|Millenniumi Fejlesztési Célok: humánia vagy humánum? / Millennium Development Goals: Humane or Hu-maniac|
Millennium Development Goals: Humane or Hu-maniac
I. The population bomb absorbs all efforts
Alice in Wonderland runs a race with the Red Queen and they run until they are completely out of breath. Alice looks around in great surprise because they are standing on exactly the same spot where they started from:
"In our country, you'd generally get to somewhere else - if you ran very fast for a long time."
"What a slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.„
Aldous Huxley, writer of the novel “Brave New World”, used that quote from the tale in his presentation: “The Population Explosion”, delivered at California University in 1959. His aim was to show his audience how the population bomb absorbs all human efforts whether related to economic, political, environmental, conservationist, development, or assistance etc. issues. "This is a comic parable of the extremely tragic situation in which we now find ourselves. We have to work, to put forth an enormous effort, just to stand where we are; and where we are is in a most undesirable position."
“The Millennium Development Goals, particularly the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, cannot be achieved if questions of population and reproductive health are not squarely addressed.” (Kofi Annan, ex UN Secretary General)
More than one hundred-million undesired fructification happens a year and not only in the poor countries. In the USA, for example, there are 1,5 million abortions yearly.
„Ninety percent of the people on this planet, especially in the West, were born out of a bottle of whisky on a Saturday night, and there was no intent to have children. Ninety percent of us were accidents.” (John Lennon)
The 2,7 million annual population growth of the USA (including 1 million immigrants), multiplied with their ecological footprint means a bigger disaster for the Earth than the accumulated population growth of India (15,2 million) and China (8,3 million). The latter, however is a time bomb: today the growth of China’s consumption is already a bigger burden for the Earth than the growth in consumption of the USA and the EU together.
We can refer to the rights of the next generations when every child born to the world is desired and desired for themselves; so when they grow up, they can say: we couldn’t have desired for fonder parents, a better age and place to be born to.
1 million children die every year because their parents couldn’t wait 9 months with the reproduction after the previous birth. The technocrat answer is the incubator. The effective, humane answer is contraception.
„The family planning has bigger benefit for more people with less charge, like no other technology which is available for humanity.” (James Grant, UNICEF)
„The lower rate of fertility will be meaning healthier children, rise of rate of living and less pressure on the environment.” (Jeffrey Sachs, president of UN Millennium Project)
Unfortunately, that recognition is not generally accepted yet. The EU funds earmarked to sexual and reproductive health has fallen from 18,5 million to 12,3 million Euros this year.
At the same time, it’s promising that the UN General Assembly included the availability of reproductive health for everyone in the Millennium Development Goals and in turn considers the frequency of contraception and unmet need for family-planning claim as indicators.
Target 6: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio
16. Maternal mortality ratio
17. Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel
19c. Contraceptive prevalence rate
Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health
Adolescent birth rate,
Antenatal care coverage (at least one visit and at least four visits),
Unmet need for family planning.
In Hungary the concept is still considerably strange. The Programme of Action (1994-2014) of UN International Conference on Population and Development (held in 1994 in Cairo) still does not have a Hungarian translation after 13 years, and what is more, there is no mention of it in the International Development Cooperation (IDC) strategy. The European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development does not have any Hungarian member.
It is, however in our elementary interest to aid family-planning all over the world, otherwise we risk epidemics, terrorism, the refugee flow and environmental pollution (the insane change in our climate will not halt at country boundaries). Also, more disturbing is the fact that our jobs may vanish as employers tend to go where labour is cheap due to the oversupply of manpower. Hundreds of million people have to work for a pittance. The failure of the Hungarian textile industry and the diminishing power of our software industry should warn businesses and trade unions that the prevention of unintended fructification is in their interest too.
We have been supporting the schooling of poor rural girls in India for three decades. An educated woman, who takes the reins of her fate, would give birth to by two thirds less children than an illiterate one. During the 60 years of independence the population of India has tripled. By the famous saying of Gandhi (”the Earth is not enough for everybody’s greed”) acts today as an early warning: the earth is not able to support just anything. It cannot provide enough for the economy’s greed for cheap labour, the army’s greed for cheap soldiers, the monarch’s greed for more and more subjects.
During the past 25 years the governments who promoted congestion gradually disappeared. The concept lost its supporters. Contraception is a „win-win game” for the future children, parents, family, poor, rich, army, government, society, humanity, nature alike: everyone wins.
But the population bomb’s brake path is long. Like Huxley has already pointed out, for the fast suppression of the high mortality rate, it was enough to have the strong intention of the administration, an expert group, a bit of money, clear water, vaccine, etc. For proper family-planning the contribution, training and attendance of hundred millions of couples are essential.
II. Only what reduces the global ecological footprint can be considered as development.
Technocrat insanity is often named as development. For example, Lake Balaton in Hungary was almost drained once. Engineers made their plans, county prefects esteemed happily how much field they would gain and it was signed by the Kaiser in Vienna. If it had existed at that time, would a Future Generations' Ombudsman have been able to protect the future generations' interests (namely our, recent people's interest) against such a consensus? It was only the lack of funds that saved Lake Balaton.
The funds of Hungarian ODA are not abundant, neither is the amount of active substance in medicine, but it can induce severe changes if applied at the so called leverage points like family planning possibilities and reproductive health and rights for the poor, which influences the system in the most effective way. We should not spend on exporting suicidal civilization patterns (e.g. technocrat infrastructure and economy) which destroy their own base of existence. In the midst of the present devastation of the Earth, the only development is what reduces global ecological footprint.
Imagine an airplane ready to take off, the nose already pointing up in the air, when the pilot realises that the fuel level is low. Life of 6.7 billion people on USA level of ecological footprint would demand five Earths, and even on Hungarian level would need two. The Millennium Development Goals should not mean the fatal action of taking off, which would lead to crash: the current system (the Earth) was not made for flying (living on European level) of such a big population.
The Millennium Development Goals can be interpreted in two opposite ways: humanely or "hu-maniacally". Napoleon's every "victorious" step forward into the Russian barren made the retreat more horrible. The North Atlantic civilization pattern, which is devastating the Earth, is in overshoot and leads to a collapse. Trying to integrate the poor into this theoretically lethal overshoot and collapse process would be the "hu-maniac" adaptation of MDGs. The humane adaptation, on the other hand is to change together from the "victorious" march of growth in population and in material wealth to a common global civilization focused on the quality of life by ecological footprint cutback.
Historical period: 21st century
Author: Simonyi, Gyula
Group, movement, tendency (wherefrom it comes from): Bocs Foundation
Target audience: decision makers, leaders