On July 11, 1987, the world population reached five billion. From then on, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that World Population Day be celebrated on this date every year.
In less than 30 years, the total number of people on the planet has risen by over two billion, in a context marked by social, environmental and economic crises and natural disasters.
GI spoke to Jesús Robles Vera, international programs coordinator of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Cuba, regarding initiatives to celebrate the date and population issues on the post-2015 development agenda.
- What is the theme for this year’s July 11 celebrations?
- This year there is a very interesting theme: vulnerable populations in emergency situations. This is the institutional message. In the case of Latin America and Cuba, we will be studying the topic with regards to vulnerable populations according to the UNFPA, that is women and the adolescent population.
“For us this year the theme is gender. The main message for Latin America and the Caribbean, which will also apply in the case of Cuba, is: “No excuses, caring for the lives of women is a priority in all circumstances and at all times.
“This provides us with a very strong message, which is not only applicable to an emergency situation, but to any life situation.
“In Cuba this functions differently. Luckily here there is a whole Ministry of (Public) Health structure, which works, and in the case of women in the lead up to a hurricane, the Ministry of Health has its protocol whereby women likely to go into labor in remote areas are taken to maternity homes well in advance, where they are protected.