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UN calls for cooperation to tackle 7 billion population challenges

(Xinhua)

10:27, September 15, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Wednesday launched a global campaign "7 Billion Actions" to address challenges and call for cooperation as the world's population is expected to hit 7 billion by the end of next month.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the launching ceremony that the milestone "is a challenge, an opportunity and a call to action for all of us," appealing to governments, businesses, non- governmental organizations, academics and individuals to tackle global issues together.

"The seven billionth citizen will be born into a world of contradictions," Ban said. "We have plenty of food yet millions are still starving. We see luxurious lifestyles yet millions are impoverished. We have great opportunities for progress but also great obstacles."

Among challenges beyond poverty and inequality, Ban cited discrimination, human rights abuses, violence, maternal mortality, climate change and the degradation of the environment.

"These are all the challenges that we can and must overcome," he said. "If we invest in people, we will reap the best dividends. "

Ban termed the campaign "a clarion call to people, communities, countries and our partners," and said the best answer to people's concerns is found not in words, but in actions.

According to latest UN figures, the world's population is estimated to reach 7 billion on Oct. 31, this year, surge past 9 billion before 2050 and then increase to 10.1 billion by the end of the century if current fertility rates continue at expected levels.

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