On April 5, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the Fiftieth Session of the Commission on Population and Development on Agenda Item 3(b) dedicated to the theme of “Changing population age structures and sustainable development.”
In his statement, Archbishop Auza said that the world is challenged by a demographic shift from young, growing populations with high fertility and low mortality to older populations with lower fertility, higher mortality and higher consumption. Unfulfilled threats of an impending time bomb led certain governments to draconian population control measures contrary to human dignity, freedom and responsibility, he said, and several nations are experiencing spiraling demographic decline, leading to challenges to provide adequate social care protections and care for the elderly. Demographic growth is fully compatible with shared prosperity, he underlined, if resources are efficiently used and fairly distributed. For sustainable development, developing nations must address corruption and protracted conflicts, he stated, and developed nations the high levels of consumption, trade imbalances, and environmental degradation. Solidarity, peace, security, respect for life from conception to natural death, education, health-care, clean water access, adequate housing and sanitation, must all inform public policy and the elderly, disabled and most vulnerable must be included in all aspects of life, because their value is far more than their capacity for economic contribution, he stated.
His statement can be found here.