"Profound demographic shifts" shaping world's priorities

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Wu Hongbo. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The planet's priorities will be influenced by what the United Nations has described as "profound demographic shifts", especially those related to youth, the elderly, urbanization and migration.

During the next five days, a UN commission will be discussing issues and trends relating to population and development.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

The UN estimates that hundreds of millions of people are struggling against what it calls "assaults on human dignity".

For this reason, the international community must promise to leave no one behind, said the UN top economic and social affairs official in opening remarks to the commission.

Wu Hongbo explained how demographic shifts are currently taking place, with the world now having the largest generation of young people in history.

Countries experiencing a 'youth bulge' can reap a demographic dividend by optimizing conditions for youth to thrive. This requires enhancing education for both girls and boys, ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health care, and creating more decent jobs.

Mr Hongbo added that with persons aged 60 and older comprising the fastest growing age group, workforces are shrinking and populations are greying.

He said societies must make sure that older persons can contribute to the fullest and enjoy the social protections they deserve.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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