Population trends and issues, statement made at the Meeting of the Netherlands Association of Demographers, The Hague, Netherlands, 14 September, 1983.
If world population is to stabilize by the end of the next century, it will be necessary to strengthen and sustain the downward trend in fertility already begun in most developing countries. Whatever reductions have been achieved in the rate of population growth are the result of fertility declines accompanied by moderate reduction in mortality. Added to the challenge of high birth, mortality and growth rates in some parts of the developing world, a number of issues of equal importance have emerged since the United Nations World Population Conference held in Bucharest in 1974. There are, for example, issues relating to aging, international and local migration, including urbanization, and the interrelationships between population, resources, the environment and development. Most of these problems have national as well as international dimensions. The Government of the Netherlands has taken important steps to alleviate some of these problems. For example, it considers that social and economic policy should constantly take in requirements resulting from changes in the age structure of the population. The Government has been a major donor to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) since its inception and has contributed nearly US$105 million in 14 years.