Minute on Population
(approved June 10, 2000)
In October 1999, world human population surpassed 6 billion, having doubled since 1960. At the present rate of growth, it is likely to double again within the new century. The effects of this rapid population growth, exacerbated by excessive consumerism, threaten all of earth’s creatures, placing insupportable demands on her finite resources, creating unmanageable problems of waste disposal, and intensifying environmental degradation.
While remaining sensitive to the needs and values of all cultures, we acknowledge our responsibility to become informed about world population growth and the concerns it raises. Through our leadings and sharings, we will seek knowledgeable, loving, and creative ways working towards effective and realistic solutions. These include providing education on and means of contraception for both sexes, encouragement of adoption as an alternative to having biological children and open support of those who choose not to procreate. And it is essential that those who have more than they need strive toward a simpler, less wasteful life-style.
We also recognize that special emphasis must be given to measures to reduce poverty, provide security for people as they age, and empower women. Literacy, equal social status, and the general education of women to broaden their life choices are measures that not only improve their lives but help delay childbirth and limit family size.
We urge our government to renew contributions to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, and we urge meetings to study further the problem of rapid population growth and to discern how we are to act on this concern as individuals and as meetings in our own communities, in our country, and in support of countries throughout the world.