Outright government opposition to population control is broadly based on three factors: religious influence, military considerations and economic expansion. Whenever government rejection of population control occurs it calls into question the attempts made by other nations, creating international tension and the potential risk of war. Apart from this, it overrides ecological and standard-of-living considerations and encourages elitism. Milder opposition may form part of a self-determination effort against population programmes devised by other nations, and from underpopulation in comparative terms.
Never before have so many governments asserted their desire to adopt population policies. More than four out of every five persons in the less developed regions of the world live in countries whose governments favour policies aimed at reducing the rates of population increase. Two out of every three people throughout the world are ruled by governments which regard demographic change as a significant factor affecting the nature, scope or pace of social and economic development. 94 less developed countries support, directly or indirectly, the provision of facilities for fertility regulation.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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