it was once suggested to ban the abortion. As child-bearing wishes mostly depend on personal choice, the proposal was rejected.

In 2011, Russian parliament revised the law restricting abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy excluding the unwanted or inappropriate pregnancy with an extension of ten moreweeksduetorapeandmedicalnecessity. Currently, the United Nations has not done any substantial actions to control as- cending population growth worldwide or descending population in certain countries. Every pregnancy is protected under the announcement of Human Rights Council (HRC). However, to stabilize the population at a level consistent with the requirements of na- © WMLiS MUN 2014 WMLiS MUN 2014 GA2 tional economy and natural resources, temperate population growth and con- trol are considered necessary and ur- gent. POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS.

The current world population in 2014 is 7,211,239,210. The population count is estimated based on the total number of births this year, the total num- ber of deaths this year, and the ending population of 2013, which was 7,203,304,915. The population of the world is made up of the populations of the seven continents: Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and Antarc- tica. Each continent is made up of various countries with varying populations and sizes.

The largest continent in the world in 2014 still remains to be Asia. The largest country in the world in 2014 still remains to be China. For these varying issues, a num- ber of solutions could be proposed: -By empowering women and families to form plans: Safe and knowledgeable family planning is the primary concern. By initiating a plethora of social programs and in- vesting in family centers, nations facing overpopulation can deter the growth. Natu- rally, the level of sex education interference into social communities varies with the specific cultural, religious, and economic circumstances of each particular area.

Cer- tain compromises or negotiations must be considered. -By providing women with education and job opportunities: As critical components for alleviating poverty, gender inequality and overpopulation, studies have found that when women possess access to such resources, they choose to have smaller families, and are able to invest more in each child which helps break the cycle of poverty as- sociated. Influencing politicians and international organizations to help provide the aforementioned opportunities is a viable route. -By spreading awareness about the cost of overpopulation:

The world’s population has risen above a sustainable level, and several regions harbor populations well above safe and prosperous levels. As awareness of this notion sprouted throughout the 1960s and 1970s, citizens chose to have smaller families, and parents were re- minded that each human being must be cared for within the constraints of the local and global environment. -By gradually shifting social norms: A crucial aspect of the public’s choice in the num- ber of children to produce is social pressure.

Encouraging people to refrain from im- pacting others if they are not ready or prefer to remain childless is an action suited against social norms. Some cultures value large families, a concept suited to sparsely populated farming or pastoral regions. Measures can be taken to model and empha- size the benefits of smaller families. In affluent countries in particular, shifting away from a culture of excess and unsustainable consumption is in order. -By implementing economic forces: When planning families, many reflect upon their economic situation. If housing and jobs are not available, people delay starting fami- lies. Birthrates tend to rise during significant economic growth, such as the housing bubble of 2002.

Upon the bubble’s bursting, birthrates dropped. Steadier economic policies in conjunction with slowing population growth worldwide may increase global prosperity. The standard measure of economic progress, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has a built-in tie to population growth. GDP can rise with population while median household income and general well-being declines. © WMLiS MUN 2014 WMLiS MUN 2014 GA2 FURTHER RESEARCH Guiding Questions -What is the current population in your country? What is the current fertility level in your country? Has your country’s government taken any actions towards population control?

-What can the UN and other population-related organizations do to better help to limit rampant population growth? -What are some possible indirect influences to the citizens in the developing coun- tries while implementing new policies and changes? (Delegates are advised to specifically look at this part and create realistic resolutions). -Are the new means to tackle this problem both suitable for developed countries and developing countries? How should the United Nations make a resolution that satis- fies both interests? -Since population growth is closely linked the environment and worldwide resources, how should the UN make resolutions that overcome both problems, or at least to some extent?

Research Sources World Bank Population Data 2014 http://data. worldbank. org/indicator/SP. POP. TOTL UN document explaining population and resources http://www. un-documents. net/ocf-04. htm#II. 1 UN Population Division policy brief http://www. un. org/esa/population/publications/UNPD_policybriefs/UNPD_policy_brie f1. pdf World population statistics: an overview Official World and UN Population Clock http://www. census. gov/popclock/ Facts from the United Nations Statistical Committee https://unstats. un. org/unsd/default. htm © WMLiS MUN 2014.