As the international community commemorates World Population Day, the current world population of 7.2 billion is projected to increase another 1 billion by 2025 and reach 9.6 billion by 2050.
Continued population growth in many countries, as well as population aging, urbanization, and migration will have a profound impact on social and economic development and the environment in the years to come.
Increasingly complex and interconnected population and demographic dynamics impact access to health, education, housing, sanitation, water, food, and energy, and influence the livelihoods of people and stability of nations around the world.
Today's generation of 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 is the largest the world has ever seen, and will shape the future of the world we live in.
They will drive the economic, political, social, and cultural development of their countries and will need greater and more equitable access to education, employment, and health information and services, including sexual and reproductive health services.
Whether it’s across the Greater Middle East or Africa, the sheer number of young people is striking, and demands leadership capable of meeting their demands for dignity and opportunity in addition to basic necessities.
This changing global environment also highlights the need for our continued example of and commitment to protecting access to evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education and reproductive rights, so that young people are equipped with the information and the means to make informed decisions about their health and protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy.
We must also address the fact that millions of adolescent girls are too often vulnerable to discrimination, violence, and exclusion that prevent them from living their lives to their full potential. Too many young girls are forced to marry and leave school early, are at risk of sexual violence and coercion, and are subjected to harmful traditional practices, including female genital mutilation and cutting. Still today, complications from pregnancy and childbirth continue to be the leading cause of death among adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries.
The United States stands ready to work with other governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, and the private sector around the world towards a safer, healthier, more just world for all.