Popoli – 09/1994
UN – Population Conference, Cairo
One of our parishioners, born in Egypt of Syrian-Lebanese parents of Catholic faith and profound knowledge of the Arab world, participated as an observer on behalf of some publishers in the recent “International Conference on Population and Development” held in Cairo. He reported these interesting impressions that we offer to our readers’ attention.
Cairo, September 1994.
Impressions of an Observer
The UN recognizing the growing interdependence between world population, development and the environment has called for an “Inter National Conference on Population and Development” to adopt appropriate macro / socio-economic policies to promote growth in the context of population problems. In essence, to trace the fundamental lines in order to contain the demographic growth of the next 20 years in the world.
Three thousand five hundred delegates from 182 countries, five thousand members of four hundred non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and three thousand eight hundred journalists intervened in Cairo, around fifteen thousand in all, including the logistics with equally active security personnel
The Conference was an opportunity to verify the enormous difference in mentality that exists between economically more developed countries and the rest of the world. The former come from a long history of socio-economic, demographic and military revolutions and consume 75% of the world resources available, even though they represent only 20% of the world population.
In their eyes, the third world is guilty of developing insufficient economic resources to sustain its demographic growth, and thereby cause unbridled emigration to relatively “rich” countries. The first version of the document presented to the delegates proposed, in practice, to reduce the birth rate growth of the population in developing countries using for this purpose, a large part of the economic aid approved as a lever to incentivize the poorest people to conform to this understanding. Many delegates of the developing countries indicated that they will apply the decisions of the Conference only if they are compatible with their traditions, culture and religions.