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Population Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case of Both Normative and Coercive Ties to the World Polity.
Population Research and Policy Review. 2014 Jun 15;During the 1980s and 1990s, two-thirds of sub-Saharan African countries adopted national population policies to reduce population growth. Based on multivariate statistical analysis, I show that countries with more ties to the world polity were more likely to adopt population policies. In order to refine world polity theory, however, I distinguish between normative and coercive ties to the world polity. I show that ties to the world polity via international nongovernmental organizations became predictive of population policy adoption only after the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development institutionalized reproductive health as a global norm to which countries could show adherence through population policies. Ties to the World Bank in the form of indebtedness, presumed to be coercive, were associated with population policy adoption throughout the time period observed. Gross domestic product per capita, democracy, and religion also all predicted population policy adoption. The case of population policy adoption in sub-Saharan Africa thus demonstrates that ties to organizations likely to exert normative pressure are most influential when something about international norms is at stake, while ties to organizations with coercive capacity matter regardless of time, but may be easier for wealthier countries to resist.
New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2011.  p.Five years after its creation, the UN Human Rights Council began shaking off its reluctance to engage on “country situations” by taking concrete steps to respond to several human rights crises across the globe. From July 2010 through June 2011, the Council established commissions of inquiry on Libya and Côte d’Ivoire, appointed an expert to investigate the human rights situation in Iran, and spoke out after years of silence on the human rights situation in Belarus. It responded quickly and helpfully to the Arab Spring in some countries (Libya, Syria, Tunisia), but ignored entirely developments in Bahrain. Keeping the Momentum highlights the main achievements of the Council in the past year, while noting the serious human rights situations that the Council failed to address. By taking a close look at the performance of 27 states that have played an influential role at the Council, the report shows how a small number of states have moved the Council from being a passive spectator to engaging actively in a manner that shapes human rights on the ground. And it describes how some states have sought to derail that progress. The report examines ways to consolidate and build on that progress to the benefit of all those facing human rights abuse. Human Rights Watch challenges states to live up to the Council’s clear mandate: to promote and protect the human rights of people throughout the world.
Exchange. 2009; (3):14-15.Male circumcision is common in the Asia region, with high prevalence noted in eight out of 27 South and Southeast Asian and Pacific Island countries. Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines have the highest number of circumcised men, estimated at 120 million. In these countries, circumcision is primarily for religious and cultural reasons with the exception in the Republic of Korea and the Philippines where circumcision is routine and widespread and with no linkages to religion.
Proceedings of the International Congress of Dialogue on Civilizations, Religions and Cultures in West Africa, held at Abuja (Nigeria), 15-17 December 2003.
Paris, France, UNESCO, 2005.  p. (CLT-2005/WS/2)This is the third in the series of meetings organised by UNESCO within the context of its programme of civilisation, dialogue, religion and culture. This is the West Africa meeting. It is the first meeting in the series. But it is certainly not going to be the last. UNESCO's role in this mission is not just to design something afresh, but to simply capitalise on a movement, which, I am sure you all agree, has been on the way for quite some time. Religious leaders and religions have become respected elements in civil society. If you look at Latin America, and certainly across Africa, you will find that religious movements are forging ahead. Young men and women are being called to engage in community work. They are being called to engage in a different type of political enterprise. In fact, religious movements in Latin America, and certainly in Africa, are going against the trends in the rest of the world, particularly in the First World, where people are actually moving away from organised religion. We wish to capitalise on these movements and recruit the leadership acumen for a new set of issues to increase democratisation, and certainly to build peace. (excerpt)
The Abuja Statement. "The International Congress on Dialogue of Civilization, Religion and Cultures in West Africa", Abuja, 15-17 December 2003. Final declaration.
[Paris, France], UNESCO, . 9 p.The International Congress on Dialogue of Civilization, Religion and Cultures in West Africa held in Abuja (Nigeria) from 15-17 December 2003, is the first UNESCO attempt to root dialogue in its diverse forms in Africa. The Congress follows similar initiatives in areas such as the Mediterranean Basin and Central Asia. Dialogue is understood as a unique way to foster peace among different communities belonging to various cultural, ethnical and religious walks of life, that compose the main wealth, cradle to many civilizations which interacted and enriched one another during centuries to present days. This Civilization spread to many parts of the world, mostly the Americas, because of the Slave trade. However, despite this tragedy, which deserves to be better known and taught, the African culture and spirituality blended with other cultures and enriched them profoundly. Personalities present, among them the Secretary to the Government of the Federation who represented the President of Nigeria and the Minister of Culture and Tourism, as well as participants from different countries and agencies of the United Nations system, acknowledged that it is only through dialogue, reconciliation, mediation and reciprocal knowledge and mutual understanding that conflicts can be prevented and resolved. (excerpt)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2004 Dec; 82(12):923-927.Using religion to improve health is an age-old practice. However, using religion and enlisting religious authorities in public health campaigns, as exemplified by tobacco control interventions and other activities undertaken by WHO's Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Although all possible opportunities within society should be exploited to control tobacco use and promote health, religion-based interventions should not be exempted from the evidence-based scrutiny to which other interventions are subjected before being adopted. In the absence of data and debate on whether this approach works, how it should be applied, and what the potential downsides and alternatives are, international organizations such as WHO should think carefully about using religion-based public health interventions in their regional programmes. (author's)
Innovations: Innovative Approaches to Population Programme Management. 2001; 9:1-18.The phenomenon of violence against women (VAW) and even girls has permeated all layers of society for centuries, and, sadly, it still echoes true in the current century. The most commonly used definition from Article 1 of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, describes violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.” Both males and females experience violence in one form or another, but females constitute a higher percentage of victims of violence through the lifespan, from pre-birth up to old age. They are denied the chance to be born, to survive after birth and to live a healthy life free from the various kinds of violence. (excerpt)
Conscience. 2000 Spring;  p..She began to cry. Her shoulders shook uncontrollably as sobs came from deep within. "Why, why, why do they say such hateful things when our families are dying in Africa?" she asked. Catholics for a Free Choice, which is very seldom without an answer, did not have one this time. We were at the United Nations, and this distraught woman was a government delegate from an African nation at a meeting to review progress toward implementation of the Platform for Action (PFA) since the Fourth World Conference on Women. The UN conference held five years ago in Beijing outlined specific goals for progress for women that governments from around the world committed themselves to achieve. The African delegate was upset by comments made by a fresh-faced American teenager during a Q&A after a panel on religious support for the Platform for Action. The teen had protested "why oh why must we constantly hear about condoms to prevent AIDS" when all people needed to do was to stop having sex outside of marriage and the problem would be well...solved. The African woman was upset but angry too. One can forgive naivete but it is harder when ignorance masquerades as the moral high ground from which to survey those who suffer and die. There was a lot of that about during the United Nations Beijing PrepCom in March. Those same issues came to the surface at our successful press conference at the UN to discuss the latest on The "See Change" Campaign. Initiated by CFFC in March of 1999, The "See Change" Campaign requests a review of the Holy See's status at the United Nations as a Nonmember State Permanent Observer. Growing from 70 initial endorsers to over 450 organizations worldwide, the campaign has been very successful in focusing international public attention on the unique status held by the Roman Catholic church at the UN. In addition, press and nongovernmental organizations from the United States to Spain and Bangladesh have covered the campaign and individuals from all over the globe have signed postcards to UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan. (excerpt)
Conscience. 2003 Winter;  p..In July 2002, the Bush administration caused rejoicing in its rightwing base by rescinding $34 million that Congress had appropriated for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. The move was a major escalation in the torture of a thousand tiny cuts that ultra-conservatives are inflicting upon family planning programs worldwide. It was based on charges that UNFPA was complicit in forced abortions and sterilizations in China. The argument was that the move would punish both China and the agency. None of the punishers mentioned collateral damage to women and families in the 150 other countries where UNFPA supports reproductive health and education programs, but that may have been the point. The cut’s formal justification involved such creative twists and turns in logic and ethics that it was clear the decision came first and the reasoning came later. A State Department team was sent to China to investigate the charges and found UNFPA to be clean. It recommended the funds be released. So did a bipartisan panel of British Members of Parliament. It didn’t matter. The real target was family planning, so the cut was made. An administration legal analysis made that clear by presenting the following tortured rationale: UNFPA was supplying computers to China; the computers were easing government operations; one of those operations involved a “Social Compensation Fee” levied upon families having more than the allowed number of children; some women may have had abortions to avoid that fee; so therefore, UNFPA “supports or participates in the management and implementation” of a policy of coerced abortions. The 1985 Kemp-Kasten Amendment permits spending cuts under that finding, so the deed was done. (excerpt)
JAMA. 2004 Apr 28; 291(16):1947-1948.Politics and rumors in Nigeria are threatening to derail efforts to finally eradicate poliomyelitis around the world. Smallpox is the only disease that has been completely banished from nature, and the goal of repeating such success with polio is tantalizingly close. In the past, polio paralyzed more than 350000 children in more than 125 countries annually. Last year, the disease was limited to just six countries-Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Niger, Nigeria, and Pakistan-and affected only 758 individuals. But cases are now being reported in countries surrounding Nigeria that were previously free of the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) blamed the spread of the infection on suspension of immunization campaigns last year in Nigeria's northern states. These areas are largely Islamic and, as reported by the British Broadcasting Channel and other media, some Muslim leaders suggested the vaccine was contaminated and would cause AIDS and infertility in women. Other published reports noted some Muslim leaders in northern Nigeria also believed that these vaccines were contaminated in an effort by the United States to decimate the Muslim population. (excerpt)
Public report. First meeting of the UNAIDS Global Reference Group on HIV / AIDS and Human Rights, January 23-24, 2003, Geneva, Switzerland.
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2003. 13 p.There is more than 20 years of experience showing that the promotion and protection of human rights is critical to mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS epidemic on peoples lives. However, the integration of human rights into HIV/AIDS work is increasingly under attack by governments and public health officials. The field is therefore now at an important juncture of it's history. There is a growing and crucial need for efforts that would highlight the effectiveness of the diverse ways in which the connections between HIV/AIDS and human rights are being understood and worked on. It is most critical to continue to keep abreast of and address current human rights issues in relation to HIV/AIDS. It is also essential to consider what is needed to collect the evidence of what has been effective; and to develop better ways to ensure that rights are genuinely integrated into the HIV/AIDS work happening within countries. To help meet these goals, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) established a Global Reference Group on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights (Reference Group). This technical group has been put together to serve as an independent advisory body to UNAIDS, including Secretariat and Cosponsors and other organizations involved in policy, advocacy, programme development, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, research and training related to a rights-based approach to HIV/AIDS. In fulfilling its mandate, the Reference Group will liaise closely with other UNAIDS Reference Groups, namely, HIV/AIDS Estimates, Modeling and Projections; the International AIDS Economic Network; the Reference Group on Injection Drug Use; and the Reference Group on Epidemiology. The Reference Group will cover a wide range of topics including, but not limited to the following: 1. Stocktaking of standards and approaches to integrating human rights in the response to HIV/AIDS leading to a common methodology for analysis and terminology. 2. The development of rights-based indicators, including those to monitor HIV/AIDS risk, vulnerability and impact reduction. 3. The development of human rights and legal guidelines and methods to support countries in the design of national AIDS strategies, policies, and legislation. 4. The development of a strategic approach for integration of HIV/AIDS-related issues in UN human rights treaty bodies, charter-based bodies and other human rights mechanisms. (excerpt)
Development. 2003 Dec; 46(4):22-28.Wendy Tyndale looks at religious groups, movements or communities working at the grassroots, very often at a distance from the leaders or institutions of their traditions. She takes as examples movements which show the effectiveness of faith as an inspiration and guide for work to improve life for the poor. These are different from faith-based NGOs, which, depending as they do on sources of funding from the West, tend to be influenced to a greater degree by the views of professional western/secular development practitioners. She delves into some of the difficulties of the relationship between religion and the mainstream development thinking in order to show the commonalities of both "idealism" and pragmatism on both sides of the divide. (author's)
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2003 Sep. 74 p. (UNAIDS/03.44E)This report provides a snapshot of the action being taken across the African continent in response to the challenge of AIDS. It highlights governments working with all their ministries to deliver a full-scale response. It demonstrates progress in closing the gaps in the provision of HIV prevention and treatment. It shows the value of partnership between government, communities and businesses. It showcases the determination of African women to throw off the disproportionate burden that AIDS represents for them. And it makes manifest the voice of hope, in the many successful responses by young people in fighting the epidemic. (author's)
New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2003 Sep. 61 p. (Croatia Vol. 15, No. 6(D))Between 300,000 and 350,000 Serbs left their homes in Croatia during the 1991-95 war. This report describes the continued plight of displacement suffered by the Serbs of Croatia and identifies the principal remaining impediments to their return. The most significant problem is the difficulty Serbs face in returning to their pre-war homes. Despite repeated promises, the Croatian government has been unwilling and unable to solve this problem for the vast majority of displaced Serbs. In addition, fear of arbitrary arrest on war-crimes charges and discrimination in employment and pension benefits also deter return. Human Rights Watch believes that these problems are a result of a practice of ethnic discrimination against Serbs by the Croatian government. The report concludes with a list of recommendations to the government of Croatia and the international community to deal with these persistent problems and finally make good on the promise of return. (author's)
[Bangkok, Thailand], United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], South East Asia HIV and Development Project, 2000 Dec. , 16 p.Religion plays a major role in our life as we learn to cope with birth, diseases, aging and death. The Buddhist monks in Mae Chan, in witnessing the devastation to their own families, relatives and friends in the community, decided to mobilize the religious sector for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support. These beautiful sermons are written by the monks based on the Buddhist precepts and are an excellent example of the religious sector’s contribution to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support from its own unique strength and the role in society which complement existing health sectors’ approach for a holistic community response. We are grateful to the monks for giving us the permission to translate these sermons from Lanna Thai to English. We hope to mobilize additional resources in order to translate it into other languages such as Laotian, Khmer, Viet Namese and Chinese to spread the words to people who can heed the preaching. (excerpt)
Female circumcision: strategies to bring about change. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Female Circumcision, 13-16 June 1988, Mogadisho, Somalia.
Rome, Italy, AIDOS, 1989. VIII, 148,  p.This book contains the proceedings of the 1988 International Seminar on Female Circumcision in Somalia. The first part relays the introductory addresses presented by the Assistant Secretary General of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Somali Minister of Health, the Italian Ambassador to Somalia, the World Health Organization's resident representative in Somalia, and the President of the Somali Women's Democratic Organization. Part 2 offers five reports on efforts towards international cooperation to eliminate female genital mutilation undertaken by North/South women's organizations, the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, the Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development, and the World Health Organization. Part 3 includes three reports on religious and legal aspects of female genital mutilation, and part 4 presents reports of eradication efforts ongoing in Egypt, Nigeria, the Gambia, and Sudan. The fifth part of the volume is devoted to six reports on aspects of the practice of female genital mutilation in Somalia as well as eradication efforts that involve an information campaign and training. Part 6 reprints the reports of the working groups on health, the law, training and information, and religion, and the final part covers the final resolutions and closing addresses by a UN Children's Fund representative, a representative of the UN Commission for Human Rights, and the Assistant Secretary General of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party. The Inter-African Committee's Plan of Action for the Eradication of Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa, approved by the seminar, is contained in the first appendix, and a list of seminar participants is attached in the second.
New York, New York, United Nations. Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis. Statistical Division, 1995. x, 1,032 p. (No. ST/ESA/STAT/SER.R/24)This is a comprehensive collection of international demographic statistics published annually by the United Nations. "The tables in this issue of the Yearbook are presented in two parts, the basic tables followed by the tables devoted to population censuses, the special topic in this issue. The first part contains tables giving a world summary of basic demographic statistics, followed by tables presenting statistics on the size, distribution and trends in population, natality, foetal mortality, infant and maternal mortality, general mortality, nuptiality and divorce. In the second part, this issue of the Yearbook serves to update the census information featured in the 1988 issue. Census data on demographic and social characteristics include population by single years of age and sex, national and/or ethnic composition, language and religion. Tables showing data on geographical characteristics include information on major civil divisions and localities by size-class. Educational characteristics include population data on literacy, educational attainment and school attendance. In many of the tables, data are shown by urban/rural residence."
Freetown, Sierra Leone, Ministry of Education, 1984. 80 p. (UNFPA/UNESCO Project SIL/76/POI)The National Programme in Social Studies in Sierra Leone has created this textbook in the social sciences for secondary school students. Unit 1, "Man's Origins, Development and Characteristics," presents the findings of archaeologists and anthropologists about the different periods of man's development. Man's mental development and population growth are also considered. Unit 2, "Man's Environment," discusses the physical and social environments of Sierra Leone, putting emphasis on the history of migrations into Sierra Leone and the effects of migration on population growth. Unit 3, "Man's Culture," deals with cultural traits related to marriage and family structure, different religions of the world, and traditional beliefs and population issues. Unit 4, "Population and Resources," covers population distribution and density and the effects of migration on resources. The unit also discusses land as a resource and the effects of the land tenure system, as well as farming systems, family size and the role of women in farming communities. Unit 5, "Communication in the Service of Man", focuses on modern means of communication, especially mass media. Unit 6, "Global Issues: Achievements and Problems," discusses the identification of global issues, such as colonialism, the refugee problem, urbanization, and the population problems of towns and cities. The unit describes 4 organizations that have been formed in response to problems such as these: the UN, the Red Cross, the International Labor Organization, and the Co-operative for American Relief.
Freetown, Sierra Leone, Ministry of Education, 1984. 80 p. (UNFPA/UNESCO Project SIL/76/POI)The National Programme in Social Studies in Sierra Leone has created this text in social studies, with an emphasis on population education, for 2ndary school students. Unit 1, "Man's Origins, Development and Characteristics," covers traditional, religious and scientific explanations of man's origin; man's characteristics and the effects of these characteristics; and the beginnings of population growth and the characteristics of human population. In Unit 2, "Man's Environment," the word environment is defined and geographical concepts are introduced. Unit 3, "Man's Culture," defines institution and discusses family types, roles and cycles, as well as traditional ceremonies and cultural beliefs about family size. Unit 4, "Population and Resources," primarily deals with how the family meets its needs for food, shelter and clothing. It also covers the effects of population growth. Unit 5, "Communication in the Service of Man," discusses the means and growth of communication and collecting vital information about the population. The last unit defines global issues and discusses the interdependence of nations, issues affecting nations at the individual and world level, and the UN.
Conscience. 2002 Spring; 23(1):15-7, 42.During the UN Beijing Plus 5 conference in March 2000, both Catholics and Muslims were well represented at the proceedings. The progressive network included both religious and secular nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including: the Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network, the Girls' Power Initiative of Nigeria, Catholics for a Free Choice, the Albanian Family Planning Association, and the Ecumenical Women 2000+. On the other hand, the conservative network consisted of both religious and secular NGOs, including: the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, the World Family Policy Forum at Brigham Young University, the National Right to Life Committee, Concerned Women for America, the National Institute of Womanhood, Global Helping Advance Women and Children, and United Families International. It is noted that tensions between the conservative and progressive camps at the UN are always palpable and each camp regularly monitors the other's activities. A propensity on both sides to objectify the moral status of their opponents was also detected.
Stockholm, Sweden, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance [International IDEA], 2000. xxx, 379 p. (Capacity-Building Series No. 10)This publication is a summary of reports by teams of Nigerian and international resource persons who undertook a consultative and empirically based study of some of the critical issues on the political agenda in Nigeria. Democracy in Nigeria is an attempt to capture and contribute to the on-going debates, discussions and overall search for solutions that can heal and build a nation, and thereby deepen and consolidate democracy in Nigeria. Divided into five major parts, Part I focus on the basic ingredients for establishing an enduring democratic system in Nigeria: constitutional governance and democratic culture. Part II seeks to understand ethnicity, religion and gender to explain the complexity and diversity of Nigeria. Part III offers an analysis of matters concerning the stabilization of democracy and engineering development in the country, while Part IV anchors the issues and cross-cutting issues of concern to this project in the concrete experiences of the Niger Delta, the North-East and the Middle belt. Finally, Part V emphasizes the role of the international community in Nigeria's democratic agenda.
Conscience. 2002 Winter; 22(4):16-20, 42-3.Religion Counts studied religion's role at the UN, compiling and analyzing data about religious dynamics and actors in the complex UN system. During the investigation, researchers heard many complaints about religion at the UN. Others bemoaned secular, even anti-religious, inroads into UN policymaking by progressive religious groups and their secular allies. Implied in many of the complaints is that the world's religions are divided and that their divisions surface at the UN. Such divisions within the Roman Catholic have widened through the years over key issues raised at the Cairo and Beijing conferences. However, it is noted that religious groups are not the only divided constituency at the UN, which serves as a forum for conflict resolution, negotiation, and compromise among the world's divided nations. Reaching a sufficient consensus at any level, including the international arena represented by the UN, requires full representation at the negotiation table. The voices of religion, discordant and divided as they may be, must be included in the discussion or the resulting consensus will be insufficient.
In the shadow of the temple: cross-cultural sensitivity in international health program development.
Ethnicity and Health. 2000; 5(2):161-71.Many authorities recognize the concept that sensitivity to a recipient people's culture during the formulation and implementation of international health programs is a basic component to the success of those programs. Nevertheless, international health agencies have consistently failed in realizing truly successful projects in recipient countries by their neglect to fully take culture into account. The reasons are complex, and their comprehension involves an understanding of who is involved in international health programs, the history of those programs, and the conflicts that arise when outside agencies fail to understand--or be understood by--those who are on the receiving end of programs. This paper will scrutinize international health care assistance and development from the points of view of both donor agencies and recipient countries. Examples are presented from countries and regions worldwide. The challenges in maintaining cultural sensitivity will be described, analyzed, and potential solutions will be offered. (author's)
[Unpublished] 1999. Presented on the occasion of the 1999 Parliament of the World's Religions, Cape Town, South Africa, December 1-8, 1999.  p.This document “A Call to Our Guiding Institutions” appeals for an active, ongoing dialogue on the creation of a just, peaceful, and sustainable future on behalf of the entire Earth community. Containing excerpts from the paper, Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration, it makes clear that the principles and commitments of this paper relate directly and immediately to the functioning of the world's institutions. These include institutions of the religious and spiritual sectors; the government; sectors from the agriculture, labor, industry, and commerce; educational sector; arts and communication media; science and medicine sectors; international intergovernmental organizations; and organizations of civil society. In addition, it consists of specific, particular invitations rather than sweeping declarations or hectoring injunctions. It is the hope of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions that this document will provide encouragement and direction for those wishing to offer services and commitments to the world.
In: All of us. Births and a better life: population, development and environment in a globalized world. Selections from the pages of the Earth Times, edited by Jack Freeman and Pranay Gupte. New York, New York, Earth Times Books, 1999. 430-3.It is estimated that as the year 2000 approaches, the world population will surpass 6 billion. This projection is because either economic stagnation or social disintegration affects rapid demographic growth. Curtailing population growth alone can not solve the world's social and environmental ills; however, it requires a substantial reduction of human fertility in order to have a meaningful improvement of the human condition. To achieve this, organizations have implemented population and family planning programs in less developed countries. Although most of these efforts were not initiated until the 1960s and 1970s, there have been a number of notable successes. Contraceptive prevalence among married women of reproductive age has increased over the past 30 years from 25% to 56%. The annual rate of world population growth has declined from 2.06% to 1.4%. Within the past decade, the annual increase in human numbers has slowed from almost 90 million to less than 80 million. While these demographic trends are both important and encouraging, they do not signal victory in the world's continuing struggle to contain its human growth. This paper traces the changes in international public opinion concerning the importance of population stabilization, as long as it is based on human rights and voluntary acceptance of family planning.