It has been more than quarter of a century since the International Conference on Population and Development was held in Cairo. The so-called ‘Cairo Consensus’ that emerged from that meeting had a profound effect on how governments, NGOs, and foundations around the world dealt with issues of unsustainable population growth. Or, more specifically…stopped dealing with issues of unsustainable population growth. Since then, we have added another 2 billion humans to the planet while our major global institutions have remained nearly silent as to the adverse effects.
While the Cairo Consensus brought the wellbeing of women and girls to the center of our global development discussions four the first time in human history, it also left the international community rudderless on issues of runaway population growth as humanity’s ecological overshoot come to threaten our planet and our species.
That is why I wrote this article in the Journal of Population and Sustainability. Give it a read, and please share your thoughts on how we might revisit the Cairo Consensus and update it to address the new realities that have emerged over the last 25 years.