Having Kids is calling on United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to issue a new U.N. family planning statement, recommending a focus on delaying having kids and sustainable families, and calling for a new standard of equity and sustainability for all family planning policies. The group will hold an event in front of the U.N. on Monday.
A better family planning model and policies – with a focus on more equitable families – are likely the most effective solution to most of the world’s crises today. Remodeling family planning is the most comprehensive and effective way to promote the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and in some cases proves twenty times more effective than other reforms.
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 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 well-being, the way birth conditions and early childhood can exacerbate inequality, etc. 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 Having Kids has 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 Erika Mathews, the Executive Director of Having Kids.