The United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) has identified the world’s seven billionth baby in Liberia. Baby Bernice is the world’s 7 billionth person as identified in Liberia. Born just after midnight on Wednesday, 31 October, baby Bernice was named after the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia Doctor Bernice Dahn who represented the Government of Liberia during the identification ceremony at the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
“As you know, the world has reached 7 billion today, and in Liberia, we are very proud to present to you the journalists the seven billionth baby born in Redemption Hospital in Liberia,” UNFPA Resident Representative Esperance Fundira said.
Ms. Fundira indicated that UNFPA would continue to direct its supports toward the improvement of maternal health and family planning services as well as the reduction of maternal mortality in Liberia.
Across the globe, the United Nations marked the global population milestone by urging world leaders to work harder to meet the challenges of a fast rising global population, and ensure the provision of basic needs for all such as adequate food, clean water and equal access to security and justice.
The observance of the global population milestone followed the launch on 26 October of the State of World Population report 2011 titled: People and possibilities in a world of 7 billion. This report makes the case that with planning and the right investments in people, our world of 7 billion and beyond can have thriving, sustainable cities, productive labor forces that can fuel economic growth, youth population that contribute to well-being of economies and societies, and generation of older people who are healthy and actively engaged in their nations’ social and economic affairs.
“With planning and the right investments in people now—to empower them to make choices that are not only good for themselves, but also for our global commons—our world of 7 billion can have thriving sustainable cities, productive labour forces that fuel economies, and youth populations that contribute to the well-being of their societies,” says UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin in the foreword of the report, entitled People and Possibilities in a World of 7 Billion.
Our record population size can be viewed in many ways as a success for humanity because it means that people are living longer and more of our children are surviving worldwide, the report shows. But not everyone has benefited from this achievement or the higher quality of life that this implies. Great disparities exist among and within countries. Disparities in rights and opportunities also exist between men and women, girls and boys. Charting a path now to development that promotes equality, rather than exacerbates or reinforces inequalities, is more important than ever.
The State of World Population 2011 is mainly a report from the field, where demographers, policymakers, governments, civil society and individuals are grappling with population trends ranging from ageing to rapidly rising numbers of young people, from high population growth rates to shrinking populations, and from high rates of urbanization to rising international migration. The countries featured in this report are China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, India, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.