Ref. :  000005067
Date :  2002-11-26
Language :  English
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Un Population Report Says Good Reproductive Health For Women Essential To Ending Poverty

Author :  ONU / UN

2002 Survey to Be Launched Next Week at Ceremonies In London, New York, Washington and Other Cities around World

NEW YORK, 26 November (UNFPA) -- To overcome poverty, countries must ensure women's reproductive health and rights, and also target development efforts to the poor, according to the State of World Population 2002 report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The report -- People, Poverty and Possibilities: Making Development Work for the Poor -- will be launched next Tuesday (3 December) in London, New York, Washington and other cities around the world.

Addressing population concerns is critical to meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of cutting global poverty and hunger in half by 2015, reducing maternal and child mortality, curbing HIV/AIDS, advancing gender equality and promoting environmentally sustainable development.

The UNFPA report argues that to meet these goals in developing countries, urgent action is needed to combat poor reproductive health, unwanted fertility, illiteracy and discrimination against women. It shows that countries that invest in health, including reproductive health and family planning, and in education and women's empowerment, register slower population growth and faster economic growth.

A decline in birth rates increases the proportion of working-age people in the population, giving developing countries a one-time opportunity to increase productivity and savings and lay the basis for future progress.

On the other hand, the report shows that inadequate efforts to provide reproductive health services and combat gender inequality result in continued high fertility among the poor; perpetuating poverty and inequality within both households and nations.

(i) The State of World Population 2002 report will be available online to the public on 3 December. Journalists may access the embargoed report and related materials before then by requesting a password from The online press kit includes the report, press releases, a press summary and photos.

(ii) The Executive Director of UNFPA, Thoraya Obaid, will launch the report at a press conference in London at 11 a.m. on 3 December, at the United Nations Information Centre, Millbank Tower. She will be joined by Alex Marshall, Editor of the report. (For information, contact Peter Robbs: +44 (1480) 465328 or

In New York, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals, Jeffrey Sachs, will join Stirling D. Scruggs, Director, Information and External Relations Division, UNFPA, for a 10 a.m. briefing at United Nations Headquarters, Room 226. (For information, contact Micol Zarb: +1 (212) 297-5042, or

In Washington, D.C., the senior researcher for the report, Stan Bernstein, will be joined by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.) and former World Bank economist Thomas Merrick in a press conference at 10 a.m. at the National Press Club. (For information, contact Sarah Craven: +1(202) 326-8713, or

Other launch events are scheduled in Athens, Berlin, Berne, Brussels, Canberra, Copenhagen, Dublin, The Hague, Helsinki, Lisbon, Luxembourg, Madrid, Oslo, Ottawa, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Tokyo, Vienna and Wellington, and in the capitals of many countries where the UNFPA has programmes. (For information, contact Victoria Rector: +1 (212) 297-5022, or

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