A liveable world is and remains one of the great goals of the world community. As a condition of its achievement, the people of the world must give continued and serious attention to creating and preserving a humane environment. Among the requirements for securing such an environment is the development of decent living conditions on the globe, the limitation of population (in this connection we call attention to the IHEU resolution of August 1972 in favour of effective birth control, voluntary sterilisation and the right to legal abortion) so that we do not crowd ourselves off the planet or force ourselves into conditions of scarcity of resources. The relationship between problems of population and pollution is, by now, very clear. Therefore, the IHEU welcomes the forthcoming World Population Conference to be held in 1974.
Since the achievement of a liveable world will require the knowledge and support of the world’s peoples, we are particularly impressed with the preparations for this Conference. The preparatory seminars – in Cairo in June, 1973 dealing with the relationships of population with economic and social development; the one in Stockholm in October, 1973 dealing with the relation of population to resources and the environment; and the one in the Hague in December, 1973 dealing with population and human rights – reflect a more subtle and significant awareness of the problems of population than has often characterised discussion in the past. In so far as IHEU participation and support is possible, we affirm our willingness to co-operate.
Further, we regard as highly imaginative and most useful the plans for a “Tribune” to be held in conjunction with the conference. Officials and governments must do their work. But, that work can only succeed if it is understood and supported by citizens of the world community. A forum, like the “Tribune” where non-governmental organisations and concerned groups and citizens, can make their voices heard is most important. In that way too, the knowledge and expertise of many people can be brought to bear on a common world problem. Again, we pledge IHEU support and participation in such a forum. Finally, the IHEU once again affirms its commitment to helping in the creation of a free and humane environment for the growth of persons. That basic commitment underlies our support of the 1974 conference as it does our past and continued efforts toward population control, cleaning up environmental pollution, respect for the earth’s resources. We applaud the UN’s leadership in this field and pledge our continued support.
Executive Committee 1973
'World population and the environment (1973)', Humanists International, Executive Committee, 1973