Governments Complain About Low Birth Rates at UN Population Conference

By | May 3, 2024

UN Commission on Population and Development

NEW YORK, May 3 (C-Fam) A groundswell of complaints engulfed the annual UN Commission on Population and Development. Countries are in an angry panic about the results of decades-long propaganda favoring lowering fertility rates. Even so, Western countries and UN agencies doubled down the need for lower fertility rates.

Governments voiced concerns that low fertility rates are threatening their societies with anemic economic growth, labor shortages, fiscal insolvency, and other social problems at the annual gathering at UN headquarters in New York.

The Iranian Mission to the UN said that “The family planning policy and the reduction of fertility rate were among the objectives of the Cairo Population and Development Conference in 1994 for all countries, without accounting for the economic, social, and cultural variations and indicators. This policy has led to a sharp decline in the fertility rate in most countries.”

The Iranian delegate continued, “In Iran, due to the excessive implementation of national family planning policies, our country is now facing the risk of an aging population crisis sooner than other countries.” Iran has experienced the steepest decline in fertility rates of any country in history.

Alarmed at population decline, Bosnia and Herzegovina told the conference, “We will get old and tired before we get developed…We anticipate that over the next years Bosnia and Herzegovina will need on an annual basis an additional 3% of GDP to only keep the education, healthcare, and pensions at the current level.”

Despite the many governments that complained about the challenge of low fertility, representatives of the UN population establishment tried to cast low fertility in a positive light. Jose Miguel Guzman, formerly associated with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and now President of No Brainer Data, said that “increasing misinformation about demographic changes [and] cataclysmic scenarios of aging population” are leading people to live in an “irrational fear that hampers their ability to make informed policy decisions.”

Guzman acknowledged the reality of widespread and seemingly irreversible low fertility in countries all around the world but said that “fertility decline can be seen as a blessing as it helps women in their accomplishment of having the number of children they want as recognized by ICPD. It also had a favorable impact on reducing infant, child, and maternal mortality.”

Li Junhua, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, presented a UN report arguing for more investments to encourage women to use contraception and to have small families “since parents in smaller families are able to invest more in each child resulting in even better outcomes for health and education.”

At a CPD side event hosted by the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the UN, Lyman Stone, Research Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, said that the fertility gap shows that wealthy societies are not only facing demographic decline but a fertility gap. Everywhere in the world, Stone showed, women are not achieving their desired fertility and are having less children than they want. Stone was cautiously optimistic that the effects of long-term pro-family policies, including protection for the “natural family” in Hungary’s constitution, have contributed to an increase in Hungary’s fertility from 1.2 children per woman ten years ago to 1.6 presently.

Nearly 25 years ago, the UN Population Division hosted an expert group meeting to examine the question of how low fertility could go. The consensus at that time was that nobody knew.