This year on World Population Day let us celebrate the unrivalled success that humankind has had in making the world its home, and in enabling civilisation to thrive... It's in all of our interests for us to achieve what we agreed in London a year ago. Let us make the pledges of the London Family Planning Summit a reality.
11 July is UN world population day. An easy way to remember the date is that in June this year the UN demographers upped their estimate of future global population to peak at around 11billion in about a century's time. By the dawn of the 22nd Century there will be 50% more of us, they think, give or take a few billion either way. The default reaction has been to predict doom.
One of the big oversights of the Millennium Development Goals was that it did not create an expectation that monitoring and data should cover all ages, with the result that statistics for issues such as HIV or violence stop at age 49 and we know practically nothing about older people living with the infection.
In reality no-one is "pro-abortion," but rather we, along with the mainstream populace of the vast majority of the developing world, are "pro the right to abortion." Each woman should be allowed and empowered to make her own decision as to whether she continues her pregnancy - according to her health, her morals, her religion, her resources and all the other circumstances she finds herself in.
We know that there is a gap into which a minimum of 200million women fall because their needs for contraception are unmet. Getting condoms, pills and other supplies onto the ground is one essential part of what needs to be done to deal with this. But it is only one side of the coin. If women are to be able to make use of these then we need to also tackle the flip side of the coin - the gender inequality and unequal power relations between men and women which mean that women and girls often cannot decide when or whether they have sex, including whether contraception is used.