3 July 2004
Pakistan joins the global community’ in observing the World Population Day and reaffirms its commitment made at the International Conference for Population and Development (ICPD) at Cairo in 1994. Although since then considerable progress has been made, but a lot still needs to be done to arrest rapid population growth, address the issue of poverty and to achieve the population stabilization goal enunciated in the Population Policy 2002.
The population factor plays a crucial role in the development equation and requires a comprehensive approach in order to strike balance between population increase and resources needed for sustainable development. It is therefore, important to promote a shared perception in addressing the cause and effect relationship through appropriate policy initiatives and programmes that focus on individuals, households and communities.
There is also a need that initiative in all social sectors like health, education, women development being undertaken. Cover their synergies and work in tandem to achieve the common goal of improving the quality of life of the people. The population Welfare Programme in Pakistan has been natively advocating voluntary adoption of small family norm and providing nationwide services with the support of the private sector and civil society.
However, the progrramme needs the cooperation of all segments of the society to enhance the motivation for acceptance of small family values as a normal way of life. I am happy to note that significant progress has been made in bringing down population growth to 1.96 percent.
Even, as maternal and infant mortality is on the decline, we still have n long way to go in reaching our goals of providing complete reproductive health care for achieving population stabilization. Population welfare being a complex and multi-faceted task requires all embracing efforts to reach every household in the country.
I take this opportunity to urge all public sector entities, private sector and other organizations, as well as the society at large to promote and participate in this important national cause for the benefit and well-being of the people of our country.