epresentatives of national academies of science from throughout the world met in New Delhi, India, from October 24-27, 1993, in a “Science Summit” on World Population. The conference grew out of two earlier meetings, one of the Royal Society of London and the United States National Academy of Sciences, and the other an international conference organized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Statements published by both groups* expressed a sense of urgent concern about the expansion of the world 's population and concluded that if current predictions of population growth prove accurate and patterns of human activity on the planet remain unchanged, science and technology may not be able to prevent irreversible degradation of the natural environment and continued poverty for much of the world.

The New Delhi conference, organized by a group of fifteen academies, was convened to explore in greater detail the complex and interrelated issues of population growth, resource consumption, socioeconomic development, and environmental protection. We believe it to be the first large-scale collaborative activity undertaken by the world 's scientific academies.

This statement, signed by representatives of fifty-eight academies, reflects continued concern about the intertwined problems of rapid population growth, wasteful resource consumption, environmental degradation, and poverty. In keeping with the critical focus of the conference, the statement deals primarily with population. The academies believe that ultimate success in dealing with global social, economic, and environmental problems cannot be achieved without a stable world population. The goal should be to reach zero population growth within the lifetime of our children.



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epresentatives of national academies of science from throughout the world met in New Delhi, India, from October 24-27, 1993, in a “Science Summit” on World Population. The conference grew out of two earlier meetings, one of the Royal Society of London and the United States National Academy of Sciences, and the other an international conference organized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Statements published by both groups* expressed a sense of urgent concern about the expansion of the world 's population and concluded that if current predictions of population growth prove accurate and patterns of human activity on the planet remain unchanged, science and technology may not be able to prevent irreversible degradation of the natural environment and continued poverty for much of the world. The New Delhi conference, organized by a group of fifteen academies, † was convened to explore in greater detail the complex and interrelated issues of population growth, resource consumption, socioeconomic development, and environmental protection. We believe it to be the first large-scale collaborative activity undertaken by the world 's scientific academies. This statement, signed by representatives of fifty-eight academies, reflects continued concern about the intertwined problems of rapid population growth, wasteful resource consumption, environmental degradation, and poverty. In keeping with the critical focus of the conference, the statement deals primarily with population. The academies believe that ultimate success in dealing with global social, economic, and environmental problems cannot be achieved without a stable world population. The goal should be to reach zero population growth within the lifetime of our children.

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In anticipation of the approaching United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, we hope that this statement will reach the attention of governments and peoples of all countries; and contribute to further discourse and appropriate policy decisions on these complex but crucially important matters. The background for the statement is to be found in the published papers of the 1993 “Science Summit.” *   Population Growth, Resource Consumption, and a Sustainable World, a joint statement by the officers of the Royal Society of London and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, 1992; Statement Issued by the International Conference on Population, Natural Resources, and Development, organized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research, Stockholm, Sweden, 30 September - 3 October, 1991. See also: An Agenda of Science for Environment and Development into the 21st Century, based on a conference convened by the International Council of Scientific Unions in Vienna, Austria, in November 1991, Cambridge University Press, 1992; World Scientists' Warning to Humanity, statement signed by 1600 scientists, Union of Concerned Scientists, 1992. †   African Academy of Sciences, Australian Academy of Science, Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Federation of Asian Scientific Academies and Societies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, Mexican Academy of Sciences, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Pakistan Academy of Sciences, The Royal Society of London, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences, Third World Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.