The world is set to reach a new milestone this year—the birth of its seven-billionth inhabitant.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon highlighted the event yesterday during his message for World Population Day, which will be observed July 11.
“Later this year, a seven-billionth baby will be born into our world of complexity and contradiction,” he said. “We have enough food for everyone, yet nearly a billion go hungry. We have the means to eradicate many diseases, yet they continue to spread. We have the gift of a rich natural environment, yet it remains subject to daily assault and exploitation. All people of conscience dream of peace, yet too much of the world is in conflict and steeped in armaments.”
The U.N. official also trumped the U.N. Population Fund’s “7 Billion Actions” campaign launched this year. The initiative brings together multiple organizations to tackle seven key issues: poverty, gender equality, youth, aging, urbanization, environment and reproductive health and rights.
The world’s seven-billionth person is due to be born in October, and there’s no word yet on where the U.N. will choose to symbolically “crown” he or she.
The six billionth baby, born October 12, 1999, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, was greeted by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
The eight-billionth person is due to arrive in 2025.