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Having Kids is calling on United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to issue a new U.N. family planning statement, recommending a focus on children’s well-being and their need for a sustainable future.

A better family planning model and policies – with a focus on smaller and more equitable families – is the most effective solution to most of the world’s crises today. 

Several new developments underscore the need for truly fundamental change. Current and downstream attempts to deal with climate change are failing, as demonstrated by the recent events in France and elsewhere, and the United Nations own reports. The United States recently determined that climate change will shrink the U.S. economy and kill thousands.

Simply stated, the current family planning model used by the United Nations is the fundamental source of the problem, ensuring unsustainable population growth in a way that degrades equality, democracy, and our environment. This archaic model was developed before we learned what we know today about climate change, the disproportionate impact of early childhood development on human wellbeing, the way birth conditions and early childhood can exacerbate inequality, etc.  

The current family planning model makes our future less secure, healthy and equitable than it should be. Many better models have been proposed, including one by leading political theorist Sarah Conly, and Having Kids’ own model, the Fair Start approach (detailed here). To begin the process we have asked public figures to take action and speak out, but the United Nations should lead.

“This is an opportunity for the United Nations to do what it was founded to do, and protect the world from dire threats through the promotion of human rights,” said Anne Green, the Executive Director of Having Kids. “There is no time left to dawdle with less effective downstream solutions. Our leaders will be held accountable for failing in this crisis – they must act now.”

Read the full letter here.

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